Octopus vulgaris

Common Octopus

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Common Octopus Common Octopus Common Octopus



A medium to large sized octopus reaching up to 1.3 meters in length, with a distinctly warty body.
The arms are thick and stout bearing two rows of longitudinal suckers.
The colour varies from grey-yellow-brown-green and can change according to the situation.

The cephalopods (meaning 'head-footed) are a group of molluscs that contain the octopuses, squid and cuttlefish, and are probably the most intelligent of all invertebrates. They have well-developed heads, with large complex eyes and mouths that feature beak-like jaws. All octopuses have eight tentacle-like arms; indeed 'octopus' derives from the Greek for 'eight-footed'. The common octopus usually measures around 60 centimetres in length, but it can grow up to 1 metre. It is able to change its colour depending on its mood and situation, but individuals are usually greyish-yellow or brownish-green with extensive mottling. They are often very well camouflaged. The body is warty, and the thick arms bear two rows of suckers.







This species has a world-wide distribution. It is abundant in the Mediterranean Sea, the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, and in Japanese waters.

Biogeographic Regions: indian ocean (Native ); atlantic ocean (Native ); pacific ocean (Native )


Octopus vulgaris is found in tropical, subtropical, and temperate waters between the surface and a depth of 100 to 150 meters. . It is not found in polar or subpolar regions. It lives in costal waters and the upper part of the continental shelf.


There is the potential for the overfishing of these animals, which threatens their proliferation. However, at this time, they are not at any specific risk.



Not currently threatened.

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  • Beckmannjan - EOL Rapid Response Team (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  • Mirgolth/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  • Albert Kok/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)