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Bioluminescent Secretions
This website was created as a project for and undergraduate Biology Program at Davidson College.
Last Updated 10.25.2005

Bioluminescent secretions

Ink clouds are a familiar aspect of squid and octopod behavior, but occasionally these organisms will use a bioluminescent secretion in place of the typical dark ink. This physiological ability is believed to be used to confuse a predator and allow for a safe escape, as has been described with smaller mesopelagic organisms such as copepods. A cloud will contain a mucous matrix with hundreds to thousands of discrete glowing particles imbeded in it. The particles are believed to originate from the arms and will glow for up to nine and half minutes (Hunt 1996).

Vampyroteuthis infernalis and Heteroteuthis dispar are two species that exhibit this uncommon form of bioluminescence.