Tremoctopus is a genus of pelagic cephalopods, containing four species that occupy surface to mid-waters in subtropical and tropical oceans. They are commonly known as blanket octopus, in reference to the long transparent webs that connect the dorsal and dorsolateral arms of the adult females. The other arms are much shorter and lack webbing.
These species exhibit an extreme degree of sexual dimorphism., Females may reach 2 m in length, whereas the tiny males are at most a few centimeters long. The males have a specially modified third right arm which stores sperm, known as a hectocotylus. During mating, this arm detaches itself and crawls into the mantle of the female to fertilize her eggs. The male dies shortly after mating. The females carry over 100,000 tiny eggs attached to a sausage-shaped calcareous secretion held at the base of the dorsal arms and carried by the female until hatching.
Blanket octopuses are immune to the poisonous Portuguese man o' war, whose tentacles the male and immature females rip off and use for defensive purposes. Like many other octopuses, the blanket octopuses uses ink to intimidate potential predators. Also, when threatened, the female unfurls her large net-like membranes that spread out and billow in the water, greatly increasing her apparent size.
- Tremoctopus gelatus, gelatinous blanket octopus
- Tremoctopus robsoni
- Tremoctopus gracilis, palmate octopus
- Tremoctopus violaceus, common blanket octopus or violet blanket octopus
- Tree of Life web project: Tremoctopus
- Norman, M.D.; Paul, D.; Finn, J.; and Tregenza, T. (2002). First encounter with a live male blanket octopus: the world's most sexually size-dimorphic large animal. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 36: 733–736.
- Pickrell, John (Aug. 12, 2003). "Walnut-Size" Male Octopi Seen Alive for First Time. National Geographic News.
- Tree of Life web project: Tremoctopus Eggs, Embryos and Hatchlings
- Jones, E. C. 1963. Tremoctopus violaceus uses Physalia tentacles as weapons. Science 139: 764–766.
- Thomas, R.F. 1977. Systematics, distribution, and biology of cephalopods of the genus Tremoctopus (Octopoda: Tremoctopodidae). Bulletin of Marine Science 27(3): 353-392.
|Wikispecies has information related to: Tremoctopididae|
|The Wikibook Dichotomous Key has a page on the topic of: Tremoctopididae|