Bioluminescent Octopus

Names :

Glowing Sucker Octopus

Stauroteuthis Syrtensis

Bioluminescent Octopus

Length and Weight:

The mantle length of Stauroteuthis syrtensis is about 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 in) and its width about 4 cm (1.6 in). The fins are some 4 to 6 cm (1.6 to 2.4 in) in width. The eight arms are of unequal length, the longest extending to about 35 cm (14 in). They typically weigh around 13 pounds.

Cool body parts or features:

Their fins are joined for two-thirds of their length by two webs, a dorsal complete membrane and a ventral partial one, giving the animal an umbrella-like shape.


The Bioluminescent Octopus emits a blue-green light from about 40 modified suckers known as photophores, situated in a single row between the pairs of cirri on the underside of each arm. The distance between these decreases towards the ends of the arms with the light becoming fainter. The animal does not emit light continuously, but can do so for a period of five minutes after suitable stimulation. Some of the photophores emit a continuous stream of faint light, while others are much brighter and switch on and off in a cyclical pattern, producing a twinkling effect

Where it lives:

The Bioluminescent Octopus is found in the North Atlantic Ocean at an extreme depth range of 500 to 4,000 m (1,600 to 13,100 ft). It is most frequently found a few hundred yards from the bottom of the ocean at depths between 4,900-8,200 ft. (1,500-2,500 m.). It seems to be fairly common off the edge of the continental shelf on the eastern coast of the United States, and has also been observed at similar depths off the British Isles.

What does it eat:

Bottom-dwelling species eat crustaceans, worms and bivalves. Those hovering above the bottom tend to eat pelagic copepods. They are unusual in that they mainly swallow prey whole.

Interesting Fact:

They convert chemical energy directly to light with almost 100% efficiency.Usually, light is produced when the organic molecule luciferin is oxidized by the enzyme luciferase—these chemicals are somewhat different for different organisms. Our own technology is far less efficient—for example, ordinary light bulbs literally produce far more heat than light.

The light that they emit comes from organs very similar to suckers. But instead of having sucking muscles, the organs have light-emitting cells.

Comment Stream

2 years ago

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