Marine Biology 146: 725-732

Oxygen consumption and ammonia excretion of Octopus vulgaris (Cephalopoda) in relation to body mass and temperature 

Stelios Katsanevakisa, Sofia Stephanopouloua , Helen Milioub, Maria Moraitou-Apostolopouloua and George Verriopoulosa

a Department of Zoology-Marine Biology, School of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimioupolis, 15784 Athens, Greece 

b Laboratory of Applied Hydrobiology, Department of Animal Production, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 11855 Athens, Greece


The common octopus, Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, is of great scientific and commercial importance and its culture is becoming an area of increasing interest. In this study, the combined effects of temperature (T) and body mass (M) on the routine oxygen consumption rate (R) and ammonia excretion rate (U) in O. vulgaris, were quantified. The experiments were conducted in a closed seawater system, and great care was taken to reduce handling stress of the animals. Temperature, salinity, pH and ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and phosphate concentrations were monitored and controlled during the experiment. The following predictive equations were evaluated:

   at temperatures between 13-28oC and

   at temperatures between 15.5-26oC (Ta is degrees Kelvin and M in gram).

O/N ratios showed that O. vulgaris has a protein dominated metabolism. No significant relationship between the O/N ratio and body mass or temperature was found. Sex had no significant effect on the oxygen consumption rate or on the ammonia excretion rate. For other octopod species, the dependence of metabolic rate on temperature does not differ with that for O. vulgaris.