Jian's Senior Project

Den and Diet Differences of the Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dolfeini) Throughout Eastern Pacific Range


        The North Pacific giant octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is the world’s largest octopus. E. dofleini is a coastal species ranging in depth from intertidal to several hundred meters, preys on crustaceans, bivalves, and fish and ranges from the Bering Sea to California in the eastern portion of the range. The purpose of this survey is to contribute to the description and understanding of the habitat selection, abundance, distribution, and diet compositions of E. dofleini in the rocky intertidal beaches of western North America from Alaska to southern California. E. dofleini is common in intertidal habitats in south-central Alaska, but this distribution is not well known in other parts of the range. This study will attempt to answer the following questions: 1) How does den density vary along the latitude gradient of the West coast of North America? 2) Does diet vary along the range of E. dofleini? 3) At what point in its range does E. dofleini disappear from the intertidal? The study will be conducted in July and August 2010 at approximately ten rocky beaches at low tides (below bottom 15% of tidal range). Intertidal beach walks will be conducted at each site where middens will be collected and den density, location, depth, and substrate documented. Results will be compared with data collected in Alaska by Professor David Scheel and possibly published.


Octopus Survey Photos