Common octopus Octopus vulgaris, copyright Kevin Bryant.

Belongs within: Octopodidae.

Octopus is a diverse genus of benthic octopuses with biserial suckers and a large crop. The genus may be divided between a number of morphologically distinct groups but its taxonomy remains uncertain owing to the unclear identity of the type species (O’Shea 1999).

<==Octopus Lamarck 1798 O99 [incl. Paroctopus Naef 1923 P61]
    |–*O. vulgaris Lamarck 1798 O99, L98
    |–O. africanus (Robson 1929) [=O. fontanianus var. africanus] O99
    |–O. alpheus Norman 1992 O99
    |–O. americanus G79
    |–O. apollyon S72
    |–O. aspilosomatis Norman 1992 O99
    |–O. australis Hoyle 1885 O99
    |–O. berrima Stranks & Norman 1992 O99
    |–O. bimaculatus SRT18
    |–O. bimaculoides C-S18
    |–O. bunorong O99
    |–O. campbelli (Smith 1902) [=Polypus campbelli, Joubinia campbelli, Robsonella campbelli] O99
    |–O. cirrhosus Lamarck 1798 L98
    |–O. cyaneas Gray 1929 BW09
    |–O. dierythraeus Norman 1992 O99
    |–O. fontanianus d’Orbigny 1835 O99
    |–O. gibbsi O’Shea 1999 O99
    |–O. granulatus Lamarck 1798 L98
    |–O. graptus Norman 1992 O99
    |–O. hummelincki O99
    |–O. huttoni (Benham 1943) (see below for synonymy) O99
    |–O. joubini Robson 1929 M88
    |–O. kaharoa O’Shea 1999 O99
    |–O. kaurna O99
    |–O. macropus O99
    |–O. mernoo O’Shea 1999 O99
    |–O. moschatus Lamarck 1798 L98
    |–O. oliveri (Berry 1914) [=Polypus oliveri] O99
    |–O. ornatus O99
    |–O. oshimae Sasaki 1929 O99
    |–O. pallidus O99
    |–O. punctatus Gabb 1862 C64
    |–O. rapanui Voss 1979 O99
    |–O. rubescens AFL84
    |–O. rugosus (Bosc 1792) O99
    |–O. variabilis PP64
    `–O. zealandicus (Benham 1944) P61

Octopus huttoni (Benham 1943) [=Robsonella huttoni; incl. O. adamsi Benham 1944, O. otagoensis Benham 1943, O. warringa Stranks 1989] O99

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AFL84] Antonelis, G. A., Jr., C. H. Fiscus & R. L. de Long. 1984. Spring and summer prey of California sea lions, Zalophus californianus, at San Miguel Island, California, 1978-79. Fishery Bulletin 82 (1): 67–76.

[BW09] Bryce, C., & C. Whisson. 2009. The macromolluscs of Mermaid (Rowley Shoals), Scott and Seringapatam Reefs, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 77: 177–208.

[C64] Carpenter, P. P. 1864. Supplementary report on the present state of our knowledge with regard to the Mollusca of the west coast of North America. Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 33: 517–686.

[C-S18] Cavalier-Smith, T. 2018. Kingdom Chromista and its eight phyla: a new synthesis emphasising periplastid protein targeting, cytoskeletal and periplastid evolution, and ancient divergences. Protoplasma 255: 297–357.

[G79] Guppy, R. J. L. 1879. First sketch of a marine invertebrate fauna of the Gulf of Paria and its neighbourhood. Part I.—Mollusca. Journal of Conchology 2: 151–172.

[L98] Lamarck, C. 1798. Extrait d’un mémoire sur le genre de la sèche, du calmar et du poulpe, vulgairement nommés, polypes de mer. Bulletin des Sciences, par la Societé Philomathique de Paris 1 (17): 129–131.

[M88] McKinstry, D. M. 1988. Bite by Octopus joubini: a case report. Nautilus 102 (3): 127–128.

[O99] O’Shea, S. 1999. The marine fauna of New Zealand: Octopoda (Mollusca: Cephalopoda). NIWA Biodiversity Memoir 112: 1–280.

[PP64] Peres, J. M., & J. Picard. 1964. Nouveau manuel de bionomie benthique de la mer Mediterranee. Recueil des Travaux de la Station Marine d’Endoume, Bulletin 31 (27): 5–137.

[P61] Powell, A. W. B. 1961. Shells of New Zealand: An illustrated handbook 4th ed. Whitcombe and Tombs Limited: Christchurch.

[SRT18] Schiffer, P. H., H. E. Robertson & M. J. Telford. 2018. Orthonectids are highly degenerate annelid worms. Current Biology 28: 1970–1974.

[S72] Stunkard, H. W. 1972. Clarification of taxonomy in the Mesozoa. Systematic Zoology 21 (2): 210–214.

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