Paper Nautilus …. Argonauta argo

Female of the species – note eggs attached to the far right tentacle. Picture: Kevin Cole

A number of reports have come through to the East London Museum with regard to paper nautilus (Argonauta argo) finds along the coast near and around East London (SA). These mollusca, similiar to octopii are an open ocean species in which only the female produces an egg case. This egg case (illustrated above and below) protects the fertilized eggs, and when found (normally without the animal inside) is  referred to as a paper nautilus. 

It is uncommon to find an egg case with the female still inside as happened yesterday at the Bonza Bay beach. This find has been included in the museum mollusca collection.

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About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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