Aquarium answers questions about mystery "octo-squid"

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow) – Ten year old Rocky Hawn was fishing in Kaneohe Bay off Heeia Kea Pier Wednesday when he made an unusual catch.

"I saw taco octopus in the regular holes inside the shallow, but not like this kind huge humongous squid / octopus or whatever it is," Hawn told Hawaii News Now.

Hawn proudly displayed his catch in the family carport Thursday and gave it a name.

"Octo-squid because the top half takes after a squid and the bottom half takes after an octopus," Hawn explained.

Not even his grandfather Tommy Hawn, who has been diving for 50 years, has seen an animal like the "octo-squid."

"You got four loose legs and then you got four together in a webbing like a bat. I never seen anything like this," the elder Hawn remarked.

The mystery critter has eight tentacles like an octopus. But its bullet shaped head makes it look more like a squid.

Since the Hawns did not know what Rocky had caught they contacted the Waikiki Aquarium looking for answers. It turns out it is not an "octo-squid" after all.

"What it looks like is a blanket octopus or a veiled octopus. These guys are pelagic octopus found way out in the open ocean, so you normally wouldn't see these guys in shore," said aquarium biologist Norton Chan after looking at pictures of Rocky's catch.

Chan said the blanket or veiled octopus gets its name because when its tentacles are spread the webbing between the tentacles resemble a blanket or veil. Chan said it is very unusual to find this kind of octopus close to shore and it has probably been ten years since anyone has brought one to the aquarium.

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