a Gloomy start to 2012

Discussion in 'Diving & Ceph Encounters' started by haggs, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    The title is right but all is not as it seems.... I have had many fruitless swims around the usual dens over the last year. Mostly with no sucess, there has been a few encounters with young octopus but on every occasion they have been gone on my return visit and I felt it unworthy of writing about them.

    At least today I had my camera with me to take a couple of photos. For those that know where I go ... it was in the "long pool", not in any of the usual dens so I'm expecting (a female, I think) her to move to a different place as it is only a small crevice.

    After several minutes of just moving in close and back out, she became used to my movements and when I reached in with my left hand she actually reached out and made contact. Sorry no photo as I had to hold myself down the the other hand.

    Guessing by her size she is only a few months old, but if she stay in this pool there will be more photos to come and more reasons for me to keep going back and checking on her growth.
     

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  2. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Cool - added it to the homepage slideshow :thumbsup:
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Oh, I hope she stays! I think she is the youngest one you have photographed. Should you get more time with her, you might try a gentle pet between and just below the eyes. For some reason this seems to be an accepted contact point on many species. Even LittleBit would accept an occasional pet there but nowhere else except along her suckers.
     
  4. Cuddlycuttlefsh

    Cuddlycuttlefsh Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Wow, your place is filled with Gloomy Octopi, something really strikes me when I see the octo clinging on top of that shell like Vein Octopus. Is a common behavior? Or is it just because she has a big 'Garden' under her.
     
  5. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Yes ... this is a common practice for most of the occies that I have found around here. Her den is actually in a solid rock wall, the sand is from waves pushing it into the den at high tides. Quite often I will see them pushing or blowing sand back out.
     
  6. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    I live in a pretty good place, this afternoon I finished work at 3:30 and was home by 3:45 and down in the water by 4:15. The air temperature was about 28 degrees and the water was about 25 or 26. The seas were quite calm so I was heading for the island, the worst thing about living in a good place is we get a lot of tourist and today there were quiet a few of them enjoying the afternoon at the beach. I headed straight to the long pool with high hopes that she was still there, at first glance .... Noooo, shes moved on and left the den. So a moment later I tried to remove the shell she used as her shield but it pulled back... Yes she was still there. It took a few minutes before she reached out and made contact with my bandaged finger, one arm the a second and finally her third arm and the way it was used I'm even more confident that it is a female. After taking quiet a few photos I broke off another black mussel and crushed the shell to give her easy axcess to a free feed for her efforts.




    I left the pool and wandered around and came across the bubble shell and some more nudibranches. I wandered back towards the boat ramp and decided to go and see if the Banded Coral shrimp was still in the same place as I found it on Sunday. It too hadn't moved, I reached in behind the young male and edged him toward the camera. After taking a few photos of it, I gently walked it back into the cave where he hung upside down. I thought I would head home after all I had been down for 1.5 hours already. Another octopus within a metre of the Banded shrimp, I had to try and encourage this one out for a better photo, but no luck with that. This one is considerable bigger from what I could see, this was only the front arms which held the "white rock" which gave it's presence away to start with. Ahhh well there will be another day and another swim towards the end of the week I hope.
     

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  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I need to goad you more often :sagrin:
     
  8. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    all going well she might be still here for when you visit....
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Neal suggested showing pictures of us so she will wait and recognize her US admirers :wink:

    (if people from NZ are Kiwis and people from AU are aussis what are people from the US now called? I think Yanks is too old a term and anyone from the US South would never expect to be called that :grin:)

    Given the year and the common name, I think we should name this one Nibiru
     
  10. ceph

    ceph Wonderpus Staff Member Moderator

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    Nice picts. She looks and acts a bit like an O. vulgaris.

    She may dig out the sand as she grows and stay a few weeks.
     
  11. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    As I expected, she has moved on and I was unable to locate the new den. I did find another but that one will also move because where it was hiding was above the low tide level. This one was twice the size and it too didn't want anything to do with me or the mussel it was offered. Just before I left the rock pool I came across a grey faced eel, then it was back to the headland to see if the other octopus and banded shrimp were still there.


    There was no sign of the octopus but the banded shrimp had stayed in the same place. I spent half an hour looking to see if I could find where it had gone to but all I found was a snowflake eel. Maybe when the holidays are over one might decide to settle into one of the regular haunts.
     

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  12. Cuddlycuttlefsh

    Cuddlycuttlefsh Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    hmmmm, you think the snowflake eel has something to do with the disappearance of the Octopus? Pairing a Snowflake eel and Octopus in the same tank is the equivalence of dropping two wrestlers in a re-enforced steel cage for a grudge match
     
  13. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Yes it would have been a problem in a tank, but where these are I doubt it very much. The distance between the grey eel and the youngest octopus(1) would have been 5mtrs, there could have been a chance meeting. This pool is not all that big, but I think it would have meet the larger octopus(3) as it was just over 1mtr away.

    The snowflake eel would have been 8 or 9 mtrs away from the octopus(2) but that pool is rather large, so my guess it was disturbed by too many swimmers.
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I never attempted to interact with my bandids. King Cong ruled the 140 for several years but it is so deep I could not try to hand feed it. Interesting that you can get one to interact in the wild. Have you tried offering it a piece of food?

    The eels worry me too but I seemed to recall that there was a snowflake there with one of the other "situ"s. The little octo worries me the most but I still don't know if it could get more than an arm.
     
  15. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Well it's been just over a month since my last swim, during this time we have had another flood, with just over 53cm of rain falling. Needless to say the water has been thicker and darker than pea soup. Last Sunday afternoon I went down to the headland, the ocean was still quite "stirred up", I hopped into the 25degree water to try and cool off from the 31 degree outside temperature. So much sand has been washed into the rock pools where the banded shrimp was living, it was forced to move as it's little cave was now buried by close to half a metre of sand. It was so disappointing not to find any sign of any of the octopus that I was hoping to find. I can only hope that things will change again soon.
     

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