Taxon profile


East Pacific Red Octopus
Octopus rubescens Berry, 1953

kingdom Animalia - animals »  phylum Mollusca - mollusks »  class Cephalopoda - cephalopods »  order Octopoda »  family Octopodidae »  genus Octopus - octopus

Scientific synonyms

Octopus (Octopus) rubescens Berry, 1953
Octopus punctatus Gabb, 1862

Other names

= Pacific Red Octopus

Taxon in country check-lists*

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Body rounded to rounded-ovate. Head short, separated from the body by a shallow constriction. Eyes large and prominent. Funnel tapering rapidly to a slender apex. Funnel-organ W-shaped, with narrow segments. Arms of moderate length, usually about four times that of the body, tapering to slender tips; variable in formula, but the second pair usually 'somewhat the longest and the dorsal pair less consistently the short¬est. Suckers of moderate size, usually more or less constricted and puckered an preserved specimens; one sucker of the sixth pair (commonly the ventral and rarely both) almost always conspicuously enlarged. Third right arm shorter than mate, commonly by about one-fifth, its copulatory fold closely adnate and terminating in a small conical calamus. Ligula well-developed, elongate-conic, with well elevated fleshy margins bounding a trough-like concavity traversed by about 20-24 low transverse ridges separated by shallow grooves; its length variable but at best attaining up to 10.6 per cent, of the length of the arm. Umbrella thin, transparent, webbing the arms for perhaps one-fifth to one-quarter of their length; web formula highly inconstant, but the dorsal sector (A) seems in general the shortest and D a little the longest. Integument superficially smooth but under a lens seen to be raised in a tessellate pattern of low blisterlike welts, with a few symmetrically disposed, rather small, papilla-like cirri on the dorsum and sides. Color in life reported as exceedingly red, dulling in preserved specimens to Mouse Gray or Benzo Brown with slaty or blackish clouding, the oral surfaces Avellaneous to Cream-Buff. Eggs numerous and minute, one of the larger in ovary measuring 1.3 mm. long.
Measurements of holotype: Total length 170, length of body 32, of longest arm (L.2nd) 127, of R. 3rd arm 101, of ligula 8, of sector D of web 24 mm.
Type Locality: 7-17 fathoms, off east and south shores of South Coro-nado Island, Baja California; C. L. Hubbs, J. W. Sefton, et al., on "E. W. Scripps" and "Orca" 1948-1949.
Commentary: This seems to be the commonest small off-shore Octopus in the waters of southern California and northern Baja California. It is one of the forms which were confused and apparently in part illustrated under the erroneous name hongkongensis in my preliminary report on this fauna (see Berry, 1912:283, and especially pl.39, fig.3). In size, color, integumentary sculpture, and other features it seems with better material to be amply distinct from other members of the difficult döfleini-apollyon group. The specific name chosen is from the L., rubeo, I redden.
Berry. Leaflets in Malacology.
Author: Jan Delsing

Links and literature

EN Galli C.: WMSDB - Wolrdwide Mollusc Species Data Base July 10, 2013 [] [as Octopus rubescens Berry, 1953]
Data retrieved on: 23 November 2013
CZ Pfleger V. (1999): České názvy živočichů III. Měkkýši (Mollusca), Národní muzeum, (zoologické odd.), Praha, 108 pp. [as Octopus rubescens BERRY, 1953]
Data retrieved on: 11 November 2013

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