This clever little fellow might remind you of another species of octopus that we have explored. The Atlantic Longarm Octopus (Octopus defilippi) is a close relative of the Indo-Pacific Mimic Octopus.
As the name suggests, this species of octopus has incredibly long arms in relation to its body length. The arms are commonly around 30cm in length whereas the body is only about 6cm. The Atlantic Longarm Octopus can grow to about 36 inches or 1 meter in length when the body and arm lengths are measured. The arms are normally more than 7 times the length of the body!
They are quite distinctive with their reddish brown colouring and small white spots however as with many other species they are able to change their color and texture as the need arises. They have eyes high up on the head with a distinctive bump above each one.
Atlantic Longarm Octopuses can be found in the coral reefs of Australia, Malta and in the Florida Keys. They prefer rocky environments and so frequent the lower areas close to the sea floor. Here, they feed by night on a variety of crabs which they catch with the help of suckers on their arms.
Like the Mimic Octopus, the Atlantic Longarm Octopus will mimic other creatures in order to avoid predation. It will swim along inconspicuously with its arms stretched back to look like a flounder. It has also been spotted with its spread its arms in a manner that makes it appear like a starfish.
A fascinating fact that makes this species so unique is that females will carry their eggs under their mantle until they hatch. Most species of octopus find a safe lair to hang their eggs from to brood.