Invertebrate Neuroscience

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 37–49 | Cite as

Arm regeneration in two species of cuttlefish Sepia officinalis and Sepia pharaonis

  • Jedediah TresslerEmail author
  • Francis Maddox
  • Eli Goodwin
  • Zhuobin Zhang
  • Nathan J. Tublitz
Original Paper


To provide quantitative information on arm regeneration in cuttlefish, the regenerating arms of two cuttlefish species, Sepia officinalis and Sepia pharaonis, were observed at regular intervals after surgical amputation. The third right arm of each individual was amputated to ~10–20 % starting length. Arm length, suction cup number, presence of chromatophores, and behavioral measures were collected every 2–3 days over a 39-day period and compared to the contralateral control arm. By day 39, the regenerating arm reached a mean 95.5 ± 0.3 % of the control for S. officinalis and 94.9 ± 1.3 % for S. pharaonis. The process of regeneration was divided into five separate stages based on macroscopic morphological events: Stage I (days 0–3 was marked by a frayed leading edge; Stage II (days 4–15) by a smooth hemispherical leading edge; Stage III (days 16–20) by the appearance of a growth bud; Stage IV (days 21–24) by the emergence of an elongated tip; and Stage V (days 25–39) by a tapering of the elongated tip matching the other intact arms. Behavioral deficiencies in swimming, body postures during social communication, and food manipulation were observed immediately after arm amputation and throughout Stages I and II, returning to normal by Stage III. New chromatophores and suction cups in the regenerating arm were observed as early as Stage II and by Stage IV suction cup number equaled that of control arms. New chromatophores were used in the generation of complex body patterns by Stage V. These results show that both species of cuttlefish are capable of fully regenerating lost arms, that the regeneration process is predictable and consistent within and across species, and provide the first quantified data on the rate of arm lengthening and suction cup addition during regeneration.


Cuttlefish Sepia officinalis Sepia pharaonis Regeneration Cephalopods 



This material is based upon work supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under Award No. FA9550-09-1-0395.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jedediah Tressler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Francis Maddox
    • 1
  • Eli Goodwin
    • 1
  • Zhuobin Zhang
    • 1
  • Nathan J. Tublitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA

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