Common Squid

  • Scientific name: Alloteuthis subulata
  • Size: Mantle up to 20cm in length
  • Distribution: Found throughout Europe but only common around the south of England and Ireland.

The common squid is found from the Mediterranean to the Baltic Sea. In the United Kingdom this squid is much more common in the English Channel and around the south west of England, although it is reported as far north as Northumberland and parts of Scotland on a sporadic basis. They are at their most common in Britain during the summer months, due to spawning migration.

The common squid is a small squid species, rarely exceeding 20cm in body length, and has a slender body. Like all squid species, it has eight short arms and two much longer tentacles which are used for catching prey. The colour is usually greyish to white with pink or purple spots. The common squid usually lives and feeds over hard sand, gravel or shingle seabeds and prefers water at least twenty metres deep, and can be found at depths as far down as several hundred metres. They are active hunters and take small fish such as sprats and immature specimens of other species. There is little information on the commercial catches of this species of squid as it is often bundled in with the European squid, making catches of the two species difficult to differentiate. This species is listed as being Data Deficient by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.