Common Octopus

Common Octopus

Common Octopus – Octopus Vulgaris


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.


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.


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.


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.