Beneath the Waves in California - ecophotog

© Joseph Dougherty. All rights reserved. Octopus bimaculoides Pickford & McConnaughey, 1949 California Two-Spot Octopus O. bimaculoides reaches a mantle size of 7 inches (17.5 cm) and arms to 23 inches (58 cm). Not usually heavily textured, it has several common colors, such as grey with yellow splotches, and uses highly developed crypsis (camouflage or color changing to match their environment). Octopuses achieve color change in part by chromatophores, iridophores, and leucophores; all are structures of the skin in increasing depth. Chromatophores are generally known as elastic pigment sacs with muscle fibers attached to let them expand and contract. The leucophores are important because they allow for the reflection of white light and consequently allow the skin to reflect wavelengths of light which are prevalent in their habitat and produce disruptive patterns. The other aspect to cephalopod camouflage is the brain, which contains nerves coated in chromatophore fibers, controlling coloration patterning.

Octopus bimaculoidesCalifornia TwoSpot Octopusoctopusoctopioctopodscephalopodsmollusksmolluscacalifornia wildlifecalifornia underwaterchannel islandsmarine invertebratesOctopodidaerocky reefskelp forest ecology

From Catalina Island -- Peace Dive Boat -- June 2013