Any info on how to keep O. micropyrsus (California Lilliput Octopus)?

Joe-Ceph

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#1
I live in Southern California, and I've been keeping wild caught bimacs for two years. I just discovered that O. micropyrsus, a species of dwarf octopus, lives here too. I've been able to learn that they live in the holdfasts of giant kelp, that their mantle size id 2-2.5 cm (legs 2.5-3 times that) and that they lay surprisingly large eggs (10-12 mm). It would be interesting to set up a tank for them, and maybe even breed them. Does anyone know anything about keeping them? A giant kelp holdfast is not something I'm going to be able to keep in my aquarium, and I'm not sure how I would simulate that environment, so any clues about how to successfully keep these guys would be helpful.

Are they diurnal?
 

Nancy

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#2
This is exciting news! I believe you're the first Tonmo member to want to keep this species, and if you're successful at keeping and breeding O. micropyrsus, you would find people interested in buying them. But I guess you'd have to catch one first!

I'm lookng in Mark Norman's Cephalopods: A World Guide (you may have consulted this already), but he notes that in addition to holdfasts of giant kelp, they also live in gastropod shells or in crevaces in rocky reefs. You would have no trouble setting up a tank with shells and crevices in live rock. There's no information on whether they are diurnal or not. I don't know about the temperature - for instance, the aquarium at Dana Point keeps the water at 59 degrees, which they say matches the ocean water temperature off their shore. Bimacs could tolerate sllightly higher temperatures, don't know about these little octopuses.

Nancy
 

Joe-Ceph

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#3
I keep my bimac at 56 degrees F because I also have strawberry anemones, which like the colder (deeper) water. I would just match the temp where I find them. The two references I found say they are "often" found on kelp holdfasts that that wash ashore, so I suspect that they are fairly common if you look in the right places. I'll let you know if I find one. If you find any other info on them I'd love it.
 

DWhatley

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#5
Exciting to learn about this one and am really looking forward to a journal recording you capture and raising adventure. Spotting something that small will be a learning experience in itself since you will likely want to find one no more than half grown.
 

Neogonodactylus

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#6
I've kept several over the past few years, but have never gotten a female to lay - either because I didn't have a male at the time and/or seasonality. I usually get them when winter storms rip up the kelp and wash it ashore. They are highly secretive and nocturnal - and hard to contain. We kept ours at 15 C and fed them amphipods. I'm not sure this is going to be a popular species because of the temperature requirements and the fact that you will almost never see them (they are really tiny!!!), but as a research animal I think they are worth another shot.

Roy
 

Joe-Ceph

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#8
Neogonodactylus;155430 said:
I'm not sure this is going to be a popular species because of the temperature requirements and the fact that you will almost never see them (they are really tiny!!!)
Roy,
Thanks for hollering back. I didn't expect to find anyone that had hands on experience with these little guys. I was afraid that they might be nocturnal (nuts!) which makes the project less likely to happen. I already have a bimac, living in a 60 gallon at 13.5 degrees C, and my plan is just to put a 10 gallon tank on a shelf above my 60 gallon tank, and circulate water from my 60 through the 10, and back to the 60, so no extra chiller or hassle required. The 10 is 1/2" acrylic, so it should be able to handle the cold without sweating.
 

Joe-Ceph

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#9
I've read that juvenile O. Rubescens also live in kelp holdfasts. What are some distinguishing characteristics of each so that I can tell them apart while I'm diving?
 

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