Day octopus squabble

A couple of days ago, I saw an octopus while snorkeling. It was on a vertical face of rock and when I showed up it slipped around the corner out of sight. I followed and could see it had gone into a recess there. I saw a tentacle moving and then, moments later, a round white thing appeared, a tentacle clasped around it.

I was mystified. I thought it might be the remains of an urchin or something. The white globe disappeared back into the depths. Moments later it appeared out of the side of the recess and it quickly became clear that the round white balloon was the head of another, completely white octopus. This white coloration is adopted when an octopus is feeling aggressive or threatened.

After a brief flurry of tentacles the white octopus disengaged, shot away a short distance, and changed color again as it landed on a rock. The octopus I’d first seen appeared again at the entrance of the recess. There was a little more to and fro before the evicted octopus gave up and moved away and the first octopus slipped back into the depths of the recess. My take on this was that the octopus I saw first wasn’t happy to find the other octopus in its lair and turfed it out.

The top photo shows the evicted octopus gathering itself after being run off. The second photo shows it on the move, still with the white coloration. The third photo shows the victor in the dispute, looking a little smug if I may say so.

11 thoughts on “Day octopus squabble

  1. Kitty

    Wow! Octopuses are both scary and fascinating. So fierce when they have to be and so clever when it comes to problem solving. Such luck you have to have experienced this – thanks for sharing this! 👌

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Graham Post author

      I’ve never seen an octopus being aggressive. Mostly they just retreat and hide. On the same day I took these photos I saw a smaller octopus on a rock and it just disappeared into a little hole, like water draining from the sink. Only its eyes remained in view in the opening!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Graham Post author

      I’ve never had any issue with them, but if you bug anything in the water enough, they’ll strike back. I think their most common retaliation is to ink the thing bothering them.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Graham Post author

      I think octopuses is the official plural, though I’ve used various options in my time. I was really pleased with the second photo. They swim really fast and so often just come out looking like a blob!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s