Ram's Horn Squid (species: Spirula spirula) in Lizard Island area: all known taxa (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Spirula spirula
Ram's Horn Squid

©Gale Spring: Spirula spirula shell washed up on the beach, Lizard Island lagoon.

©Univ of Guelph students: Shell of Spirula spirula washed up on beach at Lizard Island
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Mollusca
Class Cephalopoda
Order Spirulida
Family Spirulidae
Genus Spirula
Species Spirula spirula



Distinguishing features

Small, white, spiral, compartmentalised shells washed up on beach. These are the shells of a deepwater squid.


  • Up to 4 cm (Diameter of spiral)



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Local abundance

  • Lizard Island: Shells minus the living animal are often found washed up on beaches in the Lizard Island area. Note that the distribution map shows locations for both beachwashed shells and whole animals.  

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Norman, M. (2000). Cephalopods: A world guide ConchBooks, Hackenheim, Germany.

Other references

  • Roper, C.F.E. and F.G. Hochberg (1986). Color and body patterns in cephalopods from Lizard Island, Australia,Unpublished manuscript. LIRS catalog number 204.
  • Roper, C.F.E. and F.G. Hochberg (1987). Cephalopods of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Occasional Papers from the Museum of Victoria, 3: 15-20. LIRS catalog number 238.