LONG ARMED OCTOPUS ON SHOW AT AQUARIUM

A new species of octopus has gone on display at Bristol Aquarium.

The white-spotted, or Atlantic, octopus is noted for its particularly long tentacles and, as its common name suggests, it is covered in light coloured dots.

As well as the Atlantic Ocean, the cephalopod which measures close to half a metre in length, is also found throughout the Mediterranean Sea as well as the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.

Bristol Aquarium curator, Dan de Castro, said: “The octopus came from another wildlife collection who had it since it was a baby.

“We believe it is now around 18 months old and almost fully grown. It is settling in well here at the aquarium.

“Initially we have put it on display in a tank as part of our Learning Lab area but the longer term plan is for it to move in to one our bubble tanks – once we have constructed a secure lid for the display as this species of octopus is something of an escape artist!” he added.

In the wild the white-spotted octopus is a renowned and opportunistic hunter. As well as having longer than average tentacles, the octopus also has more suckers than many other species.

It is thought these extra suckers enable it to hunt and forage for prey more successfully.

The octopus hunts mainly at night and sensory organs within the tentacles also enable it to sense and feel for food in low light levels.

Issued by Bristol Aquarium. For more information and to arrange interviews, picture or filming opportunities please contact David Waines or Tina Patel on 0117 929 8929 or Dan de Castro or Juan Iraola on 0117 934 0943.