White-Spotted Octopus

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WS Octopus

John D. Hewitt IV

The Caribbean White-spotted octopus or Atlantic white-spotted octopus is a marine invertebrate whose habitat is severely threatened by pollution and over-fishing. The white-spotted octopus lives in coral reef ecosystems – one-third of which are either damaged beyond repair or in critical condition.

Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) members including the Florida Aquarium, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium are working through AZA's Coral Reef Conservation Action Partnership (CAP) to conserve coral reef populations and help damaged corals recover. The CAP is developing a "Reef Medic" program with the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to rebuild disappearing reefs, which will benefit the white-spotted octopus and thousands of other aquatic species.

Biological Information

Size Body up to six inches, up to 3 feet long with arms.
Color Reddish skin with white body spots, but able to change color for camouflage.
Habitat: Coral reefs in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
Diet: Hermit crabs and other crustaceans.
Breeding: Spawning occurs once and results in hundreds of thousands of eggs.