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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

23 California Two-Spot Octopus Facts You’ll Never Forget

Discover a list of amazing and interesting kids facts about the California two-spot octopus and its lifespan, distribution, pet-keeping, and habitat.

Octopus bimaculoides, also known as bimac, is a species of octopus found in the ocean or coast of California, Baja California, and the Pacific Ocean. Their habitat mostly consists of rocky reefs and temperate, warm, or shallow waters. The diet of the bimac includes a variety of fish species, mollusks, and crustaceans for food. Their lifestyle is usually nocturnal behavior, and their eyes are adept at the darkness of the water. The female can lay about an average of 70,000 eggs, and the incubation can take 150-210 days. Males die after the process of mating, and females can die due to starvation or exhaustion. This is because they spend all their time protecting and nurturing eggs without eating or moving.

The California two-spot octopuses are a light brown body or head and mottling in coloration. The color of the skin, as well as the texture, can be altered when this octopus is hunting, mating, or hiding from prey and predators alike. They can especially be identified with the blue spots present on both sides of the head. The average lifespan of this octopus can range from one and a half to three years. California two-spot octopuses live in temporary dens which they may get protective of. They are friendly animals and have high intelligence. They can easily escape their aquariums and learn other tricks. You can catch this octopus in California if you're lucky! Scroll down and read ahead to get to know more amazing facts about the California two-spot octopus.

If you enjoyed reading about this octopus species, you could also check out these octopus facts and the giant Pacific octopus facts.

California Two-Spot Octopus Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a California two-spot octopus?

The California two-spotted octopus, octopus bimaculoides or bimac, is a species of octopus native to parts of the Pacific Ocean and Baja California coast.

What class of animal does a California two-spot octopus belong to?

The California two-spotted octopus is a species of fish with the family and the  genus. The scientific name of bimac is  bimaculoides.

How many California two-spot octopuses are there in the world?

There are no studies that estimate the exact population for the bimac California two-spotted octopuses.

Where does a California two-spot octopus live?

The California two-spotted octopus is found in the Pacific Ocean of northern California, south Baja California as well as Mexico. They can be found in the intertidal oceans and coast with a shallow depth that can range from 1.64-59.7 ft (0.5-18 m).

What is a California two-spot octopus's habitat?

The California two-spotted octopus is found in the rocky reefs of temperate intertidal coast habitats. They can also be spotted in man-made areas like abandoned pipes and small canyon ledge holes. They prefer that their habitat has rocky reefs, rocks, or debris they can use for hiding. Bimac can live in a temperature ranging from 59-78.8 F (15-26 C) and loves shallow coasts or waters.

Who do California two-spot octopuses live with?

California two-spotted octopuses are solitary animals that often hunt alone. They may live in temporary dens and can also fight for a den they desire. The bimac can be seen together mostly during mating.

How long does a California two-spot octopus live?

The average lifespan of a California two-spotted octopus can range from 12-18 months in the wild. They can live for about two years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

The California two-spotted octopus does not have a specific breeding season and can mate year-round. The preferred mating time is in summers when the waters are warm or comfortable temperature. Males bimac tends to die after mating. Females create a den for themselves and seal it until the eggs are laid. Females can lay about 20,000 to 100,000 eggs and tend to give a lot of care to the eggs. An average of 70,000 eggs can be laid. They blow cool water over them, keep them oxygenated, and can even die out of starvation or fatigue. If females survive, they leave the den, and the hatched young ones will continue developing. The incubation period of octopus eggs can range from 150-210 days and gain sexual maturity in about a year.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the California two-spotted octopus is Not Listed, which means the population density of this species is unknown. This is because octopus bimaculoides is a nocturnal animal which makes monitoring difficult.

California Two-Spot Octopus Fun Facts

What do California two-spot octopuses look like?

The California two-spotted octopus is usually brown or gray with occasional splotches and has two eyespots under each eye. These blue spots are present on both sides of the head. The mantle is shaped like a pear, with a beak and a mouth in the center. The tentacles have suction cups and can be more than half the size of the body of this octopus. They can change their skin color while catching prey or hiding. Both male and female octopus bimaculoides species look alike.

Get to know interesting information like appearance, lifespan, distribution, diet, and size of a California two-spot octopus.

How cute are they?

The octopus bimaculoides has a light brown body with two distinctive blue spots. While they are interesting to observe, this animal may not be the cutest. Regardless of its appearance, this octopus is highly intelligent like most of the members of its species.

How do they communicate?

The most common form of communication for the California two-spotted octopus is visual cues. They can change the color of their body to communicate and signal any danger. Because of this visual mode of communication, the eyes of bimac are very developed and can see well even in the darkness of underwater. These signals are usually used to express mating status, whether they are interested or not. While the bimac may be a solitary animal, they can signal predators or prey to other California two-spotted octopus in the area.

How big is a California two-spot octopus?

The height or mantle size of a California two-spotted octopus can be around seven in (17.5 cm), while the tentacles or arms of bimac can be around 17-23 in (43-58.4 cm). They can be 12 times the size of an aquarium goldfish.

How fast can a California two-spot octopus swim?

Scientists have not yet estimated the average swimming speed of this octopus. Even though they can swim fast, they rely on stealth rather than speed while hunting. The average speed of a general octopus in the wild can be 25 mph (40 kmh).

How much does a California two-spot octopus weigh?

The weight of a bimac California two-spotted octopus is not known.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific male and female names for this species of bimac octopus.

What would you call a baby California two-spot octopus?

A baby California two-spotted octopus is called larvae after hatching an egg before they hatch.

What do they eat?

The California octopus bimaculoides has a carnivorous diet and eats a variety of fish species, mollusks, and crustaceans for food. They can feed on limpets, clams, mussels, snails, black abalone, shrimps, and small fishes. The predators of the Californian two-spotted octopus can be moray eels, sea lions, large fishes, seals, sperm whales, sea otters, some species of seabirds, and humans. They use their eyespots to trick the predators into thinking that it is their real eyes.

Are they dangerous?

All species of octopus can have some amount of venom. Fortunately, the California two-spotted octopus is one of the friendliest octopus species. The octopus bimaculoides won't easily run away when approached and can handle having company.

Would they make a good pet?

California two-spotted octopuses may be friendly, but they would not make the best marine pet. Their nocturnal behavior and high intelligence can make them bored easily. California two-spotted octopuses can easily get self-destructive if the aquarium they live in is too small. Investing in a larger tank for a California two-spot octopus pet can be very pricey.

Did you know...

The California two-spotted octopus is very intelligent and has sharp instincts in the sea. Apparently, the bimac can pick the correct escape if given the option to choose between two different paths with only one possible exit.

Are California two-spot octopuses endemic?

Yes, the Californian two-spotted octopus is endemic and native to northern California, southern Baja California as well as Mexico.

What is the longest living octopus?

Graneledone boreopacifica octopus females are known to protect their eggs for a period of four and a half years, without moving and without eating. They are found in the Northern Pacific region, but sadly, not much data is available about this deep-sea octopus as it is very rare. Scientists say that octopuses generally spend one-fourth of their lives protecting the eggs. This means that this octopus can live up to 18 years! For reference, most octopuses have a small lifespan and do not live more than 1-2 years.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover!  For more relatable content, check out these blue-ringed octopus facts and mimic octopus facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable octopus coloring pages.

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