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Octopuses are mollusks that belong to the Cephalopoda class and the Octopoda order, and are characterized by being invertebrate animals with a multiple nervous system which makes it quite complex, since one part is made up of its central brain and another is distributed and connected in each of the ganglia that are located in its eight arms. This characteristic of the nervous system of octopuses has endowed them with peculiar capacities, being animals with an important development of intelligence that even in some cases comes to rival certain vertebrates..
On the other hand, octopuses exhibit striking behaviors, such as developing empathy for some people, cleaning and ordering their burrows, they learn from adults and have excellent memory. In this opportunity, in AnimalWised, we want to present you an article about the types of octopus, in order that you know in more detail some particular species of these interesting animals.You may also be interested in: Sea lions and wolves - Characteristics, names and photos Index
- Atlantic pygmy octopus
- Caribbean reef octopus
- Blue ringed octopus
- Common octopus
- Eastern Pacific Red Octopus
- Pacific pygmy octopus
- Mimetic octopus
- Giant Pacific Octopus
- Seven-armed octopus
- California two-spotted octopus
Atlantic pygmy octopus
The Atlantic pygmy octopus has the scientific name Octopus joubini and it is a species that is found from the maritime zones of the United States, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to Guyana. This octopus can inhabit shallow sandy bottoms, in which it uses shells of other mollusks, either to hide or to find a place that provides protection.
Is a pretty small octopus compared to other species, measuring up to about 15 cm in total. It has short, thin and symmetrical arms, each having the same length.
The Atlantic pygmy octopus feeds mainly on clams and crustaceans, although it can include other marine animals. It is capable of piercing the shell of its prey and injecting a poisonous substance that paralyzes the victim. It is coloring reddish brown but it has the ability to change to a lighter color, like cream.
The Life expectancy of this species is one year and they reach sexual maturity fairly quickly, in a period of approximately four and a half months. The females can lay large amounts of eggs and the young are born quite developed, being able to hunt almost immediately..Image: Jeff Schroeder
Caribbean reef octopus
Octopus briareus or commonly known as the Caribbean reef octopus, it is a species found in tropical marine waters given its preference for warm waters. It ranges from the southern United States to the northern coasts of South America. They inhabit shallow areas, between 3 and 20 meters, with temperatures up to 30 ºC. These octopuses are generally associated with coral reef communities, places they use to take refuge..
The Caribbean reef octopus can weigh up to 1 kilo and its mantle only reaches more than 5 centimeters, the total body measures on average about 12 centimeters in length. They present a striking coloration, between bright green and blue and also reddish brown spots. Thanks to the presence of chromatophores, they can make changes in the color of the skin, allowing it to be easily camouflaged. The eyes of the Octopus briareus they are large and dark brown.
His arms are not symmetrical in length, so the longest arm can grow about five times the size of the mantle. In addition, each arm has two rows of suction cups, which they use during hunting thanks to their wide membranes..
The Caribbean reef octopus sexually matures at 5 months, and like all octopuses they are monogamous and the females have high offspring. When the hatchlings hatch from the eggs, they look the same as the adults, but smaller. His life expectancy is 12 months on average.
As a curiosity, we leave you this other article about ¿How many brains does an octopus have??
Blue ringed octopus
The blue-ringed octopus is a common name used to refer to the gender Hapalochlaena, which is made up of a group of four different species, such as:
- Hapalochlaena lunulata.
- Hapalochlaena maculosa.
- Hapalochlaena fasciata.
- Hapalochlaena nierstraszi.
These species do not reach a large size, measuring up to 20 cm; when they are in a state of rest they have a color between brown and yellow. However, if the animal feels stressed or is attacked, it changes color and shows the characteristic rings or blue lines that give the name to the group. When it expresses this blue coloration, you can see a quite striking animal with an attractive coloration. Thanks to the presence of various pigment cells, such as chromatophores, iridophores and leucophores, these animals can change color rapidly, expressing a lots of colorful patterns and shapes in their bodies.
But in addition to this striking coloring trait, blue-ringed octopuses have another important characteristic., they are highly poisonous animals, being able to kill a person if first aid is not applied immediately, because there is no antidote for its powerful poison, which among other compounds mainly has tetradotoxin, a neurotoxic substance that causes respiratory collapse. However, the blue-ringed octopus does not usually attack directly unless it is to defend itself or hunt, although it is a species that does not stay hidden like other types of octopus..
This group has a geographical distribution from Japan to Australia, which includes the tropical zone. They have also been found on the Mexican coasts.
Here are pictures of the first three types of blue-ringed octopus. For now there are no photographs of the Hapalochlaena nierstraszi, since it has only been seen 2 times.
The common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) inhabits Coast zones, from 20 to 200 meters deep. Regarding the specific regions, although in many countries they usually name the most abundant species of the place as the common octopus, the Octopus vulgaris is restricted to Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea.
The growth of the common octopus occurs in two phases: an initial one when it is born, which is planktonic, and another benthic, which begins between 5 to 6 months of life. Males are usually heavier than females, having a weight range between 2 and 3 kg. However, there are records of individuals of much greater weight. The average size is one meter and they are usually of Brown color, But like many other species of octopus, they can make rapid changes in their coloration. The longevity of the common octopus does not exceed 13 months of life.
On the other hand, the common octopus feeds on fish, crustaceans and other mollusks, as we explained in this other article about ¿What do octopuses eat? But it can also devour individuals of the same species, so cannibalism it can be part of their behavior.
Although they can reproduce throughout the year, they do so markedly in both spring and autumn, and the conditions of the marine environment play an important role in this process..
Eastern Pacific Red Octopus
The Eastern Pacific red octopus (Octopus rubescens) it has a mantle that can measure about 10 cm and arms that reach 30 cm, weighing 150 grams on average, although there are heavier individuals..
Its distribution range goes from Alaska, the Pacific coasts of the United States and Mexico, as well as maritime areas of Japan, inhabiting depths of 300 meters..
Owns a normally red coloration, but it can change to other shades such as reddish brown, yellow or present white spots, even they change the texture of the skin. When it feeds it usually makes changes in its coloration.
The Eastern Pacific red octopus has a varied diet that includes small fish, bivalves, crabs, krill, and gastropods. Like all octopuses it is a very intelligent species, in which they have even been identified distinctive behavioral traits between one individual and another, a characteristic of intelligence.
If you want to know more about these incredible animals, do not miss this other article about ¿How many hearts does an octopus have?
Pacific pygmy octopus
The Paroctopus digueti or Pacific pygmy octopus possesses a small size, with the presence of some large eyes that even stick out of the head. Their arms are short, reaching only two or three times the size of the mantle. On the other hand, the suction cups are present in each of the arms, which add up to about 138 in total.
The Pacific pygmy octopus inhabits the maritime regions of Mexico, the Gulf of California, coasts adjacent to the Pacific and the lower peninsula of California. Has a preference for shallow sandy areas, even stagnant waters in which there may be empty shells that females use to lay their eggs.
Studies of Paroctopus digueti have shown that females can produce between 50 to 150 eggs. Embryos, on the other hand, develop between 35 to 42 days and have an approximate life time of 7 months.
The diet of the Pacific pygmy octopus consists of shrimp, crabs, small fish and mollusks. However, it is one of the least studied octopus species about their biology and behavior.Image: Tonmo
The mimetic octopusThaumoctopus mimicus) is a species that was identified in Indonesia in the late 1990s and inhabits tropical marine areas of some Asian regions. The common name of this species comes from its interesting ability to power mimic physical appearance and movements of at least 15 different species of marine animals, which he achieves by changing color and modifying the shape of the body.
Among the species that the mimetic octopus manages to imitate, are:
- The sea serpent.
- Lion fish.
- The giant crab.
- The line.
- The jellyfish.
- Mantis shrimp.
The Thaumoctopus mimicus It measures 60 cm, when it does not imitate it is colored brown and white stripes. His arms are longer than normal, which facilitates his mimicry process.
It inhabits shallow areas, river mouths to the sea and sandy bottoms, it has the digging capacity and they feed on worms, fish, echinoderms and crustaceans.
For more information, don't miss this other article on Animal Mimicry - Definition, types and examples.
Giant Pacific Octopus
The Enteroctopus dofleini or giant Pacific octopus is the largest octopod species in the world. In general, they measure a little more than 4 meters in length, although individuals of up to 9 meters. The average weight is 50 kg and the record in this regard is held by an individual weighing more than 270 kilos.
The giant Pacific octopus inhabits warm waters from Alaska to southern California and is also located in Japan. Females can produce up to 100 thousand eggs and they reproduce in deep waters in the summer time. Then, in autumn and winter, they return to shallower waters, where the female will incubate her eggs..
Their diet is similar to that of other octopuses, although it may include small sharks and seabirds that tends to hunt at night. This is undoubtedly due to its size, which facilitates the capture of this type of prey..
The coloration of the giant Pacific octopus it is usually brown, although you can modify it and it is easily camouflaged among rocks and corals.
The seven-armed octopusHaliphron atlanticus) It is a species that appears to have one arm less than the rest, however, he really has eight like the other octopuses, what happens is that the hectocotylus (the modified arm in males for reproduction) is enclosed in a sac near the right eye of the animal, so it passes imperceptibly and gives the appearance of having only seven. When it is time for mating, the male releases this arm to introduce the spermatophore into the female, as we explained in this other article about ¿How octopuses are born?
The seven-armed octopus is a large animal that can measure up to 4 meters and despite weighing more than 70 kilos, presenting a whitish coloration in his body.
The species of octopus Haliphron atlanticus can feed on certain types of jellyfish, small amphipods, and shrimp. On the other hand, individuals have been identified in waters of New Zealand, the North and South Pacific..Image: Twitter
California two-spotted octopus
The Octopus bimaculoides, commonly known as the California two-spotted octopus and also known as bimac, it is a species that inhabits subtropical waters, with temperature ranges between 12-25 ºC. It is distributed from California in the United States to Baja California in Mexico.
Its size is medium, reaching to measure up to 60 cm with a maximum weight of 800 g. They prefer sandy and rocky areas less than 30 meters deep and have a greater longevity than other octopuses, living up to 1.5 years.
Although it tends to change color regularly, it presents a grayish color with yellow spots. Its common name comes from the presence of two blue circular spots on each side of the head, which look like two false eyes due to their closeness. Feeds on crabs, clams, mussels, and snails.
Octopuses, as we have seen, are animals with various species that have striking features, such as intelligence and their unique ability to change color..Image: Pinterest