Mimic Article


Premium Member
I don't know how many people see "California WIld", a slick science and nature magazine put out by the California Academy of Sciences, but the Summer, 2003 issue that just appeared has an aritcle on the "mimic octopus" written by Dave Butvill. The piece has several photographs of octopus "mimicking" the usual cast of characters.. The only problem is that the article is full errors, it perpetuates several myths about mimics and blue-rings, and over half of the photographs are not of the mimic, but of "wonderpus", another species that lives in the same general habitat. Still, if you like dramatic pictures of this group of octopuses, the photos are good.

Kinda off topic but I saw the one episode of 'The Most Extreme' that was on disguise and the mimic octo got 1st. It showed how they mimic lions and sea snakes, it was just awsome.

Does anyone keep mimics? If yes, where can they be purchased?
Over the years, a few mimics and a few more wonderpus have made it into the aquarium trade. However, this species is fairly rare and there is real concern that if a market develops, it could endanger these animals.

As for mimickry, the mimic is in the eye of the beholder. Several species of octopus swim with a flounder shape, a red and white stripe pattern is a typical warning coloration for many animals, not just lion fish and octopus, and even the "sea snake" posture occurs in other species besides the mimic. I have seen no study that convinces me that these displays are effective, that they represent mimicry, or that the animal "controls" the form of mimicry to fit the situation.

I totally agree... and especially after seeing the docu about the Mimic too...

I think that people see what they want to see...

Several mimic/wunderpus' have made there way to the UK in the last few months... reaching prices of Ã"šÃ‚£100 or more for adult specimens... I have tried to put across these points to the importer but with no luck!