Common Octopus (Octopus Vulgaris)

Latin name: Octopus vulgaris
Common name: Common octopus
In other languages: E: Pulpo común, F: Pulpe commun, D: Gemeiner Krake
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Octopoda
Family: Octopodidae
Genus: Octopus

Distribution: Mediterranean, Atlantic up to English Channel.

Habitat: In coastal waters from 2 metres down to 100 metres, rocky ground.

Behaviour: This benthic species is primarily a nocturnal hunter. It takes its prey as it slide walks over rocks, wrecks and sand. Hiding up in the daytime in small caves and holes, it will even excavate a refuge if one is not readily available. It will more often than not return to the same place after each nocturnal foray. The lairs of octopus vulgaris can be found easily by the many mollusc shells that invariably litter their entrance.

Diet: Crustaceans, molluscs, fish and carrion.

Size: Common: 30 - 100cm, maximum: 200cm.

Shape: Stout and warty body with two rows of suckers on each of the eight tentacles.

Colour: Grey, yellow, brown or green.

Did you know: The common octopus has three hearts and two brains. If you are a diver and wish to see the octopus in the open, just scratch it as you would a cat between the eyes. Within a minute or two it will be out in the open, mesmerised and confused, but not so disturbed that it will not return to its lair. They also feel attracted to the colour white.