Common blanket octopus

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Common blanket octopus
Tremoctopus violaceus Merculiano.jpg
Tremoctopus violaceus d'Orbigny.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Octopoda
Superfamily: Argonautoidea
Family: Tremoctopodidae
Genus: Tremoctopus
Species: T. violaceus
Binomial name
Tremoctopus violaceus
Chiaje, 1830
Synonyms[1]
  • Octopus atlanticus
    D'Orbigny, 1834 in 1834–1847
  • Octopus gracilis
    Souleyet, 1852
  • Octopus koellikerii
    Verany, 1847
  • Octopus mycrostoma
    Reynaud, 1831
  • Octopus quoyanus
    D'Orbigny, 1834 in 1834–1847
  • Ocythoe velata
    Risso, 1854
  • Octopus velifer
    Ferussac, 1835 in 1834–1848
  • Tremoctopus joubini
    Hoyle, 1909
  • Tremoctopus lucifer
    Akimushkin, 1963
  • Tremoctopus microstomus
    (Reynaud, 1831)

The common blanket octopus or violet blanket octopus (Tremoctopus violaceus) is a large octopus of the family Tremoctopodidae found worldwide in the epipelagic zone of warm seas. The degree of sexual dimorphism in this species is very high, with females growing to two meters in length, whereas males, the first live specimen of which was seen off the Great Barrier Reef in 2002, grow to about 2.4 cm. Individual weights of males and females differ by a factor of about 10,000.[2]

Males and small females of less than 7 cm have been reported to carry with them the tentacles of the Portuguese man o' war, to whose poison they are immune. It is speculated that these tentacles serve both as a defensive mechanism and possibly as a method of capturing prey. This mechanism is no longer useful at larger sizes, which may be why males of this species are so small. The web between the arms of the mature female octopus serves as a defensive measure as well, making the animal appear larger, and being easily detached if bitten into by a predator.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sweeney, M.J. & R.E. Young (2004). Taxa Associated with the Family Tremoctopodidae Tryon, 1879. Tree of Life Web Project.
  2. ^ a b Shapiro, Leo. "Facts about Common Blanket Octopus". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 21 March 2012.