This brief squid made a surprise appearance in a Smithsonian Environmental Research Center trawl survey at the mouth of Maryland’s Rhode River last Thursday—the first time scientists have spotted it there since 2002! The brief squid is the only cephalopod in the Chesapeake Bay, a group that includes squids, octopuses and cuttlefish. They prefer salty waters normally found only in the lower Bay, but when the saltier water moves farther north, the squids move with it.
During the last few weeks, marine biologist Rob Aguilar and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s Fish and Invertebrate Lab have spotted several species that usually prefer saltier waters making their way into the upper Bay. The Fish & Invert biologists do regular trawl surveys around the Rhode River by dragging a 16-foot net behind a boat for 10 minutes, counting the species inside and releasing them.
Click here to learn more about how the lab tracks aquatic life (Photo: Rob Aguilar