Body Patterning and Field Observations of Octopus Burryi Voss, 1950
Abstract:Octopus burryi Voss, 1950 was observed and photographed in situ at St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands during a saturation dive mission in NOAA's underwater habitat NULS-1. These first observations of the live animal suggest that it inhabits open sand and mud substrates, that it utilizes a fast, efficient burying maneuver to hide and that it is an ambush predator. O. burryi exhibited a repertoire of seven body patterns under two broad categories: acute and chronic, depending upon their duration. They were composed of different combinations of the 26 chromatic, textural and postural components. In general these patterns and components are similar to those observed in other members of the genus Octopus, but O. burryi may be distinguished from them by its very distinctive brown longitudinal arm stripes, poorly developed white frontal spots, grained skin texture, white transverse mantle streak and integumental trellis arrangement. Live coloration and body patterning may be useful in comparative studies of the behavior and taxonomy of octopuses.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 1980
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