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This species has been reported off Eureka Bar, California, at 350 m. It is also known from Japan, off Kashima-Nada, at 530–560 m. Nesis (1982/87) reports it from the Bering Sea to the Sea of Okhotsk to off central Honshū in the northwestern Pacific and to off southern California in the northeastern Pacific.
Species of Opisthoteuthis are the most compressed, in the anterior-posterior axis, of any cephalopod. This flattened appearance gives them the common name of flapjack or pancake devilfish. Species are thought to be primarily benthic although they are capable of swimming and in some species the swimming may be an important component of their pouncing on minute prey. As in other cirrates, most species are poorly known.
The flapjack octopus has been made famous by Pearl, the pink octopus character in the Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo. However, according to one of the scientific consultants on the film, Adam Summers, "Pearl would be pink mush since flapjack octopuses (Opisthoteuthis californiana) are abyssal creatures. They reside only at great depths".
The video game Kirby's Dream Land 3 features a flapjack octopus named Chuchu, though most fans mistake her for a slime or a jellyfish.
- LaFee, Scott. 2003. Expert helps 'Nemo' stay to scale. The San Diego Union-Tribune, June 18, 2003.