Mimic Octopus

(Thaumoctopus mimicus)

The Mimic Octopus is best known for… well, being a mimic! It imitates all kinds of other sea creatures, from flatfishes to sea snakes to anemones.

Mimics are also subterranean experts. They can dig burrows, navigate underground tunnels, and even blindly stick their arms into holes in search of snacks!

SIZE This is a moderate-sized species with a mantle length to 58 mm (2 in), & total length to over 480 mm (19 in).

LIFESPAN The lifespan of this species is unknown, but it likely lives for 1-2 years.

LOCATION Discovered off the coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia, this species range is the tropical Indo-West Pacific from north-east Australia, New Caledonia, & Papua New Guinea, through Indonesia, north to the Philippines, & west to the Red Sea.


This is a shallow water octopus inhabiting coastal water on soft sediment (silt or sand substrate) in water from 0.5 m (1.5 ft) to at least 37 m (121 ft).

DIET The silt or sand habitat is rich in benthic prey such as worms, echinoderms, crustaceans (crabs and shrimps), and fishes which also live in burrows, tunnels, and mounds.


No underwater structure, no problem! This species belongs to a clade (group) of long-armed octopuses that have adapted to a life living in an open sand seascape.

The color patterns of this species are variable from a uniform pale or dark, to mottled, to dramatically banded or high contrast body pattern.

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