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East Pacific Red Octopus

Octopus rubescens Berry 1953

Habitat

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Depth Range: Intertidal to 200 m.
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Comprehensive Description

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This small octopus has skins with papillae; white spots on the dorsal mantle and on the web in front of the eyes but no large "ocelli" spots. Arms 3-5 times the body length. The mantle length is usually less than 10 cm.
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Look Alikes

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How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Enteroctopus dofleini is larger, male has a larger hectocotylus), and its skin has abundant wrinkles along with the papillae. It is also said that Enteroctopus dofleini does not have the three cirri that are found below the eyes of O. rubescens.
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Comprehensive Description

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Biology/Natural History: The sixth pair of suckers is enlarged on all but the ventral arm of males. Male hectocotylus is conspicuous, about 1/10 the length of the 3rd right arm, where it is located. The ink is reddish or red-brown. The larvae have a double row of chromatophores on each arm. Adults eat crustaceans, mollusks, and fishes. They especially seem to prefer to eat small crabs and hermit crabs. Females guard egg clusters intertidally or shallow subtidally from late spring through early winter in rocky areas. Peaks in breeding are in August and September. Young hatch in 6-8 weeks, spend a brief period in the plankton, and settle as juveniles in the kelp beds. Larger individuals migrate farther offshore on sandy mud bottoms. They mate in deep water in late spring, then move inshore again. They ae often found in prawn traps.
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Habitat

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Kelp beds, rocky areas, sandy mud bottoms, under stones on low intertidal.
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Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory

Distribution

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Geographical Range: Alaska to Scammon's Lagoon, Baja California and in Gulf of California. Most common intertidally in the southern part of the range. The commonest small intertidal octopus in some areas but in Washington E. dofleini seems more common.
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East Pacific red octopus

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East Pacific red octopus, rescued from a gull near Los Osos, California

Octopus rubescens (Commonly the East Pacific red octopus, also known as the ruby octopus, a preferred common name due to the abundance of octopus species colloquially known as red octopus[1]) is the most commonly occurring shallow-water octopus on much of the North American West Coast, and a ubiquitous benthic predator in these habitats.[2] Its range extends from the southern Gulf of California at least to the Gulf of Alaska, but may also occur in the western Pacific Ocean. O. rubescens occurs intertidally to a depth of 300 m.[3]

Taxonomy

In the years prior to the description of this species in 1953, O. rubescens was widely considered to be a young Enteroctopus dofleini. Many early descriptions were based on a combination of O. rubescens and E. dofleini.[3][4] To date, the taxonomy of this species remains somewhat unresolved. S.S. Berry’s 1953 description is in truth a brief diagnosis,[5] and considering the exceptionally wide range of the species, the animals currently covered under O. rubescens may prove to represent several subspecies or a species complex.

Size and description

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O. rubescens in captivity

O. rubescens generally grows to a mantle length of 8–10 cm (3.1 - 3.9 in), and arm length of 30–40 cm (11.8 - 15.7 in). Adult weight is generally 100–150 grams (3.5 - 5.3 Oz), but animals up to 400 grams (14.1 Oz) in weight have occasionally been observed.[6][3]

Like all octopuses, O. rubescens can change its color and texture, making its appearance highly variable. Color can vary from a deep brick red, to brown, to white, or mottled mixtures of the three. It can be easily confused with small individuals of Enteroctopus dofleini in the northern end of this species' range. The two can be differentiated by the presence of three eyelash-like papillae below the eyes of O. rubescens that are absent in E. dofleini.[7]

Diet and foraging behavior

O. rubescens is a generalist predator and has been maintained on a wide variety of gastropods, bivalves, crabs and barnacles in the lab.[6] So far, very little quantification of its diet in the wild has been made. The two studies on the subject determined diets in Puget Sound, Washington to be dominated by gastropods, particularly Nucella lamellosa[2] and Olivella baetica, but also composed of clams, scallops and crabs.[8] The planktonic larvae of O. rubescens have also been observed in the wild to consume krill.[9]

As part of its feeding behavior, O. rubescens will pounce on prey and display a stereotypical sequence of color changes at the moment of capture.[10] Following the capture of bivalve prey, it will often drill a hole through the shell to deliver venom and more easily open the shell. The octopuses will often concentrate their drill holes near the adductor muscles of the bivalve prey.[11]

A recent study has suggested O. rubescens may choose prey based on fat digestibility rather than on the amount of calories the octopuses is able to obtain from the food items.[12] If this is true, the authors further argue, this would make O. rubescens a specialist predator by some measures, rather than a generalist, due to it specific nutrient requirements.

Other behavior

O. rubescens was the first invertebrate in which individual personalities were demonstrated.[13]

References

  1. ^ Cosgrove, James; McDaniel, Neil (2009). Super Suckers: The giant Pacific octopus and other cephalopods of the Pacific coast. Harbour Publishing. ISBN 9781550174663.
  2. ^ a b Onthank, K.L. (2008). "Aerobic metabolism and dietary ecology of Octopus rubescens" (PDF). (2.4 MB) . M. Sc. Walla Walla University, College Place, WA: 91
  3. ^ a b c Hochberg, F.G. (1997). Octopus rubescens. Proceedings of the workshop on the fishery and market potential of octopus in California. Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC).
  4. ^ Hochberg, F.G. (1998). Octopus rubescens. In: P.V. Scott & J.A. Blake (Eds.) Taxonomic Atlas of the Benthic Fauna of the Santa Maria Basin and the Western Santa Barbara Channel: Vol. 8. (pp. 213–218). Santa Barbara, California, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
  5. ^ Berry, S.S. 1953. Preliminary diagnoses of six west American species of Octopus. Leaflets in Malacology 1:51–58.
  6. ^ a b Dorsey, E.M. (1976). Natural history and social behavior of Octopus rubescens (Berry). M. Sc. University of Washington, Seattle, WA: 44.
  7. ^ Anderson, R.C. (2006). "On West Coast Octopuses including a field key to west coast species." The Festivus 38(1): 5–6.
  8. ^ Anderson, R.C., P.D. Hughes, J.A. Mather & C.W. Steele (1999). "Determination of the diet of Octopus rubescens though examination of its beer bottle dens in Puget Sound." Malacologia 41(2): 455–460.
  9. ^ Laidig, T.E., Adams, P.B., Baxter, C.H. & Butler, J.L. (1995). Feeding on euphausiids by Octopus rubescens. California Fish and Game Technical Report 81(2): 77–79.
  10. ^ Warren, L. R., Scheier, M. F. & Riley, D.A. (1974). Colour changes of Octopus rubescens during attacks on unconditioned and conditioned stimuli. Animal Behaviour 22(1): 211–219. doi:10.1016/S0003-3472(74)80071-0
  11. ^ Anderson, R. C., Sinn, D. L. & Mather, J.A. (2008). "Drilling localization on bivalve prey by Octopus rubescens Berry, 1953 (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae)" (PDF). The Veliger 50(4): 326–328.
  12. ^ Onthank, K.L. and Cowles, D.L. (2011). Prey selection in Octopus rubescens: Possible roles of energy budgeting and prey nutritional composition. Marine Biology 158(12): 2795–2804. doi:10.1007/s00227-011-1778-4
  13. ^ Mather, J.A. & R.C. Anderson (1993). "Personalities of Octopuses (Octopus rubescens)." Journal of Comparative Psychology 107(3): 336–340.

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East Pacific red octopus: Brief Summary

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 src= East Pacific red octopus, rescued from a gull near Los Osos, California

Octopus rubescens (Commonly the East Pacific red octopus, also known as the ruby octopus, a preferred common name due to the abundance of octopus species colloquially known as red octopus) is the most commonly occurring shallow-water octopus on much of the North American West Coast, and a ubiquitous benthic predator in these habitats. Its range extends from the southern Gulf of California at least to the Gulf of Alaska, but may also occur in the western Pacific Ocean. O. rubescens occurs intertidally to a depth of 300 m.

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Octopus rubescens

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Octopus rubescens est une espèce d'octopodes de la famille des Octopodidae.

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Octopus rubescens

Description et caractéristiques

Habitat et répartition

Cette espèce est présente dans les eaux du nord-est du Pacifique[2].

Références taxinomiques

Références

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Octopus rubescens: Brief Summary

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Octopus rubescens est une espèce d'octopodes de la famille des Octopodidae.

 src= Octopus rubescens
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