Octopus macropus
Octopus macropus

Nicknames: White-spotted octopus, Grass scuttle, Grass Octopus

Description: Octopus macropus belongs to the order, Octopoda, which is characterized by two-eyed, hard-beaked, bilaterally symmetric cephalopods with four pairs of arms. This octopus spends its adult life on the ocean bottom. It has a higher sucker count than most octopuses, along with long arms. The first arm pair is the longest and stoutest. Its activity is almost exclusively nocturnal. While in the daylight of an aquarium its camouflage seems poor, it is extremely successful at night in its natural environment.

Habitat: It is sometimes found deep in the Mediterranean Sea, but it also resides near-shore. The Octopus macropus tends to live in shallow waters 1-17 meters deep along rocky, sandy, or grassy bottoms. It is found in the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Caribbean Sea.In addition, several species similar to Octopus macropus live in shallow tropical and temperate waters throughout the world.
Fast Facts
1. The Octopus macropus was originally described by Risso in 1826 off of Nice.
2. The Octopus macropus is actually described in 2003 as the “Octopus macropus species complex,” since there are at least 12 species of octopus with the red and white-spotted morphology and similar activity patterns.
3. The Octopus macropus are blind
an octopus has a short lifespan of four years or that only 2 of 57,000 eggs laid by an octopus survive to adulthood an octopus has a short lifespan of four years or that only 2 of 57,000 eggs laid by an octopus survive to adulthood

Feeding: Octopus macropus or Octopuses are very opportunistic and versatile predators that consume a wide range of prey. They manipulate objects and surfaces with their arms, and sometimes even use their funnel to flush the seafloor for prey. The predatory lifestyle is conceivable due to the octopus’s highly productive sense organs and an intricate, elaborate nervous system. For example, the highly developed cephalopod eye, along with a coalition of senses are often relied upon for detection of prey at longer distances. Octopuses rely on chemosensory cues from prey along with prey movement and general shape. Octopuses favor eating crustaceans, considerably crabs, when available. The Octopuses are able to drill through shells, making hard-shelled invertebrates a regular part of their diet. This gives them a wide range in diet.Their wide range in diet is also made possible because in order to drill, octopuses use salivary glands to produce chemicals and enzymes that weaken shells. The radula can then crack open the weakened shell and the salivary papilla along the terminal teeth inject a paralyzing toxic agent that causes the prey to relax all of their muscles. This paralyzes and partially digests the prey, making ingestion easier for the octopus. On the other hand, octopuses often first attempt to pull open crustaceans. Although pulling is 1.29 times more costly than drilling, it often is much faster. Therefore, the octopus minimizes its prey handling time, allowing it to move on to its next prey. The versatility and adaptations of octopus feeding behavior has played a large role in the continued evolutionary success of octopuses.

Activity: Due to it being nocturnal, it is difficult to monitor the patterns of the Octopus macropus. These octopuses “live fast and die young” with a lifespan of 1-2 years, ending in a single breeding season in which the female starves herself while expending all her energy producing young.

Classification: While over 150 octopuses sharing the basic structural plan of eight arms, there is still considerable debate over the phylogeny and taxonomy of this genus. Octopuses display high variation in skin pigmentation and patterns along with behavior . However their similar structural morphology makes it difficult to identify evolutionary relationships. For this reason, there have been genetic tests on over 26 species of octopuses, including Octopus macropus, in attempts to examine recent and ancient divergences among octopuses. These tests included those of mitochondrial DNA genes, Cytochrome oxidase subunit III, Cytochrome b apoenzyme, and the nuclear DNA gene Elongation Factor-1a. One of their results was that the O. macropus species group and the Octopus australis species group appeared to be very closely related.

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