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Buying an octopus. Which source is better?

DWhatley

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#2
Both vendors are often used by TONMO members.

Most of Tom's animals will be O. briareus that are found in crab/lobster traps and brought in by the fishermen. On rare occasions he has had O. vulgaris and O. mercatoris. Success rates are pretty good with these animals but we lose a few. Most octopuses will arrive with arms missing and/or in the process of regenerating. With those found in the crab traps it is guaranteed but not a real concern.

Saltwaterfish had not had octos for awhile until recently. Prior discussions indicate that most of theirs come in from Haiti (the earthquake would explain why they had not been offered and I will take it as good news toward things getting better there now that we are seeing them again) and are frequently O. hummelincki. We had a rash of deaths of the hummelinckis purchased through Saltwaterfish a few years ago and the owners responded to our inquiries (they are very conscientious). The general concern was that collection methods were causing the problem (Cyanide NOT likely but possibly other flushing out fluids that ultimately harmed the animal) and they gave us an indication that they were making a trip to discuss collection methods with their suppliers.

You can open the Lists of our Octopuses 2003-2012 and search the page for Saltwaterfish or Tom to see some of the prior animals that have come from these suppliers. Entrys from 2008 forward have links to the journals.
 

Drsandhu

O. bimaculoides
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#3
Hello I'm about to purchase from saltwaterfish.com however they have sent me photos they say its juvenile indopacific but I can not tell n do not want a Pygmy what should I do
 

AlanR917

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#4
If youre ready for one now, definitely give Tom a call, he will have them in stock until April 1st. He is great at answering any questions, but I need mine later.
 

DWhatley

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#5
Drsandhu,
If they sent you a photo, please post it. The lastest from them have been O. hummelincki. Sadly, very few vendors can ID species. We do our best but it is always a bit of a guess, especially if there are not clear indications in the photos.

To post a picture, start a reply and click on the 4th icon in the 7th group (the one that looks like a square with something at each corner (to the left of the film icon). This will open a dialog to allow you to choose a picture on your computer. Select the picture and then click upload (the word upload is not intuitively clear as a place to click).
 

DWhatley

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#12
Drsandhu, Try as I might, I can't come up with a suggested ID of anything other than mercatoris. The color is not a good match for a merc (the browns should be red or redish, possibly explained by being out of the water, wish they would not do that) but the arms and mantle proportions and shape just don't match up well with anything else common in the US Atlantic/Caribbean that I can identify. I strongly believe it to be a dwarf species and likely a merc in spite of its coloring. I have had two dwarfs that were not O. mercatoris from this area (and would highly recommend one like the little male I kept) but one does not favor them.
 

DWhatley

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#16
Keep in mind that I am a hobbyist so my species IDing is OJT, not schooled and limited to what I have regular exposure to examine (and usually have kept).

The eye, mantle and arm proportions suggest a dwarf of some species (particularly eye to mantle). The charcoal gray color is altogether new to me for any species and I wonder if it is some kind of artifact of the camera or lighting (but everything else looks correctly colored). If you Google search Octopus mercatoris and look at the photos (then ignore anything that is not red because all manner of octopuses will show up) you will see the similarities in the eyes (including what appear to be diagnostic tabs under the eye), ratios and patterning and the extreme in color difference.

Can you ask them where these were collected?
 

DWhatley

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#19
That makes more sense. Let me do some looking in my book. It is not typical of the Abdopus complex (primarily aculeatus) or the Macropus complex (exact species unknown but the same animal often shows up) so it is something else. I still believe it is a dwarf but am curious as to what looks like a merc but is not :grin:.

Kara and Philipp had a live rock hitch hiker last week but I believe someone on their waiting list grabbed it as they did not send me a photo to let me post it. Philipp did not identify the species but most of their hitch hikers have been O. briareus.
 

DWhatley

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#20
I can't find anything that I would feel is close but I did request the opinion of another who has spent a lot of time looking at the Indonesian animals. Hopefully she will have a chance to take a peek at the pictures and has an idea.
 

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