The two-spot octopus (Octopus bimaculatus) is the most common octopus species found along the Pacific coast of North America from Santa Barbara, California, USA to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Unlike its cousin, the giant Pacific octopus, the two-spot octopus is not of great size, reaching an overall length of body and arms of no more than 24 inches (61 cm).
The common name is derived from the eye spot (ocelli) found beneath each eye. While the real eyes are somewhat camouflaged, the eye spots can be flashed a bright blue with a black center to either frighten or distract other animals.
When it comes to actual vision, the eye of the octopus, and that of its relatives the squid and cuttlefish, rivals that of vertebrates. Like the vertebrate eye, the eye of the octopus is a camera-type eye, meaning it uses a lens to form an image on a retina. This makes sense when you consider that the octopus is an extremely active predator. Relying not only on sight, but also touch and chemical cues akin to smell, the octopus is quite effective when it comes to tracking down a meal.
Today's photo graph was taken at Santa Catalina Island off the coast of southern California. This denizen was hiding against a rock and appeared to be holding the shell of a common marine snail in front of itself. I couldn't tell if the snail was alive, or if the shell was empty. I was experimenting with a new macro set-up that allows me to magnify the image from the lens even further. It also, however, greatly reduces the depth of field of the photo, and the overall focus range. It was impossible to get the octopus and the shell into the frame.
This photo was taken with a Canon EF100 mm f/4 macro lens attached to Canon EF12 II and EF25 II extension tubes on a Canon EOS 5D Mk. III in an Ikelite underwater housing. Lighting was provided by two Ikelite DS-161 Substrobes in manual mode. The exposure was set to 1/30 sec at f/13 and ISO 400.
Visit www.chuckkopczakphotography.com to read more blogs or see more of my photos.