Blanket Octopuses: Characteristics, types, habits and more….

We invite you to learn about the blanket octopuses (Tremoctopus), which are a genus of cephalopod octopod mollusks, which contains four species (Tremoctopus violaceus, Tremoctopus gelatus, Tremoctopus gracilis and Tremoctopus robsoni)

blanket octopuses . female

These invertebrates live in tropical oceans and owe their name to the large membranes that the females present, which can unfold from two of their  tentacles, probably to look bigger and use them as a defense mechanism.

Learning About Octopuses in General

As an octopus definition, we have mollusks with a soft body and eight arms, which belong to the Octopoda order. About 300 species are known and the order is grouped within the class Cephalopoda, where also the squids , cuttlefish and nautiloids belong. Like other cephalopods, octopuses are bilaterally symmetrical with two eyes and a beak, with their mouth in the middle of their arms (which are sometimes erroneously called «tentacles»).

The soft body of the octopuses can quickly alter its shape, allowing them to drain through small gaps. They drag their eight arms behind them as they swim. They use a structure called siphon, which expels a jet of water, both to breathe and to move. Octopuses have a complex nervous system and an excellent view, and they are among the most intelligent and behaviorally diverse invertebrates.

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Main Characteristics of the Blanket Octopuses

These octopuses have a high degree of sexual dimorphism, since females can reach up to two meters, while males only measure a few centimeters. The blankets octopuses mostly have a silvery tone on their sides and a very dark purple or blue dorsal surface. Their four dorsal arms are much longer than the four ventral ones.

Main Types Of Blanket Octopuses

Now let’s learn about the different types of Blanket octopuses that exist

Common Blanket Octopus or Violet Blanket Octopus (Tremoctopus violaceus).

It is a very large octopus from the family Tremoctopodidae found in tropical and subtropical seas, especially in the Atlantic Ocean. This species has high degree of sexual dimorphism, since the females grow up to two meters in length, while the males grow up to about 2.4 cm when most. It has been reported that males and small females of less than 7 cm, carry with them the tentacles of the Portuguese man or ‘war (a marine hydrozoan), to whose venom they are immune. It is speculated that these tentacles serve both as a defense mechanism and possibly as a method of capturing prey. This mechanism is no longer useful in larger sizes, which may be the reason why males of this species are so small.

Tremoctopus gelatus

It is a species of blanket octopus that lives in deeper areas than the Tremoctopus violaceus species, both in tropical and temperate seas. They have a gelatinous body, so transparent that a newspaper can be read through the body of a living female. Their eyes are very large and their ink sacks and water pores reduced.

Other species.

Tremoctopus gracilis distributed mainly in the Indo-Pacific Ocean and the Tremoctopus robsoni species which is distributed in New Zealand waters.

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How Blanket Octopuses Reproduce?

During mating, the male’s arm  separates and the female keeps it in the cavity of her mantle until she employs  it for fertilization. The male usually dies shortly after mating. The females carry more than 100,000 eggs attached to a calcareous secretion in the form of a sausage held at the base of the dorsal arms and carried by the female until hatching. Females carry numerous small eggs from 100,000 to 150,000 which have  a 0.9 X 1.5 mm volume.

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