Are this "hairy" octopi already described?

Discussion in 'Octopodidae' started by Sordes, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Sordes

    Sordes Wonderpus Registered

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    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 canĀ“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.
     
  2. JCFish

    JCFish Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    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.
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    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.
     
  4. Sordes

    Sordes Wonderpus Registered

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    Very nice. My friend Karl Shuker found also a very nice video of such a hairy octipus:
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    It just occurred to me while watching the video that it seems to resemble aiptasia! Cool!
     
  6. Sordes

    Sordes Wonderpus Registered

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    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
     
  7. GPO87

    GPO87 Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    I also cannot find any information on this animal, so I would agree that it has yet to be described. :) But it is very cool!
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    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.
     
  9. mucktopus

    mucktopus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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

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