Despite their name, these charismatic critters are actually more closely related to cuttlefish than other squid. They have stocky, rounded bodies and grow to approximately 6cm. Bobtail squid have two tentacles and eight arms with tiny suckers that they use to manipulate their prey and to bury themselves. Their appearance varies greatly due to their ability to change colour, but they usually have light to dark brown patterning with an iridescent, metallic sheen.
Spotting bobtail squid is particularly tricky as they often bury themselves in sandy substrates to hide from predators. To increase your chances of finding one, keep an eye out in the warmer summer months following fair weather. Although they usually live in shallow seas, bobtail squid are thought to migrate inshore from July, whilst waters are warm. They do not often survive in extreme weather conditions and by October they move offshore again.
Bobtail squid mainly feed on small crustaceans such as shrimp. It is thought that this might be what causes them to migrate to rocky shores throughout the summer months when conditions are good and abundance of rockpool shrimp is high. Bobtail squid are nocturnal hunters and bury themselves during the day.