Octopus found on a beachy shoreline in a Bay in northern florida today


Larval Mass
Octopus found on a beachy shoreline, in a Bay, in northern Florida, today nearly beaching itself. It had no fear of me. I have been all over this place, in the water and out of the water, for many years and have never seen this.
I am judging by the sluggishness of this octopus and the dark coloration against the sand, this Octopus maybe unhealthy? Can anyone verify this? Is it dying or in shock? I have never seen one in the bay- it is about six miles from the Gulf's seawater. It was alive and moving but the tentacles were curling. I find it surprising this one is in the bay. Our water is cold, slightly lower salinity, but surprisingly warmer this time of year. We have a had very warm winter so far with one freeze (32 degrees) two days ago.
Does anyone understand this behavior? If it is still there tomorrow should I place a pvc pipe near the octopus for it to hide? I can take the pipe to the oyster reef nearby, if anyone feels this creature may survive.

Thank you for your comments.



How big was it? are you on the gulf side or the Atlantic? Because of the color and arm to mantle and that it came from FL it is a Vulgaris. It could be a merc in Senescence. The fact it was out during the day and not afraid makes me thing Vulgaris. I have one of these. If you want to look at "Intro Casper in the ceph Journals or Littlebit also in the ceph journals" Some of the young pics dont look so close but the new ones do. I am really wondering how big this octo is. In the pics the eyes are really set in. Like maybe a very old octo. I am sure D will come along and give you a positive ID. Anyway welcome to the forum and thank you for some great pics. Take more please.


I am sorry. I just reread my post and yours. You are worried for the health of this Octo. I am thinking this octo is in Senescence "very close to death and kind of senile" If this is the case there is nothing you can do. Then again I could be wrong. Its hard to tell. D,Watley is much better at this then me.


Staff member
I can't tell much from the photos. The first picture does look like the animal is a bit ragged but not so much in the second. The curled up arms are often a sign of stress or end of life but it is clearer that this is the case on a vertical wall and not so clear when on a horizontal surface.

What I can say is that it is very odd for any octopus to be on the sand and not be sand colored. Even an ill animal should be showing as almost white with the given background since it requires less effort to keep the chromatophores closed (ie no color). If disturbed, however, most will color up so if you surprised it, this may explain the strong coloration.

The other oddity is finding it in the sand without rocks near by. There is at least one animal that lives off the Atlantic side that prefers a sand bottom but I am pretty sure this is not Macrotritopus defilippi.

I doubt it will still be there tomorrow. It will either swim away, be eaten or die and decompose rapidly (with the help of natural cleanup crew type critters). Nature has its way of handling things well but I, too, am softhearted and would want to intervene (however, in my case, I would take it home a put it in my tank :roll:). Should I be wrong or should you see another, you could put it in a bucket with lots of water and release it to your nearby oyster reef.

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