Studies were undertaken to identify the bacteria involved in a disease of wild octopus (Octopus vulgaris). Signs of the disease include round hard lesions in the arms or head mantle, leading, in advanced cases, to the loss of skin and the exposure of the muscle beneath. Bacterial strains isolated from sterile organs have been evaluated taxonomically and by experimental infections. Different phenotypes and ribotypes of Vibrio lentus were identified. Experimental infection by bath challenge demonstrated that V. lentus was able to reproduce the skin lesions, colonize the internal organs and induce mortality in healthy octopuses. V. lentus was re-isolated from the skin lesions and gill heart of dead octopuses, as confirmed by numerical taxonomy analysis. No effects were produced in sea bream or turbot by intraperitoneal injection of the bacterial isolate.