Cirrate or Dumbo octopus (Opisthoteuthis agassizii)

Photo Credit: S.W. Ross and M. Rhode (UNCW)

Description: Named after the flying Disney elephant, the dumbo octopus has ear-like fins used for swimming or ‘flying’ through the water. The dumbo octopus doesn’t have ink sacks like other octopi and this species has spine like hairs along its tentacles called cirri that may be used for feeding. Dumbo octopi have very strange breeding habits; a female takes and stores sperm packets from the males under her skin allowing her to fertilize her eggs whenever she wants to.

Depth Profile

Figure 2: Approximate depth range of Cirrate or Dumbo octopus (black box). Slope of seafloor is a generalized representation of the Gulf of Mexico shelf and outer continental shelf.