This was an amazing find off the dock today. When I brought it out of the water, a crowd gathered at the beach, to see what I had caught. I wanted to show everyone what a Caribbean Reef Octopus looks like.
The Caribbean Reef Octopus is a coral reef marine animal. It has eight long arms that vary in length and diameter. The "body" is large and chunky in comparison (up to 60 cm long). The Caribbean Reef Octopus is difficult to describe because it changes color and texture in order to blend into its surroundings, using specialised skin cells known as chromatophores. Its color range is incredibly large; it can change from crismson to green, bumpy to smooth. It weighs around 3.3 lb or 1.5 kg.
The Caribbean Reef Octopus lives in warm waters around coral reef environments, with grassy and rocky sea beds. The Caribbean Reef Octopus lives in hidden, rocky lairs that are difficult to locate. Their lairs are usually created in shallow warm waters.
The Caribbean Reef Octopus is not a social animal and does not interact with other Octopus briareus unless mating. If one Octopus was to go into any other Octopuses lair there would be an inevitable fight. Caribbean Reef Octopuses are usually safe from invoking fights if they stay 60 feet away from other octopuses at all times. If faced with a predator a Caribbean Reef Octopus, like most other octopuses, would suck up a volume of water then expel it quickly in the form of a jet to propel itself away from the foe.
To further deter predators the Caribbean Reef Octopus can eject oil to mask its escape. The Caribbean Reef Octopus does not live in its lair for its entire life, instead it moves often except while caring for young/eggs.
The Caribbean Reef Octopus feeds on crabs, shrimp, lobsters, and a variety of fish. The Caribbean Reef Octopus is a nocturnal species and only hunts at night.