Caribbean Reef Octopus

( Octopus briareus )

The Caribbean Reef Octopus, with its iridescent blue and green skin, is easy for divers to spot at night time.

This species can be a fearsome foe for small reef critters! It flares out its arms and webbing like a huge net, engulfing entire heads of coral and trapping the creatures in its “net.”


This species is a moderately-sized with a mantle length to 120 mm and a total length 60 cm ( 2 ft).

Like many octopuses, this species grows fast and has a short life span of just 10 to 12 months.



The species is found along the western Atlantic ocean including South Florida, Bahamas, southeastern Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea to northern South America.


This is a shallow-water species typically associated with coral reefs with a depth range from 3 to 20 m (9-65 ft).

It can also be found in seagrass, rubble and sandy bottom habitats. They tend to inhabit rocky or structured dens during the daytime making them very difficult to find.

This octopus does not regulate its food intake, but has its food intake largely under control of two environmental factors: water temperature & prey abundance.


The Caribbean reef octopus has large prominent eyes and is one of the few octopuses that has a blue-green iridescent appearance when its chromatophores are retracted.


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