Octopus rubescens, not GPOs


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 20, 2002
Dallas Texas
Jonathan Minton from the NRCC has sent some more photos of what were thought to be little GPO, but they're almost certainly O. rubescens, The Pacific Red Octopus.

Fine looking octos! Thanks, Jonathan!

I simply love the color this species displays. Anyone who says that they are "muddy brown" hasn't seen this pictures :smile:

Beautiful :smile:

By the way... I've always wondered... WHAT actually is the front part of an octopus? (Is this even defined?) The part with the mantle (in this case giving it somewhat the appearance of a large "nose") or the opposide?
Nice pictures :biggrin2:

@Jakxx, my german colleague:smile:
I think the scientific termini "cephalopod" and (in German) "Kopffueßer" indicate where is "front" (cephalo = head, pod = foot). Front is where the arms are and the rear is the mantle...
Hehe, funny to regard the mantle as a nose though. Never thought that way. As the arms origin from the area around the mouth of the animal, I sometimes see them (the arms) as some kind of "lips" and then it's obvious to me where's the "front"...

Have a nice day
TK :cuttle:
Yes I know about the "koffueßer" term, it's more like, which way does an octopus normally face when it is moving, thus which way does he normally look. Is there even such thing defined as a front?
In case of cuttles and squids it's quite easy to see which side is actually the front, but its harder to tell if you look at an octopus since they seem to move in both directions quite often. I don't really know if I got this right but maybe you already see where I was aming to with this question. :o

It's maw may face downwards, but the eyes are aranged horizontally so there must be something like front and behind, right? :smile:
you have to keep in mind that cephs, unlike us, regularly move more freely in three dimensions.... plus being more amorphous, up or front both mean a little less....

hate to geek out on you but didja ever see star trek 2? i think the whole 2d vs 3d thinking is quasi relevent.....

of course how much weight do my words carry :?:
Once you have one in your house, I don't think you have any trouble telling where the front is.

An octopus may be put together somewhat strangely, but it has eyes that look at you and almost always leads with its body, holding its body somewhat like a head. Hard to describe, I know. But an octopus also has lead arms, which are "in front". It uses one or two arms for much of its exploration.

Yes, that was more the direction I was aiming at.. or more simply said, do octos have a favorite direction they move in? e.g. dragging it's mantle behind or pushing it forward into the direction it moves.
The eyes seem to be arranged in a way that it doesn't seem to matter which way the octo moves, unlike us humans. Walking backwards or sideways all the time simply isn't our thing apparently (or at least not mine :bonk:)
I found when I looked at the photos I'd taken, the octopus was often seen from the "side" as it moved forward.

The octo leads with his eyes and the rest of the mantle follows behind, if that's any help.

I used to play a game with my bimac where I pressed my face against the glass, and my bimac did the same, on the other side of the glass. An octopus can swivel its eyes around and look at you head on, with both eyes. So Ollie and I were "face to face".

I need to get some of those barnacles that are in that picture, I've seen other people using those in thier tanks, and I think my lil guy (Crazy Legs would really enjoy them. Anyone have a source?
I bought a big bag of them (around $10) from one of those oceanside shell shops in Galveston, Texas. They were called Goose Barnacles.
I've seen big clumps of them for sale in various LFSs, also ones made out of resin.

Some octopuses will hide in them - my bimac would not.

Welcome to Happy Legs!

Hm, I looked a little around and often the same pair of arms are refered to as "the first two" or "front two"

So basically the octopus has a "front" and "back".

this nicely shows in this picture here for example:

Note that the octopus faces left although he is about to move towards the camera sideways, one eye leading the body. So the opposide of the mantle has to be the front part :smile: Although I think most pepole who see this picture would say that the octopus faces right. It just looks more natural to most people, but when you consider the position of the beak, it all makes sense that he actually faces left :smile:

Most octos don't really seem to care though :P
I guess this goes to show how hard octopuses are to identify, even to the experts...

it wouldn't seem right for an animal which relies alot on vision for hunting and survival to have a large vision obscuring mantle in front of it would it?

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.