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A Mimic Octopus glides like a lionfish
The Mimic Octopus was first discovered in muck diving sites of Lembeh Straits in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. The Mimic Octopus is also found in Gorontalo. Miguel’s Diving has discovered several great muck diving sites over our years of operation.
Octopi are cephalopods with eight arms. One skill that fascinates divers is their ability to alter their coloration in dramatic ways. However, the Mimic Octopus is the only one known to change its movement. Scientists believe that the various movements are attempts to mimic the motion of other marine life. In the photo by Mr. Albert Hartono, scientists believe it is imitating a lionfish.
Watch the beautiful video shot by Mrs. Nila Tanzil Petersen. You can see a small Mimic Octopus imitate a swimming flounder. It uses its siphon to propel itself smoothly over the bottom. Do you see how it uses its tentacles to search for food? Watch as the dive guide pushes a crab towards the octopus. Notice when the Mimic Octopus envelopes and eats the crab. At the very end of the video, look for the small Shame-faced crab eluding the tentacles.
Since its initial discovery in 1998, scientists have observed numerous Mimic octopi. In 2005 researchers Norman and Hochberg finally gave this intriguing creature its official name. It is Thaumoctopus mimicus. This makes it one of the new species available in Gorontalo. Our dive guides know how to find them for you to see and photograph.
For Muck Divers Only
Unlike other species of octopi, the Mimic Octopus does not live in coral rich areas. It lives exclusively in silty environments. When muck diving in Sulawesi became fashionable, divers discovered this fascinating creature. Another photo of a Mimic Octopus from Gorontalo is available on our Muck Diving page.
Characteristics of the Mimic Octopus
This octopus has brown and white stripes. It lives in holes in rocky or silty areas. It has unusual appendages on top of its head. These look like eyebrows! This makes it easier to be spotted when it pokes its head out of the sand.
For your opportunity to see a Mimic Octopus in Gorontalo, please make a booking with us at email@example.com