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The maximum length of this squid is about 38 cm (15 in), with a maximum weight of around 1 kg (2.2 lb). The mantle is robust and tapers bluntly to a point. The eight arms have three rings of suckers with up to thirty hooks, and the two tentacles have long clubs with moderate-sized suckers and further hooks around the suckers. The diamond-shaped fins, which extend for almost the whole length of the mantle are widest in the middle, and are more than half as wide as they are long. The colour of this squid in life is semi-transparent, but if caught and removed from the sea, it will soon change to a uniform orangish-brown or rust colour. The base of the fin has a white or bluish luminescent streak. Breeding takes place at different times of year in different parts of the range there is typically an annual cycle, with the lifespan being about a year. Courtship occurs with males displaying to females, and males are antagonistic towards other males at this time. While a male is jostling and trying to drive off an interloper, "sneaker" males often get a chance to approach the female and copulate by depositing a spermatophore in her mantle cavity. When the female spawns, the egg strand most commonly contains eggs fertilized by three different males. Each strand typically consists of six to nine eggs and is attached to seaweed or seagrass fronds. Sometimes aggregations of hundreds of eggs occur with many females spawning at one site.
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