Flapjack octopus

Flapjack Octopus (Opisthoteuthis sp.)

This squished-looking Flapjack Octopus (Opisthoteuthis sp.) was seen at Southern Hydrate Ridge during a site survey in 2022.
Photo credit: NSF-OOI/UW/CSSF, Dive R2228, V22

These small cirrate octopuses (often confused with Dumbo octopuses) are some of the deepest-living known octopus species. They are frequently  seen resting on the bottom (giving them their common name) or hovering over the seafloor using their prominent, ear-like fins extending from the mantle above the eyes. They are found worldwide, but have been occasionally seen on Southern Hydrate Ridge and Axial Seamount.

Flapjack octopuses (Opisthoteuthis sp.) are often confused with Dumbo octopuses (Grimpoteuthis sp.). They are not very closely related, but do have some similarities, as both are relatively small, use their fins to maneuver in the water, and have short arms. Flapjack octopuses are more squat, with larger eyes, smaller fins, more often orange in coloration, and shorter arms with more webbing between them.