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1 November 2017 Body Patterns of the Frilled Giant Pacific Octopus, a New Species of Octopus from Prince William Sound, AK
Nathan Hollenbeck, David Scheel
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We tested whether body patterns distinguished two haplotypes of large octopus in Prince William Sound Alaska. Live octopuses were photographed in captivity and assigned to a morphotype based on whether longitudinal mantle folds (a characteristic body pattern feature of the giant Pacific octopus (GPO), Enteroctopus dofleini (Wülker 1910)) were present (the GPO morphotype, N = 14) or absent (a novel morphotype, N = 6). Novel morphotype octopuses were distinguished without exception from GPO morphotype octopuses by the presence of a lateral mantle frill and the absence of longitudinal mantle folds, ventral mantle texture below the lateral frill, and patch and groove patterning. Additional traits could be used in combination to reliably characterize the novel morphotype. The genetic haplotypes of these octopuses were determined from nucleotide sequence data from two microsatellite loci and a portion of the OCDE gene. The GPO morphotype was identified with E. dofleini based on the match of body pattern traits to published descriptions of that species and the match of its genetic haplotype to published sequences of E. dofleini. Novel morphotype body patterns did not match descriptions of any species from the eastern north Pacific, while its genetic haplotype matched that of a recently sequenced undescribed octopus. The GPO and novel morphotypes are sister clades, and body pattern traits reliably identified individuals to morphotype and haplotype. Body pattern traits can be used in field identification of live octopuses allowing population assessments, by-catch frequency estimates, and other studies of both octopus types. We offer the common name of the frilled giant Pacific octopus for the novel morphotype, and based on genetic and morphological data suggest this clade is a new species of large Pacific octopus in the genus Enteroctopus. A full species description remains to be done.

Nathan Hollenbeck and David Scheel "Body Patterns of the Frilled Giant Pacific Octopus, a New Species of Octopus from Prince William Sound, AK," American Malacological Bulletin 35(2), 134-144, (1 November 2017).
Received: 18 November 2016; Accepted: 1 March 2017; Published: 1 November 2017

cryptic diversity
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