Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

A Descriptive Ecology of Eledone Cirrhosa (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) in Scottish Waters

P.R. Boylea1

a1 Department of Zoology, University of Aberdeen, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen AB9 2TN

A survey of the ecology of the octopus Eledone cirrhosa in Scottish waters is compiled from structured interviews with fishermen, records of occurrence in traps (for lobster and crab), and a research vessel survey. This species is widespread and common throughout the inshore waters covered by fishing activity (shoreline- 140 m) on bottom types ranging through rock, stones, sand and mud. It is caught in all months of the year but is especially common inshore in the summer (July-September) and further offshore on trawling grounds in October-December. The octopus is a normal and regular predator of large Crustacea (Hotnarus, Nephrops, Cancer) caught in commercial traps but gut contents yield little identifiable dietary remains.