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Monday, November 23, 2009

Species: Bimac Octopus or California Two-Spot Octopus

The Octopus Bimaculoides, also called Bimac Octopus, or simply Two-Spot Octopus gets its name from the false eye spots under each eye. In California Two-Spot Octopuses, the eye spots are an iridescent blue chain link circle set in a circle of black located on the side of the head.

This species reaches a mantle size of 7 inches (17.5 cm) and arms to 23 inches (58 cm). They're not usually heavily textured and has several common colors, such as grey with yellow splotches.

The habitat of the California Two-Spot Octopus is intertidal and benthic-from the low tide zone to subtidal depths of about 20 meters (65 ft). They prefer sandy substrate and caves of rock or debris to hide in and can tolerate a wide temperature range (at least 60-80F);though they prefer 65-72 F.

California Two-Spot Octopuses eat a varied diet of clams, mussels, small crabs, crayfish, snails. Hatchlings feed on amphipods or mysid shrimp.

Due to their friendly temperament and relative hardiness, they are considered by most experts to make the best pet octopus. Bimacs usually live to be about two years old. They are closely related to Verrill's Two-Spot Octopus, also known as Octopus Bimaculatus.

If you happen to be in the Southern California area, you can see a California Two-Spot Octopus for yourself at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.

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