Common Octopus

Common Octopus

The common octopus is found in the Mediterranean Sea and off the coast of South Africa. They can also be found off the south coast of Britain. They tend to live up to 500 metres below the surface of the ocean in rocky areas.

Zoo Diet

Our octopus, Kraken, is fed dead fish and squid, usually only a few times a week. 

Wild Diet

In the wild they eat crabs, bivalves and gastropods, as well as polychaetes (bristle worms) and other cephalopods. They can feed by ambush, but usually feed by active hunting. 
The octopus can grip on to prey with very muscular arms and also has a parrot-like beak and venom to help paralyse and digest prey. 


The common octopus is typically solitary. Some other species of octopus have been seen in groups.
They can change colour and skin texture to blend in with their surroundings and squeeze into small crevices with their extremely soft bodies.


Breeding season occurs from February to October, but peaks in April, May and August. Males and females only come together to breed. Once mating has occurred the female finds a den and lays eggs. The male doesn’t show any parental care.
The female will look after the eggs (100,00-500,000) until they hatch, during which time she will stop growing and feeding. Both males and females will die after this. Incubation length depends on sea temperature, but is around 4-5 months.
The young hatchlings stay in the plankton for 45-60 days, where most are eaten (hence the brood size). After this they will settle to the bottom of the seabed, where they spend most of the rest of their life. 


They are fished for by trawling on a large scale along the Western coast of Africa.


There are currently no conservation projects identified for the common octopus.

Common Octopus Common Octopus


  • Latin Name: Octopus vulgaris
  • Order: Octopoda
  • Family: Octopodidae
  • Conservation Status: Data Deficient
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