The Marine Life Information Network

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


Broadtail shortfin squid (Illex coindetii)

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



A moderately long and narrow squid up to 38 cm long, with a pointed tail and large robust head.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

All British and Irish coasts.

Global distribution

Eastern Atlantic: 15 degrees south to 60 degrees north, Mediterranean and Black Sea. Western Atlantic: Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and southeast Florida; 10 degrees north to 27 degrees north.


Associated with muddy bottoms

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Mantle moderately long and narrow, tail pointed and moderately drawn out.
  • Fin angle broad, fin width greater than length.
  • Head large and robust, especially in males.
  • Tentacular club with 8 longitudinal rows of small suckers.
  • Arms very long.

Additional information

No text entered

Listed by

- none -


  1. Boyle, P.R. & Pierce, G.J., 1994. Fishery biology of northeast Atlantic squid: an overview. Fisheries Research, 21(Special Issue), 1-15.

  2. Clarke, M. R., 1966. A review of the systematics and ecology of oceanic squids. Advanced Marine Biology, 4, 91-300.

  3. Gonzalez, A. F. & Guerra, A., 1996. Reproductive biology of the short-finned squid Illex coindetii (Cephalopoda, Ommastrephidae) of the Northeastern Atlantic. Sarsia, 81, 107-118.

  4. 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.]

  5. ICES, 1994. Report of the study group on the life history assessment of Cephalopods. Copenhagen-Denmark ICES, K:7, 32.

  6. Roper, C. F. E., Lu, C. C. & Vecchione, M., 1998. A revision of the systematics and distribution of Illex species (Cephalopoda: Ommastrephidae). In Systematics and Biogeography of Cephalopods, vol. 2, (ed. N.A. Voss, M. Vecchione, R.B. Toll & M.J. Sweeney), Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 586, pp405-423. Smithsonian Institution Press.

  7. 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. Avaliable:


  1. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  2. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2023. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2023-03-28


This review can be cited as:

Wilson, E. 2006. Illex coindetii Broadtail shortfin squid. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 28-03-2023]. Available from:

Last Updated: 06/11/2006