Two-Spot Octopus
Octopus bimaculoides

Physical Description

  • Soft-bodied mollusc with eight tentacles
  • Small octopus, about 18 inches long
  • Distinguished by two bright blue spots on the sides of its body that mimic eyes. The large blue spots are to confuse predators into thinking those are its actual eyes.
  • Body is a mottled brown, but like other octopi, it can change body color and texture

Range

  • Northern California to Baja California, Mexico

Habitat

  • Intertidal and subtidal habitats
  • Depths of up to 15 feet
  • Prefer rocky reefs, canyon ledges, small caves, even abandoned pipes! 

Diet

  • Limpets, black abalone, snails, clams, hermit crabs, small fishes

Predators

  • Moray eels, harbor seals, sea lions

Interesting Facts

  • The two-spot octopus typically lives for one year, and dies after having offspring. But they can live up to 2 years in captivity.
  • They hatch out of the egg fully capable of hunting and feeding themselves! 
  • As they are mainly nocturnal, two-spot octopi have incredibly developed eyes to help them see at night
  • Females can lay 70,000 eggs at once, and will tend them continuously for 2-4 months until they hatch! 

Sources: California Sea Grant; Monterey Bay Aquarium

Photo: Mark Royer

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