An octopus on the Menai Bridge beach in Anglesey has been caught on camera changing colour.

Curled octopuses are found on the Menai Bridge and surrounding beaches "all the time", according to Marine Conservation Society (MCS)'s Angus Jackson, along with rare sightings of Mediterranean and common octopus.

The curled octopus species is thought to be increasing in numbers and experts believe this may be due to a decline in their predators and rising sea temperatures.

The MCS’s Seasearch programme, which asks divers and beachgoers to record marine life, reported increased sightings in 2022, although curled octopuses have rarely been filmed changing colour in the wild.

The Leader: Curled octopuses have rarely been filmed changing colour in the wild.Curled octopuses have rarely been filmed changing colour in the wild. (Image: Getty Images)

Watch as octopus filmed on North Wales beach changing colour

But one lucky member of the MCS team, Ciara Taylor, was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this rare occurrence while also capturing it on film.

Ms Taylor, who is a project assistant at MCS, was practising identifying sea creatures at Menai Bridge beach on April 6 when beachgoers spotted tentacles appearing from under a rock.

She said: “I met two other young people who were rockpooling and one of them saw some tentacles sticking out from under a rock – they shouted over to me, so I ran over, and then we waited.

“It eventually came out and started crawling back towards the sea.

“We couldn’t believe it.

“It was an amazing reminder of the beautiful wildlife we have in North Wales and why we need to protect it.”

The footage (which can be seen above) shows a curled octopus changing colour from white to bright orange.

Curled octopus, also known as lesser octopus, can be found in the UK as well as on European beaches.

They live in shallow waters and feed on other marine creatures such as fish, crabs, shrimp, clams and mussels.

On occasion, these creatures will use their camouflage abilities to ambush prey.

The curled octopus is very elusive and can spend most of the day hiding between rocks with its tentacles curled up.

Recent boom in octopus sightings on North Wales beaches

Curled octopuses resemble another species known as the common octopus, which are bigger and more difficult to spot.

Angus Jackson, Seasearch data officer at the MCS, said: “Curled octopus are found here (North Wales beaches) all the time, and we get a handful of records every year.

“In contrast, we very seldom receive records for Mediterranean or common octopus.


“The summer and autumn of 2022 were fascinating exceptions, where there appeared to be a boom in the population of common octopus, and we received many records.

“Such booms have been noted in the past, but not for several decades.”

The charity is asking for more people to join their Seasearch programme to identify marine creatures that appear on the shores, which can then help scientists learn more about the changing seas.