WSG News Blog

Cool Critters: Opalescent Squid

June 25, 2021

Welcome to our Cool Critters series, where Marine Ecologist Jeff Adams shares the unique features of his favorite animals native to the Pacific Northwest. To wrap up Cephalopod Week, today’s Cool Critter is the Opalescent Squid!

The opalescent or market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens) is winter’s most colorful, family-friendly fishing! They are relatively small, growing to about 11 inches long, and can change color from a translucent white to a speckled brown and gold using their special chromatophores. Like other cephalopods, opalescent squid have a hard beak that they use to bite and consume their prey. 

Photo Credit: NOAA Fisheries; Jeff Adams, Marine Ecologist, Washington Sea Grant