A “Mimic Octopus” in the Atlantic: Flatfish Mimicry and Camouflage by Macrotritopus defilippi

  title={A “Mimic Octopus” in the Atlantic: Flatfish Mimicry and Camouflage by Macrotritopus defilippi},
  author={Roger T. Hanlon and Anya C. Watson and Alexandra Barbosa},
  journal={The Biological Bulletin},
  pages={15 - 24}
The sand-dwelling octopus Macrotritopus defilippi was filmed or photographed in five Caribbean locations mimicking the swimming behavior (posture, style, speed, duration) and coloration of the common, sand-dwelling flounder Bothus lunatus. [] Key Result Each species was exceptionally well camouflaged when stationary, and details of camouflaging techniques are described for M. defilippi. Octopuses implemented flounder mimicry only during swimming, when their movement would give away camouflage in this open…

The evolution of conspicuous facultative mimicry in octopuses: an example of secondary adaptation?

Relationships between behavioural and morphological elements of conspicuous flatfish swimming in extant octopodids, and reconstructed ancestral states, are examined to examine potential influences on the evolution of this rare defence mechanism and to explore whether conspicuous Flatfish swimming may be an exaptation that usurps a previously evolved form of locomotion for a new purpose.

Wild observation of putative dynamic decapod mimicry by a cuttlefish (Sepia cf. smithi)

This observation is the first wild record of decapod mimicry by a cuttlefish, tentatively identified as Sepia smithi, during a non-targeted BRUVS study on Australia’s Northwest Shelf.

Unique arm-flapping behavior of the pharaoh cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis: putative mimicry of a hermit crab

A previously undescribed arm-flapping behavior of the pharaoh cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis, observed in captivity is reported, including possible mimicry of a hermit crab, considering the situations in which the behavior was observed.

Evidence of mimicry of gelatinous zooplankton by anguilliform leptocephali for predator avoidance

Video recordings of leptocephali in surface waters at night at Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea revealed that 6 of 21 larvae filmed displayed a distinct shape-change behavior of curling up into fully or partially coiled shapes, which may result in mimicry of gelatinous zooplankton organisms.

An ethogram for Benthic Octopods (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae).

A general ethogram for the actions of the flexible body as well as the skin displays of octopuses in the family Octopodidae is constructed, suggesting that, despite having flexible muscular hydrostat movement systems producing several behavioral units, simplicity may underlie the complexity of movement and appearance.

First detailed description of the burying behaviour of a bottletail squid, Sepiadarium kochii Steenstrup, 1881

The burying pattern of a single tropical bottletail squid Sepiadarium kochii Steenstrup, 1881 is analysed for different behavioural characteristics and a comparison of the burying patterns of closely related bobtail squids is drawn.

Surveying cephalopod diversity of the Amazon reef system using samples from red snapper stomachs and description of a new genus and species of octopus

Molecular analysis of large predatory fish stomach contents was found to be an incredibly effective extended sampling method for biodiversity surveys where direct sampling is very difficult.



Mimicry and foraging behaviour of two tropical sand‐flat octopus species off North Sulawesi, Indonesia

The key finding was that octopuses used flounder mimicry only when their movement would give away camouflage in this open habitat, which is a highly unusual circumstance of a guild of small, long-armed octopus species that shared the same habitat, den sources, food, activity period, and some behaviours.

Octopus mimicking its follower reef fish

It is suggested that the feeding association commonly found between O. insularis and C. fulva minimized the evolutionary costs for the origin of mimicking by the octopus, a form of protection against visually‐oriented predators.

Field and laboratory behavior of "macrotritopus larvae" reared to Octopus defilippi Verany, 1851 (Mollusca: Cephalopoda)

Morphological examination of 106 specimens from the Atlantic indicate that all macrotritopus “larvae” from this ocean are O. defilippi, and the transition from a planktonic to benthic life may be controlled to ensure widespread distribution on to a suitable habitat.

Crypsis, conspicuousness, mimicry and polyphenism as antipredator defences of foraging octopuses on Indo-Pacific coral reefs, with a method of quantifying crypsis from video tapes

The results suggest that, while foraging, the overall strategy is to use polyphenism to produce «apparent rarity» of any single phenotype (or search image) through mechanisms of crypsis, conspicuousness and mimicry, all of which are guided by keen vision in this marine invertebrate.

Dynamic mimicry in an Indo–Malayan octopus

It is revealed that the ‘mimic octopus’ emerges during daylight hours to forage on sand substrates in full view of pelagic fish predators, allowing it to enhance further the benefits of mimicking toxic models by employing mimicry according to the nature of perceived threats.

Ethogram of Abdopus aculeatus (d'Orbigny, 1834) (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae): can behavioural characters inform octopodid taxomony and systematics?

Aspects of the dymantic display, mating system, activity patterns, and habitat use appear similar to those expressed by other members of Abdopus, as well as the large sister taxon Octopus cyanea, suggesting that these behaviours may be conserved throughout the evolution of these octopuses.

Locomotion by Abdopus aculeatus (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae): walking the line between primary and secondary defenses

  • C. Huffard
  • Biology
    Journal of Experimental Biology
  • 2006
SUMMARY Speeds and variation in body form during crawling, bipedal walking, swimming and jetting by the shallow-water octopus Abdopus aculeatus were compared to explore possible interactions between

Principal features of the mating system of a large spawning aggregation of the giant Australian cuttlefish Sepiaapama (Mollusca: Cephalopoda)

By aggregating to spawn and spawning asynchronously, females may also increase male–male competition through indirect mate choice and have implications for understanding the species' life history and the impacts of fishing.

Cephalopod dynamic camouflage: bridging the continuum between background matching and disruptive coloration

The chief characteristics of the three major body pattern types used for camouflage by cephalopods are defined: uniform and mottle patterns for background matching, and disruptive patterns that primarily enhance disruptiveness but aid background matching as well.

Female impersonation as an alternative reproductive strategy in giant cuttlefish

The observations of giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama) suggest this ability has allowed them to evolve alternative mating strategies in which males can switch between the appearance of a female and that of a male in order to foil the guarding attempts of larger males.