The diamondback squid (Thysanoteuthis rhombus) is a large species of squid. They belong to the family Thysanoteuthidae of animals and are known by other names such as diamond squid and rhombic squid. These squids mainly live in warm tropical and subtropical waters all around the world. They do not dive far into the ocean and they mostly swim in mid-depth water of the ocean during the day and near the surface during the night. They are unique in quite a few ways. The most noticeable feature is their shape which is rhombic and how they got their name. Two rows of suckers are present on their arms whereas four rows can be seen on their tentacles. They move at a relatively slow pace, but they can get past danger from predators at a fast pace when they need to. They eat fish, crustaceans, and other cephalopods. The species is mostly recognized by the floating diamondback squid egg mass which has a cylindrical shape and is gelatinous.
The diamondback squid (Thysanoteuthis rhombus) is a species of oceanic squid.
The diamond squid belongs to the Thysanoteuthidae family and Cephalopoda class of animals.
The population of diamondback squids in exact numbers is not known. These squids live scattered all around the world. As of now, nothing poses any grave threat to their population other than fisheries.
This species can be seen living in warm waters around the world. It is known to move according to the currents of the sea. They can be found in the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Indian Ocean, and in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
These squids mainly live in tropical waters, and at times in subtropical waters around the world. By day, they roam at a mid-depth water level and by night, they roam around the surface. They can be rarely seen around the shelf zone, only driven there by warm currents of the sea. They also don't stay near the oligotrophic zone of the sea. Otherwise, these squids live in open waters.
Diamondback squids are thought to be the only cephalopod species that are monogamous in nature. They can mainly be seen living in pairs and sometimes they can be seen in small schools as well.
Diamondback squids live for only about a year.
The breeding of the diamond squid is known to happen throughout the year. However, it increases around the months of February and March. They are known to form male-female pairs when they have grown only about 4 in (10 cm) in size. Both sexes reach maturity at the age of six to eight months. Not much is known about their courtship behavior. After copulation, at the time of spawning, females release a secretion and through a few stages, a cylindrical gelatinous egg sac or egg mass is made. A single Thysanoteuthis rhombus egg mass is known to hold 24,100-43,800 eggs. Females are fecund and lay eggs many times at intervals. They can lay up to 4.8 million eggs and these eggs are seen in many egg masses. This species can be recognized by this egg mass floating near the surface of the sea.
The conservation status of this oceanic squid according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is listed as Least Concern. The population distribution of this species is worldwide, so nothing currently affects their population.
A diamond squid is a large muscular squid. The anterior of the squid is wide and toward the posterior, it becomes thinner. Each fin starts at the head and each fin cover the entirety of the mantle. These triangular fins are widest in the middle as they make the rhombus shape of the squid's body. The funnel and the mantle are locked typically, whereas the funnel locking cartilage is shaped like a 'lazy T'. Two rows of suckers are present on the arms while four rows of suckers are present on the tentacles. The dorsal side of their body is bright red, while the ventral side of the body is more whitish. Unlike other squids like the colossal squid, no light organ is present in the body of this species.
Some people may consider them cute and some may not, however they are surely a unique-looking species.
Squids that do not have light organs, such as the diamondback squid, communicate through their color-changing abilities. They camouflage, hunt their prey, and communicate with others of their species by changing their body color.
The mantle length of an adult diamondback squid is about 39.3-51.2 in (100-130 cm) in size. They are more than three times bigger than vampire squids that are about 12 in (30 cm) in size.
Diamondback squids are not fast swimmers. They move slowly by moving their fins up and down. Although when threatened, they can move past predators at a fast pace by contracting their macular mantle.
The weight of diamondback squids is about 53-66 lb (24-30 kg).
Males and the females of this species have no specific names.
Newly hatched eggs are called larva and in the later stage of life, they are called paralarvae.
Diamondback squids feed on fish, crustaceans such as shrimps or crabs, and other cephalopod species. They move past their prey by camouflaging themselves and then catching them.
It is not known whether these squids are aggressive or not. There are no records of human beings being harmed by them.
The diamond squid is a wild animal and no record has been found of anyone keeping them as pets. They live in a certain social structure and habitat, and taking them out of that environment will only harm them.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
Diamondback squids are considered a delicacy for their flavored and firm flesh. This is why they are caught for fishery purposes in large numbers in Japan. 90% of diamondback squid fishing is done in Okinawa. The diamondback squid price can be $20-$30 USD for every 2.2 lb (1 kg).
As these squids do not move a lot or at a fast pace, their growth rate is pretty fast.
The predators of squids include sharks, swordfish, lancetfish, tuna fish, dolphin fish, sperm whales, false killer whales, and ommastrephid squids.
Diamondback squids get their name from the shape of their bodies. Their triangular-shaped fins on both sides make their dorsal side look rhombic or diamond-shaped.
Most squids are generally known to be nocturnal. They hide in the sand camouflaged most of the time during the day and are more active at night.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our minke whale facts and irrawaddy dolphin facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable diamondback squid coloring pages.
* Please note the main image is of a squid, not a diamondback squid specifically. If you have an image of a diamondback squid, please let us know at [email protected].