Mimic Octopus are one of the most iconic critters we have in Lembeh. They are on most of our guests ‘wish list’, not surprisingly, as they are an amazing creature.
Mimic Octopus are not called ‘mimics’ because they mimic an octopus, but because we believe they mimic other creatures. They have been seen to imitate crabs and mantis shrimp (by scrunching up their bodies in holes in the sand), sea snakes (again in a hole in the sand, but this time spreading out two tentacles on either side of it’s body, making a snake) and, most famously, a flounder or sole, which they do by pulling it’s arms back along it’s body, flattening itself out and then gliding along the sand, mimicking a flat fish.
The very observant among you may have noticed that I have never posted a video of these wonderful creatures. This is mainly because they are tricky to film with my macro lens..In this video you can see the Mimic as it glides along the sandy bottom, doing it’s mimicking.
And the last bit of the video shows something I had never seen.. Two Mimics having a fight!!!! I presume over territory. I was filming one Mimic and unknown to me, there was another Mimic nearby. Before I know what was happening, the larger Mimic started to chase the smaller one all over the place, until it finally caught it. Once caught, they both proceeded to wrestle and writhe, until they shot off in opposite directions. The smaller one then started wiggling it’s arms in a bizarre way. I think there may have been a bit of ‘boy on boy’ action, and one of them didn’t feel good about it after!!
To ID an Mimic and not to mistake it for a Wonderpus (another amazing Octopus we get here – click here for link to previous blog about a Wonderpus)), I have highlighted a bright white ‘V’ on the end if it’s body which never changes colour and only exists on the Mimic.