As someone mentioned, today’s Friday Cephalopod has a rather fractal appearance.
Octopus abaculus is found only in the Phillippine Islands. It was formally described and named in 1997 by M.D. Norman and M.J. Sweeney 1:
The shallow-water octopuses of the Philippines are diagnosed on the basis of material collected in a series of expeditions by the Smithsonian Institution to the region between 1978 and 1990. Twenty species of shallow-water octopuses are recognised, 18 in the genus Octopus, and one species each in the genera Hapalochlaena and Cistopus. Three new species are described from Philippine waters: Octopus abaculus, O. nocturnus and O. pumilus. Octopuses reported in the earlier work of G. L. Voss on the cephalopod fauna of the Philippines are reviewed and identifications updated. A diagnostic key and illustrations are provided along with information on taxonomy, distribution, aspects of life history and importance in fisheries.
Here’s some information about benthic octopuses (PDF), written by M.D. Norman, from a FAO species identfication guide2.
- Norman, M.D. and M.J. Sweeney. The shallow-water octopuses (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae) of the Philippines, Invertebrate Taxonomy, 11 (1), 89-140. Full text doi:10.1071/IT95026.
- Carpenter, Kent E and Volker H. Niem. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery: The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific, Volume 2: Cephalopods, crustaceans, holothurians and sharks. ISSN 1020-6868.