Can anyone identify this octopus?

CaptFish

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#2
:welcome: to TONMO

It's really hard to tell from those pictures, but I'm not the best at IDing them.

What water temp are you keeping it?
Did you happen to ask where he was caught? this helps a lot with ID.
 

DWhatley

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#3
I always enjoy guessing on ID :biggrin2: but I do it mostly by process of elimination. If you can get them to look at the invoice and see if they can determine which body of water it came from (explain that temperature is important and nudge them a little to put out an effort if need be) we can get closest.

Looking at the prominant eyes and quick taper on the arms, I am thinking a nocturnal dwarf species. Considering the two dwarf species in the Caribbean, I think the arms are too long for O. mercatoris but not for O. joubini. If it shows cripsis (bumps on the mantle when it is in camo mode typically on LR) then joubini can be eliminated. The coloring in the top two photos look too red for joubini (they tend toward the yellow browns from the two I have seen), however, the last photo does look joubinish. The other dwarf that we don't see often, digueti (Pacific Coast) but Roy's photo makes me think the arms are shorter like the merc (I don't think I could tell a merc from a digueti but other reading suggest they have longer arms than the merc).

Officially, my guess is O. digueti but keep in mind my species exposure is very limited and I have not seen this species in anything but photos.
 

jakester

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#5
The Octopus did come from the Pacific Coast. The water tempature is 78-80 degrees f. He definitely only likes to come out when it's dark, but he has come out a few times in the day light on occasion.
 

DWhatley

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#6
I am pat with my guess but we will see if anyone else has other thoughts. If you see any special markings (eye spots or striping) be sure an note them as well as getting the water spots off the glass so it does not look like she is showing crypsis or has some other odd skin lumps (it took me a minute to realize I was not seeing skin patterning and is likely the root of Thales comment. My glass is never the cleanest but for planned photos, wiping it down helps a lot with both the camera's ability to focus as well as the picture itself :wink:).

As a note of caution, O. digueti has a reputation as one of the ones (O. rubescens being the other) that bite and has a nasty venom that will both hurt and take a few days to go away. If you read more in the bites thread, however, you will note that most Pacific octo bites seem to be worse than the Caribbean octo bites (antecdotal only) and neither occur frequently.
 

DWhatley

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#8
I give up, WHERE is an octopus "nose"? Usually I can figure out where someone is referring to on the octo body but nose has me stumped. :biggrin2:

I don't know that this will apply to this particular octo or to digueti in general but I have had very good luck getting female mercatoris to den in a viewable location by putting the giant purple barnacles just above the aquarium floor.

I also suggest getting a low watt red light (LED is good but I use a brighter lighting with success) for the tank and leaving it on 24/7. The nocturnals seem to adjust to the redlight and as long at it is never turned off (giving total darkness) they will learn to explore with it on.

Oh, and I found Greg's original post on being bitten by the animal he was trying to photograph.
 

Neogonodactylus

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#9
I've never had trouble with O. diguiti, but another pygmy from the Gulf of California, O. fitchi is really ill tempered and has a nasty venom.

Roy
 

DWhatley

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#11
Jakester,
While you are attempting pictures, try to get a clear shot of the eye. I don't know why I did not think to look up digueti in Norman before but it mentions one diagnostic of the digueti as the presence of two little flaps or fingers of skin below each eye.

Rummaging through Norman, there is one other that would fit called commonly called the Lilliput Octopus (Octopus micropyrus). This one has a white false eye spot (circle below each eye, called an ocellus) so you have two things you can look for to get a firmer ID.

Both the digueti and the micropyrus have benthic young so it may be possible (but easier said than done) to raise a couple of hatchlings if she (guessing) lays eggs.

Looking up Roy's reference, I don't think it is O.fitchi (one of the few marked as a biter in Cephalopods A World Guide . The books comment may have come from Roy too :biggrin2: but the photo is not one of his.
 

jakester

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#14
The petstore had another one in today.It to had a white spot on it's mantle in the same place.They said it came from California.So whatever species of octopus it is it comes from California and has a white spot on his/her mantle.Hope that helped!:biggrin2:
 

DWhatley

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#17
Unfortunately, whites spots on the mantle are not a close enough description to come up with anything diagnostic and I have noticed that almost all octopus species have a pair that will sometimes be visible (but no one seems to know what they are even though the spots are common in many photographs of many species). If you see a white circle below each eye on the webbing, that would be diagnostic OR two light colored tabs/finger appendages at the bottom of the eye. Color markings are not consistent and the ability to make their skin bumpy is common the the two I suggest. Roy likely has the most experience identifying Pacific Coast animals and I notice he did not give a guess :roll:

Finding a den is important for an octo. Some species stay in a single den for long periods (IME this seem particularly true of the female mercatoris), others wander frequently. If the animal chooses a den, starts collecting objects to place in front of the doorway and then stops coming out the behavior would suggest egg laying but since it is new to the tank, just finding a home is not suggestive of brooding behavior. That being said, I do believe it may be an adult.
 

Nancy

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#18
No, being fond of one cave doesn't necessarily mean your octopus is about to produce eggs. It's a hiding place, where your octopus can feel safe.

Nancy
 

jakester

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#20
Well he came out for a little bit a couple minutes ago in the light!He seems to be trying to scare me because he will swim close to the front of the cage and swim back? Anyway he also seems to be red a lot. Is that in a lot of octopuses?:hmm:
 

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