Physical Description

  • Soft-bodied mollusc with eight tentacles.
  • A small octopus, only about 18 inches long.
  • Distinguished by two bright blue spots on the sides of its body that mimic eyes. The large blue spots are there to confuse predators into thinking those are its actual eyes.
  • Body has mottled brown coloration, but like other octopi, it can change body color and texture.
  • Juveniles are miniature adults, fully capable of hunting and feeding themselves.


  • Northern California to Baja California, Mexico.


  • Lives in intertidal and subtidal habitats.
  • Lives at depths of up to 15 feet.
  • Prefers rocky reefs, canyon ledges, small caves, even abandoned pipes.


  • Reach mating age at around 1 year of age, 2 in captivity.
  • Can mate at any time of year, most often in warmer months.
  • Mate once in their lifetime, through internal fertilization.
  • The male dies soon after mating.
  • Females can lay 70,000 eggs at once.
  • Females will tend eggs continuously for 2-4 months until they hatch.
  • Female often dies during this period due to starvation and exhaustion.


  • Limpets, black abalone, snails, clams, hermit crabs, small fishes.


  • Moray eels, harbor seals, sea lions.

Interesting Facts

  • The two-spot octopus typically lives for one year, and dies after having offspring. But they can live up to 2 years in captivity.
  • They hatch out of the egg fully capable of hunting and feeding themselves! 
  • As they are mainly nocturnal, two-spot octopi have incredibly developed eyes to help them see at night.
  • All of their meat and skin is edible.

Sources: California Sea Grant; Monterey Bay Aquarium