Caribbean Reef Octopus

By: Carley Burleson


The Caribbean Reef Octopus is one that has a interesting look to it.

  • The combination of green and blue color is something that catches people’s attention. There can also have brown on them which ranges in shades of color.
  • They are able to change the pigment of their body easily. This is a method they use to protect themselves from predators, also known as camouflage.
  • One way to tell the Reef Octopus from a Common Octopus is by looking at the eyes.
  • The Caribbean Reef Octopus has very dark circles of color around them.
  • The body is about 5 inches in length but the span of the arms is fairly a bit more. This can cover the space of approximately 23 inches.

Life History

  • The Reef Octopus reproduces sexually.
  • Fertile female Reef Octopuses collected from the Florida Keys have been observed laying about 500 large eggs around January. After around 50-80 days the eggs hatch.
  • Within about 17 weeks after being hatched, the young Octopi reach about 75% of the adults size.
  • The Female Caribbean reef octopuses are sexually mature in 150 days and males in 140 days.


  • The Caribbean Reef Octopus lives in warm waters around coral reef environments.
  • The Caribbean reef octopus lives in hidden, rocky lairs. Their lairs are normally created in warm shallow waters.
  • Reef Octopuses are common throughout the Western Atlantic, Bahamas, Caribbean and the coasts of northern South America.


  • This Octopus is one of the most intelligent of all invertebrates.
  • The Reef Octopus, while not considered very aggressive, will show cannibalistic qualities if individuals are kept too close in captivity .
  • This octopus has the ability to remember where a foe resides and then avoids it.


  • The Reef Octopus feeds on crabs, shrimp, lobsters and a variety of fish.
  • This octopus is preyed on by sharks, stingrays and other predatory fish.
  • This species often feed by spreading its webbed arms forming a canopy to net its prey.