Characterization of the adhesive gland in Idiosepius
FWF project P 17193; Waltraud Klepal (2004)



Adhesive substances with a variety of functions are wildely known within marine animals. Some adhesive substances are used for attachment temporarily or permanently on the subsoil while other animals develop sticky traps for food gathering or secrete glue from their extremities to capture prey. Two sepiolid genera of cephalopods (Euprymna sp. and Idiosepius sp.) produce glue by means of an adhesive gland. However, the adhesive substances of these two squid taxa serve different purposes and have been explained as ecological and behavioral adaptations. Euprymna secrete glue to coat themselves totally with sand while Idiosepius use glue to stick to sea grass leaves or algae for camouflage against predators. Hiding there, they also wait for prey swimmng by. While the ultrastructure of the adhesive gland in Euprymna is well characterized, not much attention has been paid to the adhesive organ in Idiosepius. Even less is known of the function of the adhesive gland and the biochemical composition of the glue. The main objective of this proposed work is an ultrastructural characterization of the adhesive organ and the histochemical and biochemical identification of the glue compounds Idiosepius thailandicus. The biochemical data will be useful for future industrial or medical applications. In addition the biochemical data of the glue compounds of Idiosepiidae will allow comparisons with those of the related species Euprymna.



Cyran N., Klepal W., Städler Y., Schönenberger J., von Byern J. (2015): Alterations in the mantle epithelium during transition from hatching gland to adhesive organ of Idiosepius pygmaeus (Mollusca, Cephalopoda). Mechanisms of Development, 135, 43–57

von Byern, J., Söller, R., and Steiner, G. (2012): Phylogenetic characterization of the genus Idiosepius (Cephalopoda; Idiosepiidae). Aquatic Biology 17: 19-27.

Cyran, N.Klepal, W., and von Byern, J. (2011): Ultrastructural characterization of the adhesive organ of Idiosepius biserialis and Idiosepius pygmaeus (Mollusca: Cephalopoda). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 91 (7), 1499-1510.

von Byern, J. and Grunwald, I. (2010): “Biological adhesives: from Nature to Technical and Medical Application”. Springer-Verlag, WienNew York (Book)

Cyran N.
Klinger L., Scott R., Griffiths C., Schwaha T., Zheden V., Ploszczanski L., von Byern J. (2010): Characterization of the Adhesive Systems in Cephalopods in Adhesive Systems From Nature to Technical and Medical Application; Springer Wien New York, Editors: Janek von Byern und Ingo Grunwald (Book Chapter)

von Byern, J.Klepal, W. (2010): Re-evaluation of taxonomic characters of Idiosepius (Cephalopoda; Mollusca). Malacologia 52, (1): 43 – 65

von Byern, J., Rudoll, L., Cyran, N., & Klepal, W. (2008): “Histochemical characterization of the adhesive organ of three Idiosepius spp.” Biotechnic & Histochemistry 83 (1), 29-46.


Diploma thesis of Norbert CyranUltrastructural characterization of the adhesive organ of Idiosepius biserialis and Idiosepius pygmaeus (Mollusca: Cephalopoda), 2008