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Free Content Body Patterning and Field Observations of Octopus Burryi Voss, 1950

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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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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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