Maori Octopus; an Animal Profile

Image Credit: Brian Gratwicke

Common name(s): Maori octopus, Macroctopus, New Zealand Octopus.

Scientific name: Pinnoctopus cordiformis

Class: cephalopoda

Order: octopoda

Size and weight: Can be greater than one metre in length and weigh around 9 kilograms.

Habitat: Found around the coast of New Zealand, commonly on the sea floor. It is known to reside in seagrass and seaweed beds.

Conservation status: nomen dubrium, not yet assessed.

Appearance: purple-grey or orange-brown in colour with “iridescent white spots…on the arms and web”.

Lifespan: Not well known but it is thought to be approximately twelve to twenty four months, depending on mating time.

Diet: mainly consists of crayfish, crabs and shellfish.

Predators: sharks, albatross, sea lions and whales, among other marine organisms.

Breeding: Upon reaching full size, the octopus starts to find a mate. After mating, the male octopus dies,l eaving the female to brood the eggs (there are tens of thousand of eggs). The female stays with the eggs for around eighty days and shortly before the eggs hatch, she leaves the den and dies.

Interesting Facts:

  1. In an attempt to deter predators, it can release an ink-like substance, as a method of self-defence.
  2. This species has very developed eyes.
  3. No bone structure – this allows the octopus to escape from predators and confined spaces.



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