The flapjack octopus is a member of the distinctive cirrate octopod family of octopuses. When these strange-looking cephalopods spread their arms out to float down to the seafloor, the webbing between them makes them resemble deep-sea umbrellas. Cirrate octopuses have mantles that feature two fins that resemble little elephant ears. The Flapjack Octopus can swim better thanks to these adorable fins.
Flapjack Octopus Appearance
The flapjack octopus typically has a pink appearance. They have fins above their eyes that resemble those of some squid species. Their maximal mantle length is 20 centimeters (7.9 in). They feature eight jointed legs that are attached to one another to form an umbrella. They move through dark water using a gelatinous body that stretches into a parachute shape. The flapjack octopus eats planktonic crustaceans and tiny fish. They may move their fins, pump water through their funnel for jet propulsion, pulsate their webbed arms, or do all three at once to move through the water. Their depth range is 200 meters (660 feet) for larvae and 500 meters (1,600 feet) to 1,500 meters (1,600-4,900 feet) for adults.
Although it is unknown how long the species will live, it may be presumed that they will live for at least as long as their estimated embryonic development period, which is between 1.4 and 2.6 years, allows.
Distribution & Habitat
They have been discovered at 350 m depths in California near the Eureka Bar. Additionally found in Japan at 530-560 m off Kashima-Nada, in the Bering Sea to the Sea of Okhotsk, to central Honsh in the northwestern sections of the Pacific Ocean, and to southern portions of California in the northeastern parts of the Pacific. But the majority of species are found off the Californian and Japanese shores. The usual depth range for para-larvae is 200 meters, whereas, for adults that have reached maturity, it is 500–1500 meters.
Since just a small number of these flapjack octopuses have been caught so far, nothing is known about this species. They can be found in the waters that are the focus of the present-day fishery, together with numerous other opisthoteuthid species.
The movement of these mollusks’ fins, swimming, and pulsing of their tiny webbed arms all contribute to their movement. They sometimes use jet propulsion through their funnel to move by pushing the water. The three processes mentioned above, however, can all be used simultaneously.
The majority of the time when they hunt or forage for food, they pounce on their target and slay them with their beaks.
Reproduction & Life Cycle
These are gonochoric, like the majority of other members of the Cephalopoda class, with the male and female being very different from one another. The female flapjack octopuses would wait until brooding whereas the adult males typically pass away soon after spawning.
The males of the species have been observed engaging in a variety of sexual rituals before mating, which they use to entice possible mates.
The male flapjack octopus would grab the female by the body and insert its hectocotylus, a modified arm used by male flapjack octopuses and some other cephalopods to transfer sperm to the female’s body, into the mantle cavity, the central cavity of a mollusk, where the females’ normal fertilization takes place.
An adult female can lay anywhere from 225 to 475 eggs. The embryos emerge into a planktonic stage after hatching. The newborn or juvenile flapjack octopuses stay with the mother for a relatively brief period of time before becoming big and finally moving into the benthic environment to live as independent adults.