Humboldt Squid

collected in 2004
Scientific Name:
Dosidicus gigas
Common Name:
Jumbo squid, Humboldt squid, Diablo Rojo

Typically, these large squid (also commonly known as Jumbo Squid, or Diablo Rojo in Spanish) are distributed farther south in deep offshore waters ranging from Chile to Mexico. However within the last decade, Humboldt Squid, Dosidicus gigas have appeared sporadically off the coast of British Columbia. While several hypotheses have been proposed to explain this shift, including changes in ocean temperature and overfishing of would-be-competitors, the ultimate factors driving these northward invasions remain unclear.

Humboldt Squid are aggressive predators, feeding on other invertebrates and fishes, and at times, even cannibalistic on each other. They often flash bright red when hunting (hence the Spanish name, which translates into ‘Red Devil’). Typically they move up and down the water column following their prey. However on occasion, large numbers move into shallow waters, perhaps in pursuit of herring or sardines, and become stranded inadvertently as the tide recedes (as was documented on Tofino beaches in 2009).

This individual was one of the first specimens collected in 2004 off the West Coast of Vancouver Island.