European squid, Loligo vulgaris
Coloured pencil on paper
Artist: Emma Day
The European squid is a widespread species found on all British and Irish coasts from 0-1000m depth. It has a mantle length of up to 50cm although 30cm is a more typical size. It has eight arms surrounding the beak and two longer prey-catching tentacles with suckers on the end. It is usually white with pink/red speckles and spots. The European squid is a predator which hunts small fish, small crustaceans and other squids. In the UK there are few commercial vessels targeting squid and they are usually caught as bycatch in bottom trawls which are aimed at catching demersal species such as cod, haddock and plaice. While squid species are generally seen as underexploited, they are not currently managed by quota. As squid fishing intensity increases, it will be important to understand the long-term impacts of fishing pressure on squid populations.
About the artist: Emma used watercolour pencils on watercolour paper to draw her squid. She enjoyed working with colour and seeing the transformation from the pencil to the paint-like texture when adding water and also drawing the detail on the tentacles.