Nautilus pompilius NAUPON-060893-BELRIC-001

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 8th, 1993 and is filed under Nautiluses, Spawning Reports.

The Breeder’s Registry® Information contained in this report is taken from submitted observations from aquarist unless noted otherwise (see comments). Information may be reproduced providing the Breeder’s Registry is cited.

Breeder ID: NAUPON-060893-BELRIC-001

Date received: 6/8/93

Identification: Nautilus pompilius (Linnaeus, 1758)

Geographic origin: Western Pacific 

Taxonomy: (after I.C.Z.N.)

Kingdom Animalia

Phylum Mollusca

Class Cephalopoda (= Siphonopoda) Subclass Nautiloidea (= Tetrabranchiata)

Genus Nautilus

Species pompilius (Linnaeus, 1758)


Duration male(yr): 1.6

Size male (mm): 170

Duration female (yr): 1.6

Size female (mm): 160

Broodstock notes: These organisms are on a true lunar cycles. They are completely nocturnal.

Physical differences: Male has modified tentacle which is a sexual organ.

Adult diet: Herring, sardines, shrimp, crab and lobster. Fed once per day; female requires larger portions. Food is placed in different locations to make the organisms use their buoyancy control.

Pre-spawning activity: None, when the male is ready he entangles the female and passes a sperm packet to the female.

Time spawning began: anytime

Area spawning occurred: Anywhere, usually at surface

Frequency of spawning: 4 days

Egg description: Single egg deposited in rocks by female

Quantity: 1

Size: 38 mm

Egg changes / development: No hatching, 4 eggs laid to date (of this report)

Incubation period: unknown

Transfer / removal method: beaker


Spawning tank size (liter): 684

Sides of tank covered? Not indicated

Lighting & photo period: none, nocturnal

Filtration: 1 micron mechanical filter, denitrator, skimmer. 5300 lph

Additives and dosages: phosphate remover. Red Sea® ASW. Calcium phosphate levels < 5 ppm.

Water temperature (F): 60 – 66. Chiller cycles water nightly; 60 during “day”, 66 during “night”.

Specific gravity: 1.026

pH: 8.3

Nitrate: none detected

Rearing tank size (liter): 95

Sides of tank covered? Yes, black (3 sides)

Lighting & photo period: none

Filtration: skimmer

Additives and dosages: none. Water is blend of Red Sea ASW® and water from spawning tank.

Water temperature (F): 68

Specific gravity: 1.026

pH: 8.3

Nitrate: none detected

Comments: Optimum temperature for rearing (incubation) tank is still experimental, but must be stable.

Original description: Linnaeus described Nautilus pompilius in 1758 in Naturae Systema. Nautilus pompilius being the Type organism for the genus Nautilus. However, some arguments exist that claim Aristotle as first describing the nautilus in Historia animalium. A Frenchman Pierre Belon is credited with the first “modern” usage of the term nautilus in the mid-1500s.

Word origin: The genus Nautilus is Greek for a shellfish; the species pompilius appears to be a derivation of the Latin word pompilus meaning a kind of fish.

Suggested reading:

Brusca, Richard C. & Gary J., Invertebrates, 1990, Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, MA
01375, USA, ISBN 0-87893-098-1. Chapter 20

Fenton, Carroll, L. & Mildred A., The Fossil Book, 1958, 1989, Doubleday, 666 Fifth Avenue,
New York, NY 10103, USA, ISBN 0-385-19327-0. Chapters XVII – XVIII

Ward, P. D., In Search of Nautilus, 1988, Simon and Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10020, USA, ISBN 0-671-61951-9

About this report: Information contained in this report is taken from submitted observations. Taxonomy, Synonomy, Original description , Word origin and Suggested reading are provided by member(s) of The Breeder’s Registry staff. Information is presented under the belief that it is accurate. If you have information in addition to, or contrary to that presented you are encouraged to contact the Breeder’s Registry. Permission is granted for “one-time” personal use. Reproduction as distributed or accessible media is prohibited without prior written permission. All rights reserved. 2001

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