Your Guide To Octopuses In Belize
Known as the brains of the sea and easily categorized by their many long tentacles, ability to change colour, and charmingly cute appearance, octopuses are very popular among divers. While there are over 300 species of octopuses in the world, they’re seemingly a bit rarer in Belize. In fact, out of all the octopuses on the planet, you’re most likely to see the Caribbean Reef Octopus on your Belizean dive. Here’s your guide to the Caribbean Reef Octopus, the species that you may be lucky enough to meet in person when visiting Belize.
Out of all the octopuses in the world, the Caribbean Reef Octopus in Belize is particularly easy to spot and identify by its eyes. The Caribbean Reef Octopus has large brown eyes with distinctive dark circles around them, making them appear quite intense. The octopus’s size might also help indicate what species it is, as the Caribbean Reef Octopuses who live in Belize will grow to about 36 inches in length from head to tentacle. However, their size can depend on the size and quality of their environment.
All octopuses are quite beautiful and exciting to observe, and the octopuses in Belize are no different. As scientists and divers alike have observed octopuses’ behaviour, they’ve learned that they’re one of the smartest creatures in the sea. Octopuses have a great memory and they use it to learn and prevent mistakes from occurring. If an octopus is confronted with a predator, it will quickly learn and remember where that predator resides and begin to steer clear of that area. The octopuses’ tentacles act less as fingers and more as eyes to determine the direction and size and shape of prey, and while naturally a light brown or beige colour, octopuses can easily change the hue of their skin to better camouflage into their surroundings.
Octopus Predators And Their Defence Mechanisms
Unfortunately, the octopuses of Belize do have a handful of predators that they must be on the lookout for. Stingrays, eels, various fish, and small sharks are often on the hunt for octopuses, and so are many humans, as octopuses are used in popular Caribbean recipes like calamari and ceviche. However, all hope is not lost for the octopuses in Belize, as they have a few tricks up their sleeves. Among being masters of camouflage, octopuses are also quite fast swimmers, and of course, they’re also able to spray purple ink to disorient their predators. Although many different species may be after the octopuses of Belize for a meal, the octopuses of Belize know how to fight for themselves!
Come dive and explore for octopus in Belize!
Visit Belize Dive Haven to explore an aquatic world unlike any other.
Just 30 miles from Belize City, Belize Dive Haven is located in pristine Turneffe Atoll. Consisting of creeks, lagoons, mangrove islands and cays, the atoll is home to over 500 species of fish, 65 different species of stony corals as well as birds, turtles, manatees and dolphins.