Tag Archive: Cephalopods

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda (octopuses, squid, cuttlefish; and Nautiloidea)
Order: Octopoda
Family: Octopodidae (octopus species)

Genus/species: Octopus cyanea

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  Dark eye-spots are only sometimes visible and depends upon the patterns being displayed by individual octopuses. Cryptic Coloration: they are able to change coloration, and texture of their skin, to resemble their environment (adaptive or active

Bodies up to at least 16 cm (6 inches) and arms to at least 80 cm (30 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical reefs from Hawaii to East Africa. O. cyanea is found in excavated lairs in coral reefs and rubble which can be located by identifying remains of clams, crabs at the entrance.


DIET IN THE WILD: Feeds during daylight hours requiring exceptional camouflage. Consumes crabs, clams and fishes.

REPRODUCTION: Males have a long modified third right arm that they hold in an upright coiled position and wave toward the female. When the female is receptive to the signaling male, he inserts his arm into the female’s oviducts to pass her spermatophores keeping his distance to avoid being eaten by the female.

Day Octopus (aka Big Blue Octopus)
Day Octopus19111242362_db83003f76_k


PREDATORS: Seals and large fish.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List; not assessed 2015


California Academy of Sciences Color of Life Exhibit 2015

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/19111242362/in/album-72157652559028013/

Encyclopedia of Life  www.eol.org/pages/593207/details

Marinebio  marinebio.org/species.asp?id=553

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1xs

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Sepiida
Family: Sepiidae (Cuttlefishes, shell internalized)

Genus/species: Sepia bandensis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:. Sepia bandensis has 8 arms with rows of suckers along each and 2 feeding tentacles. It moves by the undulation of lateral fins that surround the body. Cuttles have an internal shell within their bodies that they can fill with more or less gas to create neutral buoyancy. The cuttlebone is often collected and used as a calcium supplement, beak sharpener, and all-purpose toy for caged birds.
Like most cephalopods, cuttlefish have 3 hearts. Two hearts pump blood to the gills, and a central heart pumps oxygenated blood to the body.
Length: 5 cm – 10 cm (2 in – 4 in)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: The Indo-Pacific region, including the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.
Found in shallow coastal waters near or on coral reefs or sandy substrates.


DIET IN THE WILD: Crustaceans and fish. The Cuttlefish changes colors and patterns as it approaches prey then ejects its feeding tentacles to capture its prey with its suckers and eating it with a parrot-like beak and a radula. Active diurnally.

ACADEMY DIET: Shrimp and crab (M Avila, staff biologist)


LONGEVITY: Life span: 6 mos. to 3 yrs.

eggs below


REMARKS: Masters of camouflage, cuttlefish and most cephalopods can change their colors, shapes and textures in seconds to avoid predators and blend into their surroundings. They have keen vision, but are color blind.

They also produce large amounts of ink, both as a decoy and foul-tasting deterrent. Known as sepia ink, after the genus name of cuttlefish, it was a dye once prized by artists.

The Steinhart Aquarium is the first institution in the U.S. to breed dwarf cuttlefish. To date, (2010) more than 350 have hatched at the Academy, most of which have been sent to other aquaria and research institutions. Quote from Rich Ross, Academy biologist and cuttlefish breeder extraordinaire: Over time, [cuttlefish] learn to recognize and respond to you, and will often greet you when you walk into the room (or maybe they just know you bring the food). 

Color of Life note: Cuttlefish are excellent examples of cryptic coloration. Chromatophores in the cuttlefish skin are controlledneurologically, allowing almost immediate color change disappearing into its background right before your eyes.
Ref: California Academy Color of Life exhibit


California Academy Color of Life exhibit

The Marine Biology Coloring Book 2nd Ed. Thomas Niesen 2000

EOL Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/591499/details

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3953684359/in/album-72157652559028013/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink    http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1yp

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Octopoda
Family: Octopodidae

Genus/species: Octopus (No species name at the current time).

Note: octopus chierchiae is the lesser Pacific striped octopus and has been studied more extensively .


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: This pigmy octopus has arms spans of some eight to 10 inches, Color varies. It can switch from a dark reddish hue to black with white stripes and spots in fluid waves and also assume different shapes, both flat and expanded. Thought to live in groups of up to 40 or more individuals in the wild.

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus  8584026008_f1f86341db_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Eastern Pacific off the coast of Central America. Found on sandy bottoms in intertidal areas.

DIET IN THE WILD: Shrimp, crabs and snails.Larger Pacific Striped Octopus IMG_6898

REPRODUCTION: Pairs of Larger Pacific Striped Octopuses live peacefully together in an aquarium, at times sharing a den. Mating is civil with a beak-to-beak, or sucker-to-sucker, position and their arms entwined for up to five minutes while the male inserts a sperm packet into the female. In contrast to other species which die after their first clutch of eggs this octopus lays many egg clutches in her lifetime.

REMARKS: Very rare, (Discovered 1991). Displayed only at the California Academy of Sciences.

Academy biologist Richard Ross, has spent the last 13 months raising and studying the behavior of this recently rediscovered species, along with Dr. Roy Caldwell of the University of California, Berkeley. They are currently studying the behavior of this species and working on a formal description and species name as well as are planning an expedition to observe them in their natural habitat in Nicaragua,


California Academy of Sciences  http://www.calacademy.org/newsroom/releases/2013/rare_octopus.php

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-T5

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608597736188/with/8562294939/

California Academy of Sciences  http://bit.ly/1pgpXLI

California Academy of Sciences    http://calacademy.org/explore-science/raising-rare-octopus

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