saw him in the aqaurium

Discussion in 'ID Requests' started by marineboy, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. marineboy

    marineboy Wonderpus Registered

    Dec 30, 2005
    Likes Received:
    I went to visit the Marine Discovery center in Santa Cruz and they only had one octopus, the "red octopus" or Octopus rubescens. How big does this species get in particular, and what range do they have? The guide at the aquarium had no idea about an of the info on th little guy.

  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

    Mar 8, 2004
    Likes Received:
    They're dwarf octos, so they stay pretty small. From memory, I'm pretty sure they like all of the kelp forests off California, and maybe extend north pretty far... I vaguely remember that they don't go a long ways south, but I could be wrong. They have a reputation for biting, and may be mildly toxic. I seem to remember someone saying they're rather escape-prone as well. I bet if you google for "octopus rubescens" you'll get better answers than mine, though...

    Oh, and the Monterey Aquarium used to have 3 in one tank, and while I was watching, one yanked another out of a barnacle shell, and there was clearly a little "friendly rivalry" going on. From watching that, I thought they might make fun pets, but from everything I've read, they're a lot less appealing than bimacs, as far as California octos go...
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

    Nov 20, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Dallas Texas
    One thing that distinguishes this species is that they are defensive biters. In one of my previous visits to the NRCC, I saw some O. rubescens that were being using for some sort of behavior experiment. The person taking me around showed me these little octos and picked one up - and he received a good bite!

    The younger ones can be confused with very young GPOs.

    Also known as the Pacific Red Octopus, an adult red octopus has a body about 4 inches long, arms about 12 inches.

    They range all along the Pacific, from Alaska down to the Gulf of California. It's the most common octopus in the north-east Pacific Ocean.

    O. rubescens is nocturnal, eats the ususal crustaceans, shellfish and an ocasional fish. They like to find empty barnacles or shells to live in and have been known to use old bottles or cans.

    They are a small-egged octopus.

    Here are some pics of the NRCC red octos.

  4. Andy Lister

    Andy Lister Vampyroteuthis Registered

    Apr 8, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Nice pics Nancy!!

    Good to be back here!

Share This Page