Octopus Vulgaris (Common Octopus) Cuvier, 1797

DWhatley

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#2
Classic Camouflage Video by Roger Hanlon

Interview with Dr Hanlon that includes a brief discussion on capturing his famous camo sequence.

 

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The effect of predatory presence on the temporal organization of activity in Octopus vulgaris
Daniela V. Meisel, Michael Kuba, Ruth A. Byrne,Jennifer Mather - 2013 full article


Abstract

Studies of the daily activity patterns of Octopus vulgaris have shown varying activity in different habitats. This might stem from the octopus' ability to respond to influences such as predation pressure by adjusting its activity pattern. To test the hypothesis that a predatory threat could alter activity cycles, six octopuses were each held in a partitioned tank with a potential predator for a week. After we had determined the circadian activity of each undisturbed subject for two days, a nocturnal (moray eel, Muraena helena) and a diurnal fish (triggerfish, Balistes carolinensis) were alternately introduced into the second compartment of the tank for seven days. Each of these periods was then followed by a four-day period without eel or triggerfish. During the experiment, subjects had visual and chemical access but no physical contact. Octopuses showed an increase in activity in the presence of both species, but this increase was only significantly negatively correlated with the activity of the triggerfish. Attacks on the barrier by the octopus and the triggerfish decreased throughout the week, but this was not true for the octopus and the moray eel. We concluded that O. vulgaris can use temporal spacing of activity to respond to potential predators. This ability might be responsible for conflicting reports of activity patterns of O. vulgaris.
This is of particular note to keepers and the observed period of activity of O. vulgaris:

O. vulgaris, a generalist species (Hanlon and Messenger, 1996), it might be among those animals that show plasticity in their circadian rhythms and are thus able to switch their activity phase (Meisel et al., 2006).
In field studies O. vulgaris was found to be nocturnal in the Mediterranean ( Altman, 1966, Kayes, 1974 and Woods, 1965), but diurnal ( Hanlon, 1988 and Hochberg and Couch, 1971) in the Atlantic, even showing crepuscular peaks (Mather, 1988). One might argue that this could be due to population differences, but Mediterranean animals held in the laboratory actually showed diurnal ( Meisel et al., 2003 and Meisel et al., 2006) or variable peaks of activity (Wells et al., 1983). Octopuses often rely on speculative foraging, using tactile and chemical, rather than visual cues. Although Mather (1988) was unable to time octopus activity to daylight, tidal level or tidal flow, light has some – albeit, probably not an exclusive – function as a zeitgeber for O. vulgaris (Meisel et al., 2006).
While most animals are either classified as nocturnal or diurnal (Dunlap et al., 2004) O. vulgaris is apparently able to function equally well at both times of day, and therefore possesses the ability to switch between them.
 

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In spite of the literature, I have come to believe it is species dependent. When you see video of any of the animals with long webbing you will note that they envelope rock or pieces of coral and then explore with their arms or suckers to find food. All of our O. briareus and my current O. vulgaris (I think, a recent paper has me confused on what has been labeled Caribbean vulgaris and the attributes of O. burryi. This paper would make Margay O. burryi but Norman and many others - including the video at the top of this thread - note the patterning as O. vulgaris) have been extremely far sighted and can see very little close up. Margay often gets spooked when she realizes our hands are close by so we have to move our fingers to let her know proximity. The O. hummelincki I have kept seem to see much more sharply and have appeared to recognize different people as well as to hunt visually. They lack the extreme webbing of the other two and this may be a clue for visual acuity.
 

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[h=5]Phylogeographical Features of Octopus vulgaris and Octopus insularis in the Southeastern Atlantic Based on the Analysis of Mitochondrial Markers[/h] João Bráullio De Luna Sales, Péricles Sena Do Rego , Alexandre Wagner S. Hildorf , Angela A. Moreira , Manuel Haimovici , Acácio R. Tomás , Bruno B. Batista , Reynaldo A. Marinho , Unai Markaida ,Horacio Schneider. and Iracilda Sampaio

Subscription to BioOne required for full article
[h=3]ABSTRACT[/h] The genus Octopus occurs in tropical and temperate oceanic waters throughout the world, and currently includes 112 species, although the phylogenetic relationships among the different taxa are still poorly understood. The cosmopolitan Octopus vulgaris is one of the most widely analyzed cephalopods in genetic studies, primarily because of its ample range and the problems associated with the morphological identification of specimens, which indicate the possible existence of a species complex with a worldwide distribution. Two large-bodied octopus species—O. vulgaris and Octopus insularis—are found in the western South Atlantic. The limits of the geographical range of the O. insularis are still unclear. The current study is based on a phylogeographic analysis of the 2 species in the South Atlantic, with the objective of confirming their monophyletic status and the limits of their geographical distribution in this region. The analyses were based on the mitochondrial genes 16S rDNA and Cytochrome Oxidase subunit I (COI). The topologies generated for both genes confirmed the monophyletíc status of the 2 species. In the case of O. vulgaris, it was possible to confirm the monophyletic status of the specimens from this region relative to those of other areas around the world, although 3 distinct haplogroups were clearly differentiated, corresponding to the Americas, Europe and Africa, and Asia. The differentiation among these 3 groups may be determined by the limitations of the dispersal of paralarvae among continents. Further studies are needed to confirm the possible occurrence of distinct groups in the western South Atlantic, as well as the influence of oceanic currents on the phylogeographical distribution of O. vulgaris on the Brazilian coast
 

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Behavioural observations of the common octopus Octopus vulgaris in Baía dos Tigres, southern Angola
CL de Beer, WM Potts 2013 (subscription)

Abstract
Observations on the behaviour of the common octopus Octopus vulgaris were made during daytime and night-time sampling on an unexploited rocky reef habitat in Baía dos Tigres, southern Angola. The relative numerical abundance sampled was 0.47 octopus person–1 h–1during the day and 5.33 octopus person–1 h–1 during the night, suggesting that the population under study was nocturnal. The activity patterns differed between sizes of octopus. Small octopus (<20 cm total length [TL]) were observed roaming during the night, whereas the large individuals (>20 cm TL) generally fed in their dens. This ontogenetic behavioural shift may be due to tidal constraints or could be a strategy to avoid cannibalism. Octopus inhabiting a shallow, small-boulder substratum made extensive modifications to their habitat, excavating dens of up to 1 m deep in the sand below the boulders. These dens were not visible during the day as the octopus appeared to retract the small boulders over their den entrances. This unique behavioural strategy is thought to be a means to reduce predation and reduce light intensity during the day. Octopus were not observed in the small-boulder habitat during the five hours of daytime sampling. With nocturnal activity and extensive habitat modification, it is likely that avoidance of predation may be an important driver influencing the behaviour of the octopus population under study.
 

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THE HEARTBEAT OF OCTOPUS VULGARIS
M. J. WELLS 1978 (pdf)

SUMMARY
Heartbeat frequencies and blood pressures were monitored in freemoving
Octopus vulgaris. Typical resting frequencies (for animals of 500 g ±
at 22° C) were 40-50 beats min"1, with resting pressures measured at the
dorsal aorta of 40 cm H20 in systole and 15 cm in diastole, rising to 100 cm
or more with a pulse of 50 cm in exercise. Beat frequency changes very little
and any increased oxygen demand results mainly in an increase in stroke
volume. Temperature affects heartbeat frequency with a Qio of about 3 over
the range 7-27 °C. Systemic heartbeat rate and pulse amplitude also
change with the oxygen content of the water, slowing as this decreases and
stopping,
 

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An integration of historical records and genetic data to the assessment of global distribution and population structure in Octopus vulgaris
Daniele De Luca, GAETANO CATANESE, Gabriele Procaccini and Graziano Fiorito

The common octopus (Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797) is one of the most widely distributed species belonging to the genus Octopus as well as an important commercially harvested species and a model organism for behavioral biology of invertebrates. It has been described for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea but it is considered a cosmopolitan species inhabiting the temperate and tropical sea of the northern and southern hemispheres. In the last few years, several species previously considered as O. vulgaris have been recognized as new species, limiting the distributional range of “vulgaris” and reinforcing the thesis of a species complex. Where it is an important fishery resource, numerous studies have been conducted in order to define its genetic structure with the purpose of managing different stocks. However, many locations are still poorly investigated from this point of view and others are under taxonomic revision to exclude or confirm its occurrence. Here we provide a summary of the current status of knowledge on distribution and genetic structure in this species in the different oceanic regions.
 

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CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS IN OCTOPUS VULGARIS
D. V. Meisel, R. A. Byrne, M. Kuba, U. Griebel, J. A. Mather 2003 (full pdf)

ABSTRACT Biological rhythms enable organisms to measure time and to synchronize their endogenous behavior and physiology with the time constraints of their environment. Since the inhabitants of the littoral zone of marine environments are exposed to complex temporal and environmental changes, biological rhythms play an important role in their lives. Timekeeping is especially important for those with short lives like octopuses. Circadian rhythms, which are rhythms of about a day, are one of the most prominent of biological rhythms. They are ubiquitous through all phyla of the animal kingdom, light being one of the most important “Zeitgebers” for almost all of them. To examine the function of light as a synchronizer for their activity, four octopuses were held in a potentially entrained state with a 24-hour L:biggrin2: (light/dark) cycle. After this phase the animals were placed in constant conditions to document free running activity with circadian components. The results of this study clarify why publications up to now show conflicting results about circadian aspects of Octopus vulgaris activity. While light was used inefficiently as a Zeitgeber for activity the results of our study proved the presence of an endogenous circadian rhythm in O. vulgaris. These generalistic and opportunistic animals may use several different time cues to synchronize their activity and behavior with the time constraints of their environment
 

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Behavioral Sleep in Octopus Vulgaris
D. V. meiSel, r. A. BYrne, J. A. mAtHer 3, m. KuBA

BSTRACT. – Sleep is a ubiquitous phenomenon, found in animals of many different phyla.
While in the past sleep has been defined through studies on mammals and birds, it has recently
appeared that invertebrates might show this behavioural state. The present behavioral study on
sleep in Octopus vulgaris demonstrates its presence in a cognitively advanced invertebrate. We
studied resting states in sixteen adult Octopus vulgaris to determine the presence of behavioural
sleep. Animals were filmed day and night in isolation and before and after they were restdeprived mechanically. Activity cycles were under circadian control and quiescent animals
showed an elevated arousal threshold, which was determined by exposing them to growing levels of vibratory stimulation, and state reversibility with intense stimulation. Behavioral observations also demonstrated that octopuses chose a preferred resting place, actively built a den site
and assumed a typical posture. The quiescence of the subjects often coincided with random
movements of the suckers on the arms. Octopuses also showed a typical ‘half-and-half’ skin
pattern during the periods of rest, which was not camouflage matched to the environment. Rest
deprivation during nighttime led to a rest rebound, while daytime rest deprivation reduced quiescent time. All these findings lead us to the conclusion that, although brain physiological
changes might not be parallel, Octopus vulgaris shows typical behavioral sleep.
 

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Reproductive Biology of the Common Octopus (Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797) in South Kenya
G.M. Kivengea1 , M.J. Ntiba1,2, D.O. Sigana1 and A.W. Muthumbi 2014 (full pdf)

Abstract — Although common octopus catches are increasing globally, lack of information on the reproductive biology of the species has been a major concern in its management, particularly in Kenya. The present study aimed to investigate the reproductive biology of common octopus at Shimoni and Vanga on the Kenyan south coast. Sampling was undertaken monthly from November 2010 to November 2012 using a traditional fishing spear. The body weight (BW), total length (TL), dorsal mantle length (DML), ventral mantle length (VML) and gonad weight was recorded for each specimen. Maturity stages and gonadosomatic indices (GSI) were determined using standard methods. A total of 1 599 specimens (746 males and 853 females) were collected. The sex ratio was 1:1.1 (males: females) at both Shimoni and Vanga during the study period. Sexual staging of gonads indicated that the common octopus was breeding year round with a spawning peak from June to August. Fecundity estimates ranged from 5 200 to 389 000 oocytes (mean 154 057.6 ± 29 132). The lowest gonadosomatic index values were recorded during the month of September, indicating the end of the spawning period. The female length at first maturity (DML50%) was 10.8 cm, that for the male was 10.5 cm.
 

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Morphological assessment of the Octopus vulgaris species complex evaluated in light of molecular-based phylogenetic inferences
Michael D. Amor, Mark D. Norman, Alvaro Roura, Tatiana S. Leite, Ian G. Gleandall, Amanda Reid, Catalina Perales-Raya, Chung-Chen Lu, Colin J. Silvey, Erica A. G. Vidal, Frederick G. Hochberg, Xiaodong Zheng, Jan M. Strugnell 2016 (Wiley Subscription)

Abstract
Cryptic species are common in the ocean, particularly among marine invertebrates such as octopuses. Delineating cryptic species is particularly problematic in octopus taxonomy where the plasticity recorded among taxonomic characters often results in low resolution at the species level. This study investigated the morphological relationships among seven phylogenetic clades (identified using cytochrome c oxidase subunit I) of the broadly distributed Octopus vulgaris species complex and close relatives. Morphological analyses in this study were successful in delimitingO. sinensis, Brazilian O. vulgaris and O. vulgaris sensu stricto, which was congruent with the molecular findings of this study. Analyses based on male morphology were successful in distinguishing 14 of 15 total pairwise comparisons and proved to be a more reliable indicator of species-level relationships in comparison with female morphology. The majority of characters with the greatest discriminatory power were male sexual traits. Significant morphological differences were also recorded among sampling localities of conspecifics, with phenotype showing correlation with local environmental data. The findings of this study support the hypothesis that multiple O. vulgaris-like species are currently being incorrectly treated under a single species name, O. vulgaris. Octopuses being exported globally under the name O. vulgaris are of extremely high fisheries market value and profile. Our findings have potentially significant implications for the naming and conservation of commercially harvested members of this species complex throughout their ranges.
 

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Short comment about the octopus life cycle in the northern Alboran Sea (western Mediterranean Sea)
Maria del Carmen Garcia Martinez, Francina Moya, Maria Gonzalez, Pedro Torres, Sara Farzaneh, Manuel Vargas-Yanez 2017 (Full Article from Allied Academies Journal of Fisheries Research)

Abstract
Octopus vulgaris is a plastic species capable of adapting to different environmental conditions. The different phases of its life cycle seem to be highly influenced by suchenvironmental variables. Therefore the reproductive season and the length of its embryonic and planktonic phases can differ substantially for different geographicalareas. The Mediterranean Sea is one of the regions were the octopus life cycle is not yet well known. Biological data in the Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean) in the present work show the existence of migration movements to coastal waters for the breeding season during spring and mainly during summer. Water temperature measurements show that the length of the embryonic and paralarval phases arearound 120 days and new individuals incorporate to fisheries from autumn to winter.These results coincide with landings time series allowing the full description of theO. vulgaris life cycle.
 

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Diet of Octopus vulgaris from the Moroccan Mediterranean Coast
Rabia Ajana, Mohamed Techetach, Younes Saoud 2018 (subscription Thalassas via Springer )

Abstract
In this paper the diet of octopus was studied by analyzing the stomach contents of 365 specimens obtained throughout the year from commercial catches. Different prey items, belonging to three taxa (Mollusca, Crustacea and Teleostei) were found, indicating opportunistic feeding behavior. The most important prey species were Callista chione (62.1% IRI, index of relative importance) and Liocarcinos (23.83% IRI). Mollusks (bivalves) were the most frequently found prey group in octopus stomachs according to the index of occurrence and the index of importance in weight and number, followed by crustaceans (brachyurans) and teleosts. The diet was examined in relation to size, sex and seasons. For small O. vulgaris, crustaceans were more important, whereas for larger specimens, bivalves were dominant. The change of the frequency of prey in stomach of octopus by sex and seasons is not significantly different.
 

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