information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Stout bobtail (Rossia macrosoma)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.



Rossia macrosoma is a small cephalopod of up to 6 cm in length. The body is ovoid with short rounded fins. The dorsal mantle edge is not fused to the head, but instead has a continuous, well-marked lip.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Found mostly on southern coasts of Britain.

Global distribution

Eastern Atlantic; North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, West Africa, Morocco.


Found over sandy to muddy bottoms.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Dorsal mantle border not fused to head.
  • Tentacular clubs with more than 8 subequal suckers, all much smaller than arm suckers, in transverse rows.

Additional information

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Listed by

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Further information sources

Search on:


  1. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  2. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  3. Miramand, P. & Bentley, D., 1992. Concentration and distribution of heavy metals in tissues of two cephalopods, Eledone cirrhosa and Sepia officinalis, from the French coast of the English Channel Marine Biology, 114, 407-414.

  4. Roper, C.F.E., Sweeney, M.J. & Nauen, C.E., 1984. FAO species catalogue. Vol. 3. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of species of interest to fisheries. FAO Fisheries Synopsis, 125, 3, 277.

  5. von Boletzky, S. & von Boletzky, M.V., 1973. Observations on the embryonic and early post-embryonic development of Rossia macrosoma (Mollusca, Cephalopoda). Helgolander Wissenschaftliche Meeresuntersuchungen, 25, 135-161.


This review can be cited as:

Wilson, E. 2008. Rossia macrosoma Stout bobtail. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 21-09-2018]. Available from:

Last Updated: 17/04/2008