After both Jean and Dwhatley's poking I've decided to start a little journal about my lot that I have under my care. Let me set the scene. I work at an aquarium in the UK (for the time being it shall remain nameless) and have had pretty much most type of cephalopod through my doors. Nautilus, squid, octopus and cuttlefish. Currently in my little world I have a common octopus named Pebbles and 4 cuttlefish (Daniel, Archimedes, Aristotle and little guy). This journal will be about them and their progression. I hope to have some more additions to the family in the coming year so they will probably be mentioned too.
Ok so letís recap the last year so that you can then know what Iím talking about in the next postings.
Pebbles (Octopus vulgaris)
Iíve only had pebbles since December and after a bit of a horrible journey to my site (including a broken box and bouncing down some stairs, neither my doing) she got settled in right away. Her tank is on public display and in November last year I managed to get one way glass installed in front of the tank. This seems to have made a vast improvement on her activity when public are about. Previous octopuses were very hard to view as we had small viewing windows and although this was great for the octopus not so great for the public. I seem to have daily battles with her when it comes to things that she doesnít want me to remove from the tank. Once she takes a liking to something she doesnít like to let go.
Daniel has turned out to be a girl, Daniel and little guy were part of 4 cuttlefish we got in for the one show (itís a media interest programme here in the UK). Originally two cuttlefish were kept together in a tank away from viewing public, Unfortunatley if the size differential gets to big sometimes they will turn on each other even with ample hiding spaces, and so it came to be that Daniel bit his tank mates head off. He or shall I say she has been in isolation ever since, until recently. Just after Christmas Daniel laid some eggs only a small batch but basically she was saying Iím ready. Little guy who lives next door to her (they have a mesh screen so they can partially see each other) started displaying zebra stripes and on one occasion tried to ram the screen to get to her. Now being the sort of person that I am I donít like to stand in the way of true love so on New Years Eve I let them have a date. I have to say the displays and behaviour were amazing (unfortunately I didnít have a video camera which Iím now kicking myself about). After about 3 hours they were just buried under the sand near each other. Knowing Daniels previous history I decided to separate them again just in case she turned into a black widow. Well the next morning she had tried to lay eggs on pretty much everything in the tank. I have now isolated the eggs and am waiting to see if they develop as the water is pretty cold here. Both Daniel and little guy are still alive although the third cuttlefish which I havenít mentioned until now also laid about 5 months ago and didnít pass away until November.
Archimedes and Aristotle are two little cuttlefish I got donated to me from somebody who found eggs on a beach then took them home put them in sea water then they hatched and they didnít know what to do. Now the interesting thing about these guys is that they should be sepia officinalis, however, one spends most of his time almost purple and the other can do some interesting things with his mantle colouration. Also when they were slightly younger they used to crawl along the bottom a lot like what Iíve heard s.bandensis can do. In addition to this their cuttlebones are more prominent in relation to their mantle. All in all they probably are just officinalis but either way they are pretty cool. Iíll try and get some photos up soon.
Well thatís about it, if youíve bothered reading this far then thanks