White Spotted Octopus – Octopus macropus
The White Spotted Octopus, also known as the Atlantic White Spotted Octopus, grass octopus or grass scuttle, is a species in the class of the cephalopods. On the Internet, it can also be found as Callistoctopus macropus. Octopus macropus was first described by Joseph Antoine Risso in 1826.
Octopus macropus has an elongated body shape with intense red colouration and white dots. Its head is round and has outstanding eyes. At the head of the White Spotted Octopus are eight arms, each of which is occupied by two rows of suction cups.
They reach a maximum size of 150cm.
Habitat and Distribution
The White Spotted Octopus lives on rocky ground in depths down to 100m. When diving in the Canaries you can see it frequently. The Common Octopus, however, is observed more often.
In addition, its distribution range extends from the Mediterranean Sea, into the subtropical and tropical zones of the Atlantic Ocean. It is found for example in the Caribbean and the eastern Atlantic down to Senegal.
In contrast to the Common Octopus, the White Spotted Octopus is exclusively nocturnal. During the day, you do not get him face-to-face or hidden in a column. Even if there is too much light at night dives, it will quickly hide in the next hole.
Octopus macropus is a hunter and feeds mainly on invertebrates and small fish. It has also been seen with other hunters, like Groupers, joining him to group hunt.
After reproduction the females guard their eggs. During this time they do not eat any food. Shortly after hatching the eggs they die. Therefore, Octopus macropus wont become older than two years.
Despite the assertion of some sources the White Spotted Octopus can change its colour, like many other cephalopods, so far I have not seen this. It appeared exclusively red with white dots.