Video: Cuttlefish mimics a hermit crab


Editor's Picks
 A perfect place for your Fighter to rest his little fins — the Betta Bed Leaf Hammock.
Gear Post
Review: Betta Bed Leaf Hammock
21 November 2017
 Just look at that little face... No wonder then, that so many fishkeepers find these little puffers so hard to resist.
Features Post
Join the puffer fish fan club!
28 September 2017
 Special care needs to be taken when catching Pictus catfish and other species with spines.
Features Post
Travels with your fish
03 August 2017

Cuttlefish have been filmed apparently imitating hermit crabs by researchers in Japan.

A team at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, first spotted the odd behaviour in Pharaoh cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis, while feeding them in the university lab.

Watch the video below and you’ll see for yourself just how good this mimicry is. The cuttlefish raise their front arms and wave them about, while bending those behind to make them look as though they are jointed, like the legs of the crabs.

The cuttlefish were filmed impersonating hermits when prey was present. As hermit crabs aren’t predators the researchers think it could be a method of lulling potential prey into a false sense of security before striking. But the mimicry could also be a useful form of defence, by fooling predators into thinking the soft-bodied cuttlefish are covered in a hard shell.