Octopus Species

Octopus Species Overview

Scientists have recognized more than 300 Octopus species. and there are hundreds more to be described and discovered. Scientists are still discovering new species. They live in the oceans around the world. They are only found in saltwater and they can live in regions that are either warm or cold.

They range in size from extremely small to quite large. There is plenty of misunderstanding out there about these animals.

The structure of their bodies with very large heads and eight legs going in all directions can be unnerving to some. You have to agree that the design of their anatomy is unlike any other creature in the world. They are extremely flexible too which is really neat because they can make the shape of their body to fit anything, even inside of a bottle lying on the ocean floor.

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Description of Evolution, Behavior, Habitat, Distribution, Reproduction, Predators, Diet, and Feeding Habits

In many cultures, they are deemed as evil creatures that lurk at the bottom of the water. They are said to be waiting for ships to destroy and men to drag under the water to kill. However, they are virtually harmless to humans and have no desire to be in confrontations. In fact, they prefer to run and to hide when they feel that they are in any type of danger.

All Octopus species consume crustaceans, mollusks, and fish. The majority of their food sources have shells on them. They will use their beaks to break the shells and consume the insides of them. When they can’t do that because of a very hard shell they will release a toxin from glands in their body. This toxin will dissolve the shell quickly and they can get to the source of the food.

The Octopus – Amazing Features  – Read Or Listen To The Article Click Here

All species of Octopus hunt at night and they have amazing vision. During the day they spend their time relaxing and hiding from predators. They have the ability to change their pigment so they can blend into surroundings. That’s right, they can hide in plain sight at times because they look just like what they are against.

Types of octopuses

Coconut octopus – Amphioctopus marginatus

It can be hard to study these animals in depth due to their location. They don’t do well in captivity though so that creates an additional burden. They are well known to be very intelligent animals though. They are also consumed by people all over the world as a great type of food. Sometimes they are the main course and other times they are a side dish such as Octopus rice.

All of the species of Octopus have a very short life span so they have to mature rapidly. Some have a cycle of life, reproduction, and death in less than a year. On average they won’t live for more than five years. Experts believe their bodies are pre dispositioned to shut down after they mate. That urge to mate is one that is instinct-driven and they can’t avoid.

The number of eggs that can be deposited can be up to 200,000. It really depends on the size of the Octopus and the species. The reason why they have so many eggs is that very few of them will be able to survive to maturity themselves. Octopus are very interesting animals and they give us plenty to think about.

There are quite a few differences among the species of Octopus out there. If there is a particular one you are interested in you can find photos of them and information about their lives. It can be fun as well as educational to explore many of the different species in great detail. You will find that information is lacking though for many of them. There simply isn’t enough research that has been done to give full details. Hopefully in time that will be information we have access to.

Octopus SensesRead Or Listen To The Article Click Here.

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Seven-Arm Octopus

Seven-Arm Octopus – Haliphron Atlantic

Description

What makes the Seven-Arm Octopus stand out from the other 300 species is that it has one less arm than they all do. Well, that is how it appears anyway. They actually do have eight arms but one of them is extremely hard to notice. It is formed into a type of sac that is below the eyes. What is also known is that this look of seven arms is only for the males.

It is a very large species as well so it definitely gets quite a bit of recognition from both researchers and common people with an interest in these creatures. They can grow to a size of about 13 feet and weigh about 150 pounds. There is no size difference between males and females.

Blue-Ringed Octopus – Read Or Listen To The Article Click Here.

Distribution

This particular species of Octopus wasn’t identified until 2002. It was accidentally captured around the area of New Zealand. Researchers quickly took to the area to see what they could find out about them.

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Behavior

This particular species of Octopus continues to follow suit with so many other species. It is highly intelligent with an ability to easily adapt to the environment. They are able to hide in cracks and crevices due to the flexibility of their bodies. They are also able to change colors to blend into their surroundings. They can do this by controlling their pigment.

The Atlantic Pygmy Octopus – Read Or Listen To The Article Click Here.

Diet /Feeding

They consume a variety of different foods including fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. They tend to be opportunistic feeders instead of very picky as many other species of Octopus are. They have a very strong beak so they can almost always break through the shell of any food they capture.

When they aren’t able to they will drill holes in it and suck out the food source. As they attempt to capture their prey they can immediately immobilize them by biting them. This releases a very powerful venom into the body of their prey. These Octopuses do consume large amounts of food. They hunt at night and are able to sneak up on their prey due to blending in. They have remarkable eyesight so they have no trouble at all seeing in the waters.

The Octopus – Amazing Features  – Read Or Listen To The Article Click Here
<strong>Three hearts, a massive brain, and blue blood, they navigate unlike anything else. The earliest octopus fossil is Pohlsepia, which swam the oceans 296 million years ago.

Reproduction

When it is time for mating, the males will come into contact with females. It isn’t uncommon for the males to mate with several different females during a given season. The males will soon die after the mating season is over. This is due to a mechanism in their bodies that will shut it down after they are done creating sperm and depositing it into the body cavities of the females.

The females will carry the sperm with them for about four weeks before the eggs are ready to be fertilized by it. They can lay several thousand eggs at one time. They will find a place in the coral reef or in crevices to be able to deposit those eggs. The females stay very close to protect them from predators. They also keep them clean by blowing water on them and creating bubbles.

By the time that the eggs are ready to hatch the female is exhausted. She hasn’t eaten for a very long time and she is close to death. She won’t live long enough to see all of her eggs hatch. The young are able to swim and to find food on their own. They are vulnerable though and that is why the mortality rate is extremely high.

Octopus Intelligence – Read Or Listen To The Article Click Here

Human interaction

Sometimes this particular species of Octopus ends up tangled in the commercial fishing nets out there. It is believed they are following the sources of food in the water then this occurs. Many commercial fishermen are upset by the presence of this particular creature as it can result in lower yields of capture for them.

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California Two-Spot Octopus

California Two-Spot Octopus – Octopus bimaculoides

Description

The California Two-Spot Octopus offers a very distinct appearance. It is also known by the name Bimac Octopus. They have blue spots around the eyes that can vary as far as the shade of it. The body spans about 7 inches in regards to the mantle. The arms though are considerably longer with a reach of about 25 inches.

The coloring for the overall body though can be very different, it all depends on where they happen to be in their environment. They are commonly a grayish coloring with yellow spots on them. They do have the ability to change colors though through the control of their pigments.

Distribution

With a name like this, there is no guess work involved with where they happen to be located. They do very well in the warm waters, from 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. While that is where most of them live though there are some other locations they have for habitat as well. They include the waters of Mexico, Africa, and areas of Japan.

They tend to live about 65 feet below the surface of the water. Generally Octopus live much deeper so this gives people the opportunity to see them frequently compared to other species. Therefore they are in the shallow areas so they can reach the sandy bottoms of the water. They like to hide in rocks and crevices found there.

Behavior

When it comes to Octopus this is believed to be one of the friendliest species. They do spend most of their time isolated. However, if you are going to have a type of Octopus as a pet then this would be the one to have. They are very intelligent animals though so if you have one as a pet you need to be prepared. They are known to find ways to take the lids off of aquariums and escape.

They don’t seem to go into hiding as much as other species of Octopus in the wild. They seem to be more confident in their ability to blend in. They are tolerant of other types of Octopus around them too as long as they aren’t directly competing for food.

Bimac octopus characteristics

California Two-Spot Octopus – Octopus bimaculoides / Photo taken by Jeremyse

Diet /Feeding

The California Two- Spot Octopus has plenty of opportunity for feeding where they reside. A steady stream of mollusks and crustaceans are readily available. They are easily able to remove the shells from most of their prey. Those that they can’t are removed through the toxins in their saliva. These Octopus will also eat small fish when they have the opportunity.

Reproduction

Mating takes place at a young age for these Octopus as they have a life span of no more than two years. The males will avoid females until they are ready for mating, and then aggressively pursue them. It is common for them to mate with as many females as they can. After that period of time is over though the functions of the body simply start shutting down. The males won’t live more than a few weeks after mating.

The females have the same destiny, but first they have to fertilize their eggs with the sperm that the male has deposited into their body cavity. They will fertilize the thousands of eggs one by one. Then they tuck them under their arms in an effort to protect them until they are ready to hatch. Exhausted and without food for months the female will die as they start to hatch.

Human interaction

Many people have reported interacting with this particular species of Octopus due to the shallow waters where they live. Generally the Octopus will swim away in a hurry. Sometimes it will release ink too in order to help them get away without being followed. They aren’t dangerous to humans so there is nothing to worry about if you are in the water with them.

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Caribbean Reef Octopus

Caribbean Reef Octopus – Octopus briareus

Description

The Caribbean Reef Octopus is one that has a fascinating look to it. The combination of blue and green color is something that gets people’s attention. There can be brown on them too which ranges in shades of color. This is their coloring though when they are in their normal state. They are able to change the pigment of their body with ease. This serves as a type protection for them from predators.

They are often mistaken for Common Octopus species. One way to definitely tell them apart is by looking at the eyes. The Caribbean Reef Octopus has very dark circles of color around them. The body is about 5 inches in length but the span of the arms is quite a bit more. This can cover the space of about 23 inches. The overall size of them really depends on the particular region where they happen to live.

Anatomy

This is a medium sized type of Octopus, with an overall weight of just over three pounds. They have a head that is very large which is part of their mantle. The eight arms are extremely thick. They aren’t able to move as quickly as other species of Octopus but they don’t have to. Their abilities to lie flat allow them to appear like part of the natural scenery instead of a living creature. The body is often arranged in a pattern that looks like a parachute that is open and lying on the ground.

Evolution

While there are several theories about the evolution process for the Corral Reef Octopus there really isn’t any concrete evidence. It is believed that the Octopus has been on Earth for millions of years. Finding fossilized remains though is extremely difficult. We really have nothing to compare them to now versus early species.

Hopefully we will one day develop the right technology to allow that to happen. In the mean time though it can be fun to explore the possibilities. One of them is that the Octopus used to crawl around on the bottom of the ocean with two legs. The development of the additional legs helped it to use its senses for survival.

Behavior

Like all Octopus they live on their own out there. They don’t seem to be too bothered though when other types of Octopus come into contact with them. The passage is often something that occurs without any interaction at all. The only time they will pay any real attention to others around them is when they are interested in mating.

While all types of Octopus are very intelligent, this specific species is said to be among the most intelligent of them all. Extensive research though is almost impossible on them. This is because of the fact that they don’t live very long lives. It is believed that their intelligence would continue to develop and to improve though if they lived longer.

Habitat/Distribution

This is one type of Octopus that has quite a large dispersement out there. They are found around the Bahamas, and of course the Caribbean where their name comes from. They are well known in the Atlantic Ocean, especially around the Western region of it. They love to reside in sea grass and along the corral reefs out there. They do glow at nigh under lighting due to their coloring.

Generally you will only find the Caribbean Reef Octopus out there in areas where they can be in warm water. They will move around from one location to another, never staying for more than a couple of weeks in any one set location. The females that have laid eggs are easy to notice though. They will continue to hover over a given area until they die or their eggs hatch.

Information about Caribbean Reef Octopus

Caribbean reef octopus – Octopus briareus

Diet/Feeding Habits

The Caribbean Reef Octopus spends most of its night looking for food. They majority of the diet is made up of crustaceans. They will capture them in the webbing of their arms, bite to release venom, and then the paralyzed critter won’t have any way to survive against it as the beak breaks the shell and eats what is inside of it. Various types of small fish are also known to be part of their diet as well.

Reproduction

Since this species of Octopus doesn’t live for very long, they are able to mate when they are from 3 to 4 months of age. The males seem to mature sooner than the females. The males will die sooner than the males as their role in mating is done once they have successfully released the sperm sac from their body to that of the female.

The males will actually fight with each other for the right to be able to mate with a given female. They would likely not be so eager to do so though if they knew that they would die. This fighting though is nature’s way of ensuring that the best genetic materials are able to be passed on to the future generations of offspring.

Even though the male is able to win that battle, he is far from done fighting. The female may not want to mate with him at all. If she doesn’t and he continues to pursue him she may bite off body parts or kill him. Yet the desire to mate is very instinctive for the males so they will continue to pursue a female. She generally will take part in mating as long as her basic needs are being met.

The female will die after mating too but she has one more aspect of life left to complete. Her mission at that point in time is to make sure as many of her eggs are able to be fertilized by the sperm and to hatch. There can be as many as 500 eggs that she will release from her body. She will lay them in either January or February. The warmer the water temperature is the sooner she will release them.

The incubation period will also be affected by the water. When it is warm the may only have 50 days or so before they hatch. In cooler temperatures it can be as long as 80 days though. The young offspring are amazing – able to move quickly through the water and to instinctively find food. They have a very quick growth rate too due to the whirlwind life span for them.

Predators

Depending on the location where the Caribbean Reef Octopus lives, it can have some concerns with various types of predators. Among them include eels, stingrays, small species of sharks, and various types of fish. They do put up a very good fight against these types of predators. If they can’t run then they will release ink from their bodies to confuse the predators.

This is one species of Octopus that humans continually hunt as well. They are considered to be great for various types of meals. You can buy them to cook on your own or you can eat at certain restaurants that offer them on the menu. They aren’t in any jeopardy though of being extinct as there is more than enough of them out there that live in the wild.

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Common Octopus

Common Octopus – Octopus Vulgaris

Description

There can be quite a difference in the sizes of the Common Octopus. Some of them are only about 12 inches long while others are three times that at 36 inches in length. Some of them are 7 pounds in length and others can be closer to 20 pounds. The fact that there are such differences often results in the Common Octopus being confused with other species.

They feature a very large head and eyes that seem too large for the rest of their body. They are very interesting to look at with eight very long arms going in all directions. They range in colors depending on where they happen to reside. They are very good at using different types of pigment to be able to blend into their surroundings. That gives them the ability to hide right in front of humans and predators.

Distribution

The Common Octopus is found out there in all of the oceans. They live in both the tropical and temperate areas of the waters. They live in the Mediterranean Sea and along the coast of England. Some other places they have been located include some parts of Africa, the Cape Verde Islands, and the Canary Islands.

Behavior

The Common Octopus is the species that has been evaluated and observed the most thorough various forms of research studies. They are very smart animals and they have been known to do a variety of extraordinary things. For example they are able to tell how bright an object is, to distinguish different shapes, and to determine the size of objects. They also have great memories for being able to tell patterns that are placed before them.

They have amazing problem solving skills too. For example they can actually figure out how to take the lid off a jar so that they can climb inside of that jar. They can also figure out how to get foods out of lobster traps that commercial fisherman have placed out there.

The Common Octopus is very good at hiding from predators in the water. They can stay in lairs they create. If you know what to look for though you will be able to recognize signs of them being present. They will collect crustacean shells and a variety of other items out there. They create an elaborate fortress around their shelter area.

Common octopus characteristics

Common octopus – Octopus vulgaris

Diet /Feeding

The Common Octopus generally has no trouble at all finding lots of foods to consume. Among them are mollusks, crustaceans, crayfish, and crabs. They are able to get their prey in their webbed arms, then to bite them in order to release a type of venom. That venom is going to make their prey unable to move and so they can consume it easily.

They have sharp beaks that they use to crack open the shells on some of their prey. When that isn’t possible they will drill holes in it to suck out the food. They can also put their saliva on it that is strong enough to dissolve the shell in not time at all.

Reproduction

They have a short lifespan that can range from one to two years. Like other species of Octopus they will die shortly after mating. To help them find a mate they go closer to the shore in the early spring months. The female can lay up to 200,000 eggs a couple of months after mating. While she will do all she can to ensure that they don’t get eaten by predators it is very difficult. Less than 1% of the eggs laid will result in a Common Octopus that lives to the age of maturity.

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East Pacific Red Octopus

East Pacific Red Octopus – Octopus rubescens

Description

There is a good chance you have heard of the East Pacific Red Octopus. They are small in size and have a body that is about three times smaller than the length of their eight arms. Fully grown they weigh about 5 ounces. They can be about 20 inches in overall length as adults. The males and females are almost identical in their size so it is hard to tell them apart based on appearance.

They are able to blend in very well to their surroundings all the time. This is possible due to the pigment changing abilities in the body. Therefore you will find them in a variety of different colors out there. They can often be right in front of you and unless you know to look for them you won’t realize you are staring at an Octopus.

However, their primary coloring is a shade of red. They can also have shades of brownish red coloring for their bodies. Some of the various colors it can change into including yellow, white, and brown.

The East Pacific Red Octopus – Read Or Listen To The Article Click Here

Distribution

This Octopus has a very large distribution area. It spans across the West Coast of North America. It is one of the largest spans out there too. They have been found from the coast of California all the way up to the coast of Alaska.

They tend to live in shallow water areas. Most of the time they don’t go deeper than 300 feet into the waters. They will though if they are having a hard time finding enough food.

Mimic Octopus – Read Or Listen To The Article Click Here

Behavior

The East Pacific Red Octopus is very intelligent and has been tested in a variety of areas. Researchers knew that they are able to problem-solve and that they have excellent memories – both in regards to the short and long term.

 East Pacific red octopus, a shallow-water species

East Pacific red octopus – Octopus rubescens / Photo taken by Taollan82

North Pacific Giant – Read Or Listen To The Article Click Here

Diet /Feeding

The East Pacific Red Octopus doesn’t seem to be as picky when it comes to their diet as many other species of Octopus. Generally, they will take the opportunity to consume whatever foods they can find in the wild. Crabs, clams, and scallops provide them with the majority of the intake for their diet. They will also consume some types of fish when they have an opportunity to do so.

They have a peculiar method to their dining habits though. Instead of consuming their food where they capture it they will gather many different foods. Then they will retreat back to their home environment where they can enjoy it all at their own pace. If what they take with them isn’t enough they will consume it and then go explore for the second round of food.

The shells that they remove from their prey are normally stacked outside of their home. This is a telling sign that some species of Octopus is residing in that particular area. They tend to relocate often though so those piles of shells could become a vacant location in no time at all.

Seven-Arm Octopus – Read Or Listen To The Article Click Here

Reproduction

The male and female East Pacific Red Octopus will only interact with each other for mating in late August and early September. Then the females will deposit eggs in the early winter months. It takes about 8 weeks for the eggs to be ready to leave her body.

They generally search for rocky areas where they can hide those eggs from predators. The females will be very close to death by the time her young start to hatch. As soon as they start to emerge she will go her own way. The young are able to swim and look for food immediately. They are extremely vulnerable though and the mortality rate is about 90%.

The Octopus – Amazing Features  – Read Or Listen To The Article Click Here
Three hearts, a massive brain, and blue blood, they navigate unlike anything else. The earliest octopus fossil is Pohlsepia, which swam the oceans 296 million years ago.

 

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