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  • José H. Leal

The Photogenic Wonderpus

Despite its striking (and very unusual) appearance, the Wunderpus Octopus was only described as a species new to science in 2006. Wunderpus photogenicus Hochberg, Norman, & Finn, 2006 have a typical coloration of white band-like markings over a reddish-brown background, but no two individuals show exactly the same pattern. In addition to the distinctive coloration, Wonderpus Octopuses have very long, slender arms and eyes at the end of elongated stalks that protrude from the mantle. They are masters of camouflage, and are able to mimic other, venomous (and more aggressive) octopus species to keep predators at bay. The photo was taken by Jeannette Johnson in Anilao, Philippine Islands.


Wunderpus photogenicus. Notice the eyestalks on the center of the image. Photo by Jeannette Johnson.