A smart little octopus

Check this out! Look very closely in the opening of the shell …

Octopus in shell

Octopus in shell © M Reid

Usually it’s hermit crabs which move into empty shells, but in this case a tiny octopus is using it for shelter. I’ve put my finger in for scale, so you can see how little it really is.

Octopus beside shell

Octopus out of its shell © M Reid

Charlie found the shell and its owner out on a flat sandy area, offshore from Denham Bay. There was no other shelter around so the smart octopus was making the best of what was available.

UPDATE: Ross asked if we knew what kind of shell the wee octopus was hiding in. Well, Mandy is not quite sure. It’s in the family Turbinidae, and possibly one of two species that are endemic to the Kermadecs. Here is a view of the top of the shell, in case anyone out there can help us identify it.

Top of shell

Can you help us identify the shell the octopus used as shelter?

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4 Responses to “A smart little octopus”

    • Melanie

      Hi Ross, thanks for your question – I have put it to the team and we should get an answer in between dives and specimen sorting

      Reply
  1. Kerry

    Shell is Angaria delphinus, Angariidae, a common species from the indo-pacific and the Kermadec Islands, New Zealand

    Reply

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