Distribution and abundance of Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797 (Cephalopoda: Octopoda) in the Mediterranean Sea


  • Paola Belcari Dip. Scienze dell’Uomo e dell’Ambiente, Università di Pisa
  • Danila Cuccu Dip. Biologia Animale ed Ecologia, Università di Cagliari
  • María González Centro Oceanográfico de Málaga - IEO
  • Ali Srairi INRH
  • Pavlos Vidoris Fisheries Research Institute – National Agricultural Research Foundation




Octopus vulgaris, distribution, abundance, size composition, trawl surveys, MEDITS, Mediterranean Sea


Information on distribution, abundance and size composition of the common octopus Octopus vulgaris was obtained from the MEDITS trawl surveys, carried out in a wide area of the Mediterranean basin from 1994 to 1999. The species showed a wide geographic distribution, since it was collected in all the major areas investigated, but differences were highlighted among the 40 geographic sectors sampled. O. vulgaris showed a narrow depth distribution, mostly restricted to within 100 m. Catches below 200 m were scarce and occasional at deeper sea bottoms. Further analysis between major areas in the depth strata 10-50 m and 50-100 m showed the Alborán Sea and Sardinian waters as the areas where the abundance of the species was the greatest. Size frequency distributions showed a wide size range, even if large individuals were represented in a very low proportion. The surveys highlighted the relevant presence of small individuals in almost all the analysed areas. Recruits with a modal length of 5-6 cm mantle length constituted the dominant mode in the histograms of a great extent of the Italian coasts and in Morocco and Corsica waters.


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How to Cite

Belcari P, Cuccu D, González M, Srairi A, Vidoris P. Distribution and abundance of Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797 (Cephalopoda: Octopoda) in the Mediterranean Sea. Sci. mar. [Internet]. 2002Jun.30 [cited 2024Feb.21];66(S2):157-66. Available from: https://scientiamarina.revistas.csic.es/index.php/scientiamarina/article/view/614




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