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Eledone cirrhosa

Eledone cirrhosa

Curled octopus

   Eledone cirrhosa is a cephalopod of 50 cm long. Its upper side is red, yellow or yellow-orange, its underside white. Its body is finely tuberculate. Like other cephalopods, curled octopus can instantly change its body colour to match with the background colour. The head is oval, small and narrow. The large mantle spreads between eight long and slender arms. Tentacles have a single row of sucking discs and their tappering ends are curled when at rest. It feeds on large crustaceans such as lobsters and edible crabs using its powerful beak to pierce carapace. Common, it lives on rocky bottoms as well as on sand or mud.
Eledone cirrhosa is found between 10 and 150 m deep, but sometimes down to 800 meters, in the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel, the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.


 (source: European Register of Marine Species)

  • Mollusca [Phylum]
  • Conchifera [Subphylum]
  • Cephalopoda [Class]
  • Coleoidea [Subclass]
  • Octopodiformes [Superorder]
  • Octopoda [Order]
  • Incirrata [Suborder]
  • Octopodoidea [Superfamily]
  • Octopodidae [Family]
  • Eledone cirrhosa (Lamarck, 1798)

Page glossary

Beak : Pair of horny jaws that has a parrot's beak shape.


Top photograph :
© Mat Vestjens. Published with author's kind permission : 
Eledone cirrhosa, Oban, West Highlands, West Scotland. Depth 12 meters.
Text :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2008-2020.
Translation :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2008-2020.

How to cite this page in publications

Bay-Nouailhat A., September 2008, Description of Eledone cirrhosa, Available on line at http://www.european-marine-life.org/14/eledone-cirrhosa.php, consulted on 06 August 2020.
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