Are this "hairy" octopi already described?

Sordes

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#1
Yesterday I watched a quite interesting documentary (from 2012) about small and in general mainly unnoticed marine animals from the coastal areas off Sulawesi. In this documentary was a quite bizarre tiny octopus shown, with bizarre hair-like and branched skin appendages all around its body. It was nearly undistinguishable from a piece of algae. It was said this species was still undescribed. I have never seen something comparable. Of course I know that many octopi can shape their skin into strange wrinkles, but in this case, the appendiges are obviously of a permanent nature. You can see this particular octopus at aroun 9:00 min:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDYT46mltyQ

I looked for more information about this totally bizarre species, but I only found some more photos, like this one:

http://pichaus.com/sea-animal-octopus-@31548d466f3cb7589a1baa3e7913b658/

I noticed that some of those "hairy" octopi differ significiantly in shape and number of their appendages, which can´t be explained by simple "shape-shifting", so I could well imagine there is actually more than one single species. This one for example has much lesser but also much thicker skin appendiges:

http://nadlembehresort.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/mg_5414.jpg?w=595


I only wanted to know if there is more information about them available, and if they are already researched.
 

JCFish

Pygmy Octopus
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#2
Sadly I have no information for you, but thanks for sharing this. I had no idea there was anything like that. Hopefully someone on here knows something because you've got me interested now too.
 

DWhatley

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#3
I don't know if it has been formally described and has a proper name. Ned and Anna DeLoach put it on their list of things to find when they visit the Lemheh Straits and they usually find one. Here is a link to a TONMO post that has numerous ceph videos they have provided on YouTube but the one linked includes a hairy octopus. Don't stop watching after you see the still as there is video that follows.
 

DWhatley

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#5
It just occurred to me while watching the video that it seems to resemble aiptasia! Cool!
 

Sordes

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#6
I looked again at various photos of hairy octopi, and I think there are probably at least three differnt forms.
There are those with numerous and multiple-branched very fine appendiges like this one:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/echeng/536609608/

http://www.pichaus.com/sea-animal-octopus-@31548d466f3cb7589a1baa3e7913b658/

Others have also only few but thick-stemed appandiges:

http://nadlembehresort.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/mg_5414.jpg?w=595

There is also a similar form, but I am not sure if they could be the same, as the differences could be explained by changing body shape of the octopus and elongation of the "stems" of the appendiges:

http://festival.underwater.com.au/photos/photo/1102/

There is also another form which seems to be of larger overall size and more massive body proportion, which comes close to Octopus vulgaris, but with numerous comparably short leaf-like appendiges:

http://www.lembehresort.com/wp-content/uploads/Hairy-Octopus.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kay_burn_lim/8273879221/in/set-72157632246854631

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kay_burn_lim/8273878689/in/set-72157632246854631
 

DWhatley

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#8
I am not sure the last three are hairy octopuses and may be much more common varieties. I have kept a Caribbean (unknown species) the can do the multi-branching trick and I believe the aculeatus can show this form as well. The very fine aiptasia look and very tiny size seem to be the current diagnostic look.
 

mucktopus

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#9
I don't know of any description in progress, but it's possible someone is quietly working on it somewhere.
 

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