Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 143, Issue 6, pp 1127–1133 | Cite as

Diet of Octopus vulgaris in False Bay, South Africa

  • C. D. SmithEmail author
Research Article

Abstract

The diet of Octopus vulgaris was analysed using instantaneous daytime observations, midden counts, and stomach contents and a total of 39 prey species were identified. From stomach contents, the most important prey species were Plagusia chabrus (64.6% IRI, index of relative importance) and Haliotis midae (21.6% IRI). Crustaceans were the most frequently found prey group in octopus stomachs (63.6% frequency of occurrence), followed by molluscs (37.6%), teleosts (11.2%), and polychaetes (10.8%). Prey size and diversity increased with increasing octopus size. From middens, the mean shell lengths of H. midae consumed by small, medium, and large O. vulgaris were 53.3, 72.6, and 86.0 mm, respectively. Compared with stomach contents, midden counts were 3 times higher for shelled molluscs, but 5 times lower for crustaceans and soft-bodied organisms. Similarly, instantaneous daytime observations were 3 times higher for shelled molluscs, but 5 times lower for crustaceans and 2 times lower for soft-bodied organisms.

Keywords

Polychaete Stomach Content Prey Item Shell Length Prey Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to the former Foundation for Research and Development for funding and to the University of Cape Town for the use of their facilities. A special thanks to the committee of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve for allowing sampling to be conducted at Buffels Bay. Thanks also to Dr. J. Groenevald for his invaluable comments on the manuscript. Lastly, I am deeply indebted to Mr. D. Padiachee and Mrs. L. Smith for their field and lab assistance.

References

  1. Ambrose RF (1983) Midden formation by octopuses: the role of biotic and abiotic factors. Mar Behav Physiol 10:137–144Google Scholar
  2. Ambrose RF (1984) Food preferences, prey availability, and the diet of Octopus bimaculatus Verrill. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 77:29–44Google Scholar
  3. Ambrose RF, Nelson BV (1983) Predation by Octopus vulgaris in the Mediterranean. Mar Ecol Pubbl Stn Zool Napoli I 4:251–261Google Scholar
  4. Ambrose RF, Leighton BJ, Hartwick EB (1988) Characteristics of boreholes by Octopus dofleini in the bivalve Saxidomus giganteus. J Zool Proc Zool Soc Lond 214:491–503Google Scholar
  5. Boucaud-Camou E, Boucher-Rodoni R, Mangold K (1976) Digestive absorption in Octopus vulgaris (Cephalopoda, Octapoda). J Zool (Lond) 179:261–271Google Scholar
  6. Boyle PR (1997) Octopus interactions with crustacean fisheries. In: Lang MA, Hochberg FG (eds) Proceedings of the Workshop on the Fishery and Market Potential of Octopus in California. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., pp 125–129Google Scholar
  7. Cortez T, Castro BG, Guerra A (1995) Feeding dynamics of Octopus mimus (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) in northern Chile waters. Mar Biol 123:497–503Google Scholar
  8. Day E, Branch GM (2000) Evidence for a positive relationship between juvenile abalone (Haliotis midae) and the sea urchin (Parenchinus angulosus), in the south-western Cape, South Africa. S Afr J Mar Sci 22:145–156Google Scholar
  9. Dodge R, Scheel D (1999) Remains of the prey—recognizing the midden piles of Octopus dofleini (Wulker). Veliger 42:260–266Google Scholar
  10. Forsythe JW, Hanlon RT (1997) Foraging and associated behaviour by Octopus cyanea Gray, 1849 on a coral atoll, French Polynesia. J Expl Mar Biol Ecol 209:15–31Google Scholar
  11. Guerra A (1978) Sobre la alimentacion y el comportamiento alimentario de Octopus vulgaris. Inv Pesq 42:351–364Google Scholar
  12. Guerra A (1981) Spatial distribution pattern of Octopus vulgaris. J Zool Proc Zool Soc Lond 195:133–146Google Scholar
  13. Guerra A (1997) Octopus vulgaris: review of the world fishery. In: Lang MA, Hochberg FG (eds) Proceedings of the Workshop on the Fishery and Market Potential of Octopus in California. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., pp 91–97Google Scholar
  14. Hartwick B (1983) Octopus dofleini. In: Boyle PR (ed) Cephalopod life cycles, vol 1. Species accounts. Academic Press, New York, pp 277–291Google Scholar
  15. Hartwick EB, Breen PA, Tulloch L (1978) A removal experiment with Octopus dofleini (Wulker). J Fish Res Bd Can 35:1492–1495Google Scholar
  16. Hatanaka H (1979) Studies on the fisheries biology of common octopus off the northwest coast of Africa. Bull Far Seas Fish Res Lab 17(54):13–124Google Scholar
  17. Joll LM (1977) The predation of pot-caught western rock lobster (Panulirus longipes cygnus) by Octopus. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Report 29. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Western AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  18. Kojima H (1992) Octopus predation on the abalone Haliotis discus discus. Department of Fisheries (South Australia), AdelaideGoogle Scholar
  19. Mangold K (1983) Octopus vulgaris. In: Boyle PR (ed) Cephalopod life cycles, vol 1. Species accounts. Academic Press, New York, pp 335–361Google Scholar
  20. Mangold K (1997) Octopus vulgaris: review of the biology. In: Lang MA, Hochberg FG (eds) Proceedings of the Workshop on the Fishery and Market Potential of Octopus in California. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., pp 85–90Google Scholar
  21. Mather JA (1991) Foraging, feeding and prey remains in middens of juvenile Octopus vulgaris (Mollusca: Cephalopoda). J Zool Proc Zool Soc Lond 224:27–39Google Scholar
  22. Mather JA, O'Dor RK (1991) Foraging strategies and predation risk shape the natural history of juvenile Octopus vulgaris. Bull Mar Sci 49:256–269Google Scholar
  23. Nigmatullin CM, Ostapenko AA (1976) Feeding of Octopus vulgaris Lam. from the northwest Africa coast. ICES CM 1–15Google Scholar
  24. Nixon M (1987) Cephalopod diets. In: Boyle PR (ed) Cephalopod life cycles, vol 2. Comparative reviews. Academic Press, New York, pp 201–219Google Scholar
  25. Pinkas L, Oliphant MS, Iverson ILK (1971) Food habits of albacore, bluefin tuna and bonito in California waters. Fish Bull Calif 152:105Google Scholar
  26. Quetglas A, Alemany F, Carbonell A, Merella P, Sanchez P (1998) Biology and fishery of Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797, caught by trawlers in Mallorca (Balearic Sea, western Mediterranean). Fish Res 36:237–249Google Scholar
  27. Rees WJ, Lumby JR (1954) The abundance of Octopus in the English Channel. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 33:515–536Google Scholar
  28. Ritchie LD (1972) Octopus predation on pot-caught rock lobster, Hokianga area, New Zealand, September to October 1970. Fisheries Tech Rep 81. New Zealand Marine DepartmentGoogle Scholar
  29. Sanchez P, Obarti R (1993) The biology and fishery of Octopus vulgaris caught with clay pots on the Spanish Mediterranean coast. In: Okutani T, O'Dor RK, Kubodera T (ed) Recent advances in fisheries biology. Tokai University Press, Tokyo, pp 477–487Google Scholar
  30. Smale MJ, Buchan PR (1981) Biology of Octopus vulgaris off the east coast of South Africa. Mar Biol 65:1–12Google Scholar
  31. Smith CD, Griffiths CL (2002) Aspects of the population biology of Octopus vulgaris in False Bay, South Africa. S Afr J Mar Sci 24:185–192Google Scholar
  32. Tarr RJQ (2000) The South African abalone (Haliotis midae) fishery: a decade of challenges and change. In: Campbell A (ed) Workshop on Rebuilding Abalone Stocks in British Columbia. Can Spec Publ Fish Aquat Sci 130:32–40Google Scholar
  33. Tarr RJQ, Williams PVG, Mackenzie AJ (1996) Abalone sea urchins and rock lobster: a possible shift that may affect traditional fisheries. S Afr J Mar Sci 17:319–323Google Scholar
  34. Villanueva R (1993) Diet and mandibular growth of Octopus magnificus (Cephalopoda). S Afr J Mar Sci 13:121–126Google Scholar
  35. Vincent TLS, Scheel D, Hough KR (1998) Some aspects of the diet and foraging behavior of Octopus dofleini (Wülker, 1910) in its northernmost range. Mar Ecol Pubbl Stn Zool Napoli I 19:13–29Google Scholar
  36. Whitaker JD, Delancey LB, Jenkins JE (1991) Aspects of the biology and fishery potential for Octopus vulgaris off the coast of South Carolina. Bull Mar Sci 49:482–493Google Scholar
  37. Zar JH (1984) Biostatistical analysis. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marine and Coastal ManagementRogge Bay, Cape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Marine Biology Research InstituteUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations