The final point to the trifecta of Cephalopods of Lembeh, is the arguably most exciting, the Octopus. Octopus are always are firm favourite of all our divers in Lembeh and for good reason. They are some of the most fascinating animals we come across, including some of the most rare species in the world! Octopus also give back to the diver, they have a personality and they show some form of interaction which appeals to the majority of people. These animals are incredibly intelligent and are just a joy to watch.
There are plenty of species to be seen in Lembeh so we will start with the most common and move to the rarest you may find!
Firstly, the Long-Arm Octopus. This is the species which we come across most often. They can be found in the black sand sites and are active at both night and day. They are easily characterised by their abnormally long arms which also have some distinct white spots along the length of each one. As they move across the sea bed they move body first, trailing all their arms behind them in a trail. They also try to hide by darting into holes in the sand or just completely flattening themselves against the sand and changing their colour to camouflage themselves.
The second most common octopus is the Coconut Octopus. These are perhaps the best octopus to see in terms of interactions. They are on average 8 cm long in the body and 15cm long in the arms which makes them a relatively sizeable octopus.
The most striking thing about them isn’t their size or colour however, it is their behaviour. Until 2009 and they were known simply as the Veined Octopus due to dark lines down each arm. This all changed after a research team spent hundreds of hours observing them and the found a unique feature. These octopus have an affinity for shells, either coconut or clam shells. They live in them for shelter and also notably carry them around as a mobile home! Ocotpus have been seen to be carrying multiple shells at once as they walk along the sea bed!
Our next octopus is probably the most easy to identify. The Blue Ringed Octopus. Even if you have never seen a picture of these creatures you could probably hazard a guess as to one of their aesthetics! each Blue Ring Octopus is covered in multiple iridescent blue rings. These make it incredibly striking to photograph and you would think quite obvious to spot. However, like all octopus they can change their colour and texture and they can also dim their blue rings to a very faint hue. They are usually pretty small, not much bigger than 10cm on average and live on rubble and sand slopes which gives them ample space to hide in between the nooks and crannies of the rocks. This makes them pretty difficult to spot until they flash their warning signs. Potential predators and over zealous divers would be wise to take this warning sign seriously. The blue ringed octopus is regarded as one of the most venomous animals in the entire world! Despite their small stature, each octopus has enough power in their venom to kill 26 adult humans within minutes!
Next week we will be covering only the most rare and special octopus of Lembeh!