Two-spot Octopus (Octopus bimaculoides)
Total length: 17 cm / mantle 58 cm-with arms.
Concealed in rocky crevices known as dens, the Two-spot Octopus is a highly intelligent organism. Ranging from Central California as far South as Baja California, these eight-armed cephalopods most often maintain a greyish-yellow coloration with two distinct blue dots located on the front of their mantle. As masters of camouflage however, octopus utilize tiny pigment cells called chromatophores to alter their color and similar mechanisms to change the texture of their skin. As an additional defense, they can also use jet propulsion or produce large plumes of ink when
threatened by moray eels, sea lions, or human predators. As ambush predators, octopi have sharp parrot-like beaks to forage on unsuspecting mollusks, crustaceans, and the occasional fish. Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, CA USA