Wild Fact #203 – The Colourful Impersonator – Wunderpus Octopus

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Did You Know?

  • The Wunderpus Octopus may have the coolest name among all octopi
  • Each individual Wunderpus Octopus has unique white markings on their body…Like a fingerprint! <——Click Here to Tweet This
  • The scientific name for this creatures is Wunderpus photogenicus (I swear I am not making this up)

The Photogenic Octopus

By simply looking at the latin name of this octopus, you could probably tell that they play a big role in the tourism industry. Yes, the Wunderpus Octopus is a beautiful creature that is often the focus of underwater divers, photographers and of course aquarium enthusiasts. Let’s just say a lot of hobbies would be ruined if this cephalopod wasn’t as photogenic (you can tell by the pictures included in today’s post that the Wunderpus loves the camera). Luckily, this octopus enjoys living in shallow waters from Bali and Sulawesi north to the Philippines and east over to Vanuatu. So basically, you have a pretty good chance of seeing this colourful octopus if you are snorkelling anywhere around Indonesia and the Philippines.

Wunderpus Octopus

Click for photo source

Stunning Beauty

So why is everyone taking pictures of the Wunderpus? Because their colours are stunning, that’s why. As mentioned earlier, they have well defined white spots on their back and stripes along their eight arms, which looks quite striking against their orangey-brown body colour. Although, you may think that these animals are quite unique, they are often mixed up with another sea creature known as the Mimic Octopus, but today’s featured animal has a more defined marking pattern. Oh, and they typically don’t come out of hiding until dusk whereas the Mimic Octopus typically hunts during the daylight hours. I guess this means if you want to see a Wunderpus you will have to go diving at either dusk or dawn.

It’s Not What You Think

Much like the Mimic Octopus, the Wunderpus is able to not only blend into their natural environment but initiate the creatures that live within their ecosystem. This includes animals such as harmless crabs and lobsters to the more dangerous Lionfish and Poisonous Sea Snake, for those times when they don’t want to be bothered by pesky predators. Actually, I think the best way to describe their uncanny mimicking ability to mimic is to end this post with a video. Press play below and prepare to be amazed.

Slider Photo Credits:
Photo 1: Jenny Huang

Photo 2: Badlandz Adventure Divers

Photo 3: Jenny Huang

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