California two-spot Octopus, Octopus bimaculoides (Description, feeding, reproduction, camouflage) – Video

This video was filmed at the Sea World, San Diego, USA



Introduction: The California two-spot octopus (Octopus bimaculoides), also known as the “bimac” octopus, is an octopus species found off the coast of California (from central California to northern Baja California).

The species is normally found in the shallow areas of about 20-m depth so they can reach their preferred sandy bottoms with rocks and crevices for hiding. Although they may tolerate a wide temperature range (about 16 -26°C), their preferred temperatures would go from 18 to 22°C. One the average, these octopuses live for about one to two years old. They are considered the best pet octopus.

Description: The animal gets its name from its distinct appearance for having a dark ovoid deep-blue false eyespot under each real eye on each side of its head. This may be tricky to predators.The animal is not usually heavily textured and can grow up to meter long, including its mantle and outstretched arms.

Feeding behavior:Adults of the two-spot octopus usually feed on clams, mussels, abalones, small crabs, crayfish, and snails. They may also eat small fish when opportunities arise. The hatchlings feed on amphipods or mysid shrimp. This octopus is easily able to remove the shells from most of their prey. They can also circle and grab their victims using their tentacles and then immediately releases their toxic saliva into or near the victim.  This saliva instantly paralyzes the victim allowing the octopus to handle them easily.

On the other hand, the common predators of the two-spot octopus are California moray eels, California Sea Lion and several of large fish such as cabezon and leopard sharks.

Reproduction: Upon mating, a male octopus mates with as many females as possible. Few weeks after mating, the males die. Mature female lays strings of white eggs (in thousands) andfertilize their eggs with the sperm that the male has deposited into their body cavity. The female continuously tends their fertilized eggs for two to four months until they hatch. Throughout this period, females stop eating and while watching over their eggs, they got exhausted and die after the eggs hatch.

Camouflage: The common color of the two-spotted octopus is grayish with yellow spots on them. However, these animals are commonly is equipped with high developed color changing systems which are structures of their skin. They are also capable to eject out a cloud of ink when got threatened. Their outstanding ability to change colors and/or hiding enable the animals to blend with their environments, confuse and avoid their enemies. Being nocturnal with their sensitive eyes will enable the animal to benefit from the darkness cover.


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