The lateralization of sensory and motor functions has been recently demonstrated in various groups of vertebrates. We examined lateral asymmetry of eye use in Octopus vulgaris by behavioural methods. Octopus vulgaris uses monocular vision almost exclusively and can move its eyes independently. The amount of binocular vision is small because the eyes are on the sides of the head. We tested eight octopuses in two conditions (one with and one without moving stimuli) where the use of the eye for frontal vision could be determined unequivocally. Data were recorded on videotape. All animals showed a preference for one eye (five left, three right). There was no correlation between eye use and the animal's direction of movement. Pigmentation of the ventral side of the arms tended to be most intense on the side of the preferred eye and the body was most pigmented on the side of the eye currently in use. We found no sex differences for visual lateralization. Pigmentation of the ventral side of the arms was lighter in females than in males. Copyright 2002 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.