Two-Spotted Octopus

Two-Spotted Octopus (Octopus bimaculatus)

 

Appearance:

            This octopus is usually a mottled-brown color with a dark ovoid spot displaying a deep-blue color under each eye.  However the octopus is like a chameleon where it can change its color to match its moods and backgrounds, even turning the “eye-spot” on and off.

 

Size:

            The two-spotted octopus can grow up to three-and-a-half feet long, including its body and outstretched arms and on average only live for one-and-a-half to two years.

 

Where to Find them:

            In the San Diego area they can be found in holes along the canyon’s ledges (especially Vallecitos Point from 55 to 65 feet deep) or sometimes perched out in the open.  There holes (dens) can be found by looking for a pile of crab shells outside of the opening of the hole, sometimes called midden.  Throughout the world, they only range from central California to northern Baja California.

 

What they Eat:

            They usually eat crustaceans (i.e. crabs and the California Spiny Lobster), some mollusks (i.e. Wavy Top Turban), small fish, and abalone (i.e. Black Abalone and Green Abalone).

 

Two-Spotted OctopusWhat Eats them:

            This octopus needs to always stay away from California Moray Eels, large fish (i.e Cabezon and Leopard Sharks), and the California Sea Lion.

 

Reproduction:

            For reproduction, the female lays strings of white eggs and tends them for a couple of months until they hatch.  One of the unfortunate things that happens during this time is that most females stop eating while watching over their eggs and then die after the eggs hatch.

 

Behavior:

            The two-spotted octopus is nocturnal and so they only come out at night and have very sensitive eyes in order to see in the darkness.  In addition to the cover of darkness, these octopi are the masters of camouflage.  They are capable of varying their color and texture and change much faster than a chameleon!  If found, they can also confuse their enemies by ejecting out a cloud of ink and then shooting out a short blast of water from its siphon to jet out of the area.  They are also sometimes seen slowly creeping or crawling along the floor or surfaces using their arms and suckers.  They are also very intelligent and have a very efficient killing method.  Their tentacles circle around and grab the victim and then the octopus immediately releases a toxic saliva into or near the victim.  This saliva instantly paralyzes the victim, thereby making them easier for the octopus to eat.

 

Other Facts:

  • The Two-Spotted Octopus is very sensitive to impaired water quality and so water pollution is very dangerous for it.
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