Paralarval octopus ID Request


O. bimaculoides
Feb 24, 2012
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Alright, there's nowhere better I can look than TONMO to confirm an ID for me!

I caught these guys 30 meters down in the water column a few miles off the coast of Central California! We've been catching quite a few so we're thinking Octopus rubescens but we're not sure. Any help?



Certified Ceph Head For Life
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
Gainesville, GA
I am not sure that all or most don't have the ability to be red when tiny though as I have seen both an unknown and a vulgaris turn very red (not brown) when they were larger than this one. The mantle shape screams something else to me but I have only seen O. briareus and O. vulgaris this tiny. I know the small egg species change quite a bit where the large egg species look a lot like their parents right from the beginning and would have proper arm to mantle ratio at this size, the small egg species start out with extremely tiny arms and have to grow them to proportion at some point in there palegic to benthic process.

It is probably worth looking at vulgaris hatchlings pictures but I am not sure one this small is visually identiable. Have a look at LittleBit's first photos. I think the arms are too short but this one is probably a month younger (looking at the tranlucency of the skin in both pictures) than when Little Bit came. Go to post 10 after you look at the mantle shape and note how red she could turn when little (this eventually went away in favor or other coloration)

Tonmo member Taollan did a lot of work with O. rubescens and might be able to give a yea or nay on the possibility of that species. He won't likely see the thread but his name is a link to his profile and I am quite sure he would answer a PM (be sure to give him a link to the thread). I did come up with this photo collection that includes a couple of juveniles.

For GPO hatchlings, try looking for pictures by James (or Jim) Cosgrove. AquaticEngineer's thread has a GPO about the right size.

I think the telling visual (if there is one) will be the mantle shape. Unfortuantely they can change it and you have to photograph the "at rest" shape to be able to use it.

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