The total lipids and seasonal variations in the fatty acids of the mantle of cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) captured in the north eastern Mediterranean were investigated and the mantle was found to be a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 3 PUFAs, in particular). In all seasons, the major fatty acids in the cuttlefish mantle were observed to be palmitic acid (16:0), stearic acid (18:0), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5 omega 3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6 omega 3). A comparison of the saturated fatty acid (29.5-36.8%), monounsaturated fatty acids (7.81-9.84%) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (43.7-49.6%) of the cuttlefish mantle revealed that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) constituted the highest proportion. The levels of DHA in the cuttlefish mantle in autumn, winter, spring and summer were 27.6%, 28.5%, 29.5% and 23.9%, while those of EPA were 16.8%, 15.4%, 14.7% and 13.9%, respectively. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.