A Tremoctopus violaceus, recently spotted in Puglia, is a shellfish halfway between an octopus and a cuttlefish, and is the secret dream of any marine biologist.
It is a rare species of cephalopod on which Italian researchers have been waiting to get their hands for 40 years to analyze its morphological and genetic characteristics. His study starts from the collaboration with the citizens of the area of Torre Canne, a fraction of the municipality of Fasano in the province of Brindisi, which finding a specimen beached have promptly made a video and communicated the sighting to the competent authorities. The bizarre animal, which measures between 5 and 10 cm in length, has become the subject of a scientific article published in the international magazine Mdpi.
In this regard, Pierluigi Carbonara, co-signator of the study, said: “This species had already been reported in the 80s. Biologists have always been fascinated by the fact that there were photos of finds in Ponza, but no specific studies have ever been carried out. Today, thanks to the contribution of the citizens, we have been able to analyse a sample of them. It is presumably an autochthonous cephalopod of the Mediterranean. We have evidence of female specimens only, because the males would be even smaller and useful only for reproduction. It is rare to find them because they probably live in the depths of the sea. Moreover, we have noticed that they are equipped with a mantle that comes off to confuse the predators, a more frequent characteristic in land animals than of sea.”
Tremoctopus is one of those animals that die after mating, at least as far as the male specimens are concerned, and among its peculiarities stands out a total immunity to the venom of the Portuguese Caravella. Speaking of cuttlefish, did you know that they passed a test that many children didn’t pass?