[Octopus]: Blue-ring Brooding

Neogonodactylus

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#1
I received a pair of H. lunulata from the Philippines two wees ago. I tried mating them shortly after they arrived and they would have nothing to doe with one another. I separated them and later in the day noticed that the female was holding eggs. When I photographed her, the eggs were developing and were at the early eyespot stage - about 10 days along in their development. H lunulata female brooding eyespot 4 17 14 med.jpg

I've photographed the female and her eggs every day since. The next milestone was the first appearance of chromatophores H lunulata female eggs first chromatophores 4 24 14 crop.jpg

Yesterday the chromatophores became functional and began expanding and contracting.

H lunulata eggs 4 29 14 crop.jpg

With all of my poking and prodding to photograph the eggs, I'm amazed that she has been able to hang onto the eggs. They are not attached to her body; just held in folds in the web. H lunulata female brooding 4 21 14 med.jpg
The embryos should hatch in a day or two and I will try to get get shots of their release.
 

DWhatley

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#4
As always, love it when you post your photos and I am still with @mucktopus about that coffee table book!

The eggs look like they are tied together in some kind of bunches with that odd green stick like substance I noticed with O. briareus. Do you know what it is made from?
 

tonmo

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#7
these are awesome. Shared this on Facebook :thumbsup:
 

DWhatley

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#8
I don't see any indication in the pictures but when you examined these was there any indication of the blue ring iridescence?

@Neogonodactylus, another question just occurred to me. Can she bite while holding the eggs? It would appear not and reconfirms the thought that the poison is not a defense mechanism.
 

Neogonodactylus

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#9
There is no blue in the hatchlings and none that I could see before they died two days after hatching. I didn't get any good shots of hatching and only one bad image of a hatchling swimming in the aquarium.

The female was extremely aggressive and attacked a probe brought near her. She would reach out with the 1st pair of arms, rear up so that her mouth was facing the object and pull it in to her mouth where I assume she tried to bite it. This happened repeatedly. Generally when you pester a blue-ring with a stick they will swim away. Not this female. She stood her ground and fought. On the other hand, when II presented a shrimp, it was rejected and pushed away. H lunulata hatchling 5 9 14 B.jpg H lunulata hatchling 5 9 14.jpg
 

DWhatley

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#10
Were you able to test the hatchlings for toxicity or have you already determined they are not born with the TTX?
 

Neogonodactylus

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#11
The 1 day old hatchlings have TTX. See Williams et al., 2011, Ontogeny of Tetrodotoxin Levels in Blue-Ringed Octopuses: Maternal Invesment and Apparent Independent Production of Offspring of Hapalochlaena lunulata. J. Chem. Ecol. 37:10-17.
 

DWhatley

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#12
Thanks @Neogonodactylus , I could read the abstract and a bit of the first page but, not being a student, don't have a subscription to Springer. I DID add this link and one recent PDF I found from your group to our Cephalopod Species (by family) Octopodidiae -> Hapalochlaena - Blue Ring Octopuses page. If there is a PDF or free access site, please let me know and I will change the link. Interesting that TTX was found in O. bocki's digestive system and the mention in an Abdopus. Guesses suggest that it may be quite common but only a few animals have evolved to use it.
 

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