[Photo]: Tremoctopus violaceus by Dr. Peter Wirtz


Staff member
Site Owner
May 30, 2000
Dr. Peter Wirtz, author of numerous books relating to underwater photography, has graciously contributed the following photos of the rare Tremoctopus violaceus (Blanket Octopus), taken at Horta, Azores in 2 meters water depth. These photos are all copyright Dr. Peter Wirtz and may not be used without permission. (Indeed, no other content found on TONMO.com may be used without permission, either :police:). Visit Dr. Wirtz' site to see his rich, colorful books (along with their ISBN numbers for ordering). He will be writing a short article about this elusive, gelatinous octopus in his next book. Thanks for the contributions, doctor!

Click an image to enlarge...

For related stories and discussions about the blanket octopus, see these threads:

[News]: Blanket Octopus Reproduction

Live Male Blanket Octopus News Item - Mark Norman
magnificent pics! What a beautiful and strange looking creature!

What are the "nostrils" on the top of the head on the second photo? Are they common to all octos? I haven't noticed anything like that before in the octos I have observed in the Pacific Northwest!

Any information on depth where these beauties live? There appears to be some ambient light in the photos, so perhaps they were taken on SCUBA?

Thanks - great shots!

Those 'nostrils' on Tremoctopus are what they refer to as 'dorsal water pores'; Tremoctopus has both dorsal and ventral pores. The related Ocythoe tuberculata (a rather warty but similar-looking animal) has only ventral water pores, and yet another related animal, Argonauta (the paper nautilus) has none. The only other octopod (off the top of my head) that has pores of any sort is the rather unusual octopodid (true octopus) Cistopus spp. So, verdict, no, they are not common to all octopuses - they're actually quite unique characters.

It is very nice to see them open like this.

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