Not to be confused with the European cuttlefish (which is also known as the common cuttlefish), this species is endemic to Southern Africa and known elsewhere at the patchwork cuttlefish. With a mantle length of up to 30 cm, the cuttlefish is thought to inhabit a variety of marine
environments, including estuaries, shallow reefs and depths of up to 300 m. It has ten arms, two of which are elongated for catching prey, and can change colour rapidly.
It is thought that the cuttlefish changes colour for camouflage, to intimidate potential predators, and to communicate with other cuttlefish during mating displays. Common cuttlefish mate head-to- head, and produce pea-shaped eggs that they attach to sea fans for security.