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An Octo Digging holes


Pygmy Octopus
May 26, 2003
I have had my bimac Ajax for only six days now. He seems very comfortable. He has in the past two days begun to do some heavy exploring of the aquarium and is now digging a hole in one of the corners. He has a cave in one of the rocks that he has claimed as his home since day one so I am pretty sure he is not digging a new home. I thought maybe he is sick of the hermit crab shells piling up in his cave so maybe he is going to take them and bury them once he is satified with the size of the hole. If anyone has insite into this behavior I would appreciate it. This is my first octopus and despite my research prior to getting him all I know is that you need a good amount of substrate so that they can dig but I don't know why they dig.



Staff member
Nov 20, 2002
Dallas Texas
Hi Adrian,

There are a number of reasons that octopuses will dig, and I probably don't know all of them.

My octopus was enlarging caves recently by digging them out, so that he will have more places to hang out (and he uses a number of them). As they grow, they will enlarge their caves this way.

They will also appear to be digging as they're doing their house cleaning. I've never heard of octopuses burying their "trash", but they will throw it out for you to clean up :)

And finally, some of the digging and rearranging seems to be for fun.



May 8, 2003
Hello all, I have noticed Henry "digging" lately, and I think it's for entertainment purposes. The time of day, or light seems to matter very little. He also has a fine midden (sp?) pile in front of his cave. He seems to be more active when I am paying close attention to him, i.e., nose pressed against the glass. I am going to try different types of music to see if it is stimulating to him. I haven't seen Harvey, unless he's in preditor mode, so not much of a chance to observe him. Hope this tid-bit helped.

Felix, El Gato.

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