Original Articles

Diet and mandibular growth of Octopus magnificus (Cephalopoda)

Published in: South African Journal of Marine Science
Volume 13, issue 1, 1993 , pages: 121–126
DOI: 10.2989/025776193784287239
Author(s): R. Villanueva


The diet of Octopus magnificus was studied from 102 specimens collected at depths of 80–550 m in the South-East Atlantic between March 1989 and November 1990. The diet was similar in both males and females, with benthic decapod crustaceans constituting the major component. The deep-sea portunid crab Bathynectes piperitus was the primary food resource (frequency of occurrence 67,4%) of O. magnificus on the continental slope off Namibia. Hermit crabs Parapagurus sp. (20%) and the hagfish Myxine capensis (14,4%) were also abundant prey items in the diet. Benthopelagic Osteichthyes also made a significant contribution to the diet of medium and large individuals (58,1%) and the following were identified: Maurolicus muelleri, Lampanyctodes hectoris, Symbolophorus sp., Merluccius paradoxus, Merluccius sp., Coelorinchus sp., Helicolenus dactylopterus, Paracallionymus costatus and Sufflogobius bibarbatus. The relationships between six beak measurements and total weight were determined and proved to be not significantly different between the sexes. The crest length of the upper beak was the measurement that yielded the best fit on total weight.

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