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Octopus (Octopus sp.) Photographs and Information

Octopus are cephalopods with 8 arms.  They have no fins.

Octopus inhabit seagrass beds in bays and coastal waters as well as coastal reefs.

All octopus have a short life cycle in which each female produces 1 egg mass and dies soon after the eggs have hatched.  They are solitary animals and are often very active during daylight.  They live for approx. 18 months.

Octopus appeared approx. 500 million years ago.

By day, when hungry fishes prowl, an octopus hides in its den: under rocks, in holes or empty shells or shallow depressions on the seafloor. But under the cover of twilight, an octopus turns hunter, stalking crabs, shrimp and snails.

When it finds prey, the octopus pounces. Holding on with suckers, it cracks the shell with its beak and injects poison. It usually returns home to eat the meal.

An octopus explores with its tentacles and suckers. The suckers can taste the difference between sweet, sour and bitter, and can feel if something's rough or smooth.

To grab a crab, an octopus draws up the centers of its suckers to create a vacuum. Octopuses have tremendous gripping power. It takes 18kg of pull to release the grip of a 1.4kg octopus.

Octopuses are major predators of rock lobsters and fishing was initially based on a by-catch in commercial rock lobster fisheries. Some targeted octopus fisheries now exist and octopuses trawled incidentally in prawn and finfish fisheries in northern Australia are also retained and sold.

whole octopus, octopus photo, octopus tentacles

Did you know?
Octopus appeared approx. 500 million years ago.

Fresh octopus on ice

Map showing where octopus are found in Australian waters

baby octopus, octopus

Scientific Name Octopus Species
Location Australia wide
Season All year round
Size 0.3 to 9 kg
Australian Species Code 00 601001
Taste, Texture -


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Octopus.

Kilojoules 328 (78 calories)
Cholesterol 104 mg
Sodium 285 mg
Total fat (oil) 1.0 g
Saturated fat 42% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 7% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 51% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 71 mg
Omega-3, DHA 289 mg
Omega-6, AA 16 mg

Octopus Photos:

block frozen octopus

octopus camoflage

octopus, fresh octopus


Video on Octopus facts, very humorous but some interesting facts about octopus:

Octopus Facts from the video:

The name "octopus" comes from the Greek work for 8 footed, because it has 8 arms. There are 2 major orders of octopus - the Serena and Inserena. The Serena have 2 small fins, a small internal shell and lots of little cilia next to their suckers. The other order of octopus is inserena - no internal shell and no fins. Octopus are amazing - they have color and texture changing capabilities. The most remarkable is the octopus's intelligence, they are the most intelligent of all of the invertebrates.

Octopus can learn and remember complex tasks like opening child-proof jars and moving through mazes. They have evolved a very different intelligence than ours. Unlike our intelligence which is mainly centralised in our head, the octopus has distributed intelligence. 3/5's of its neurons are located in its arms - in a way each of its arms has a mind of its own! These arms are so capable, that even when severed, they will continue to search for and capture food and then try to bring the food to a non-existent mouth. Some octopus with actually remove one of their arms when threatened and let it wriggle away to confuse the predator. Each arm is equipped with 250 suction cups. Each one with the ability to rotate and grasp independently. The suction cups also contain sensory receptors which enable it to taste and smell what it touches.

Inside the octopus mouth is a beak, the only hard part of the octopus. The means that the octopus can move through any hole that is larger than its beak. The tentacles guide food towards its beak where venomous saliva incapacitates prey before eating.

When it comes to moving the octopus has a variety of options. It can crawl or use a water jet called a siphon, or it can "walk" on two of its tentacles. Some scientists have argued that 2 of its arms should be called legs. Octopus can even move on land effectively.

Although the eight arms of the octopus seems identical, one of the males arms is actually a hectocotylis which functions like a penis. The male transfers sperm to the female via this arm and deposits the sperm in 2 ways, either by inserting it into a hole in her mantle, or tearing it off and presenting to to her for later use! When the female has fertilised her eggs, she goes to an underwater crevasse and attaches her eggs to the roof. She will stay with the eggs, gently fanning water over them until they hatch. She slowly starves to death, by the time the eggs hatch, she is dead.

Angling for Octopus | Catching Octopus:


Cooking Octopus :

Cooking and Preparing Octopus:

Octopuses have an enjoyable mild flavour, with a texture similar to that of squids, though more dense.

Prepare the fresh octopus for cooking. Cut off the eyes and beak. Use the opening to turn the head inside out and remove the ink sac and intestines. Rinse the entire octopus under warm running water for one minute.

Cook octopus quickly over a high heat or simmer slowly. Marinating will help to tenderise the flesh and strengthen the flavour for enhanced results when cooking quickly.

Octopus is tough at the best of times. Among octopus-cooking cultures, there are all sorts of recommendations for tenderizing it.

Greek Style is to beat it against a smooth rock or throw it onto a cement path 100 times, then rub it on the rock in a circular movement sprinkling it with seawater until the tentacles become curly or the membrane between them can be easily torn. Many Octopus that you buy prepared have been placed in a cement mixer with rocks for several hours!

Spanish Style is to dip it into boiling water three times, then cook it in a copper pot.

Italian cooks boil it with a cork (it is believed that enzymes in the cork tenderise the octopus)

The Japanese beat it with mallets.

Octopus Recipes

Octopus Preparation for Cooking

Baby octopus salad octopus with chili sauce octopus stew sicilian style cooked octopus spanish style
Octopus with Chili Sauce Sicilian Octopus Stew Octopus Spanish Style


How to Clean an Octopus
Sydney Fish Market takes you through how to clean an Octopus ready for cooking.

Commercial Fishing for Octopus:

Distribution: Several species of octopus are found throughout NSW waters, from the shallow intertidal rock ledges to the deep offshore areas.

Size: Southern octopus to around 40cm, pale octopus to around 60cm and Maori octopus to an arm span of 300cm.

Characteristics: Octopi have 8 arms that create an umbrella shape around the central rounded head. Each arm has two rows of suckers and is 3 to 4 times longer than the body. The head has two large eyes and the octopus could be many different colours from a red to a pale grey, with or without mottling and with or without protrusions on its skin.

Processors, Exporters, Importers and Wholesalers of Octopus
Processors, Exporters, Importers and Wholesalers of Baby Octopus

More links about Octopus

Australian Government - Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (PDF file) - Australian Fisheries Statistics 2010/2011

NSW Department of Primary Industries - Fishing & Aquaculture - Species - Common recreational saltwater fish & seafood




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