Octopus are some of the most fascinating creatures to observe but the Wunderpus and Mimic Octopus are often mistaken with each other. This post will provide some (hopefully) easy identifying features so you don’t confuse your cephalopods!
The most noticeable characteristic from a quick glance is the colour of the octopus. Wunderpus are generally light brownish/red and white in colour, compared to a much darker red/black and white Mimic. However, as with all octopus they possess thousands of chromatophores which means that they can actually change their colour!
Using colour to determine whether or not it was a Wunderpus or Mimic can therefore be problematic and should only be used if no other identifying features could be seen.
A very useful difference to know is the comparison between their eyes. This can definitely come in handy as if they are being shy, you may only get to see their eyes poking out of the sand and yet you can still identify them. A Wunderpus has long and thin eye stalks whereas the Mimic has much shorter eye stalks, often looking like they don’t have any at all. Keep an eye out for these differences and you should be able to identify them even if you can’t see the rest of the octopus.
Finally, if you are lucky enough to see the octopus out and about then take a look to see if there is a pattern on their arms/legs. A Mimic octopus, across the entire length of each appendage has a distinct white bar, a Wunderpus has no such marking. If you look towards their suckers then this band should be relatively easy to spot!
If all else fails then the most reliable method is to ask your guide, with years of experience diving in Lembeh they are sure to teach you a thing or two about these fantastic animals.
So know you have all the clues, what Octopus is shown in this article? Get more information and dive with Two Fish Divers.