Can you help me id my new octopus please!!!

tonmo

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Cool!! Hmm, hard to know, I bet some of our experts (including @sirreal above) would like another pic or 2 :smile: ... O. filosus would seem to be a good guess, but not sure about the location of those dots... let's see what any others think. Agree w/ @sirreal, interested in what @DWhatley has to say.

:welcome: TONMO!
 

DWhatley

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As noted, small octos are especially tricky to ID. Since it looks a lot like O. mercatoris (coloring, arm to mantle ratio, lack of skin texture and consistency of color) but is labeled as from the Pacific, I'll guess O. bocki. There have been quite a few of these to show up in recent months. One distinguishing factor would be eyes that look sort of like fat ovals (vs round - I call them tractor trailer eyes) but I can see that in the pictures.

It is very unlikely to be O. hummelincki (filosus). This species was often sold by SaltwaterFish.com in the years before the 2010 earthquake (imported from Haiti) and found in the Caribbean. It has eye spots like a bimac but is a warm water species that frequently exhibits papillae with a different (more purple) red.
 

DWhatley

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Also note that you cannot put a cuttlefish and an octopus in the same tank. The cuttlefish will become octo food.

If you are interested in keeping cuttles, Sepia bandensis is the most commonly kept in home aquariums. They are usually purchased as eggs and hatched in the tank then fed live mysis for a month or two until they can eat larger prey. They can usually be converted to eating frozen mysis but the initial live food expenses are heavy unless you have a local source.
 

DWhatley

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LOL, one @ will send me a text so I will see the call :biggrin2:

I've not kept this suspected species and they have only recently been seen in numbers. Typically warm water dwarf species live about 10 months (I have had a couple of mercs to exceed a year). Size is not a particularly great barometer for gauging age as even siblings will vary considerably.

This article shows O. bocki to be a small egg species so there is no current hope of raising young in a home aquarium. Typically, keeping multiples in a tank results in only one animal surviving but O. mercatoris (Caribbean dwarf) is one of the exceptions (and even then we have seen the best luck when they have been caught living in the same area or are siblings). I am tagging @robyn in hopes that she can add info on O. bocki.

O. mercatoris (often labeled O. joubini) is a large egg species and, in the past, we have had several members successfully raise multiple generations. Here is an excellent journal by gholland and another by me of two of these successes. The original journals have links to the successive generations.
 

John Reichard

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hi whately thanks so much for all your help do you know if the common Florida small octopus broods large eggs?
I see quite a lot of octopuses at this place where I snorkel (Blue Heron Bridge look it up on YT verry popular spot).
 

tonmo

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We're familiar with blue heron bridge; we had a presentation about it at TONMOCON VI in Sarasota at Mote last year. Great spot!
 

DWhatley

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Yes, the common Florida dwarf is O. mercatoris and is a large egg species. There is another (found mostly in the Gulf I think) dwarf native to FL that we don't often see. O. joubini, far less common, is a small egg species.

Note of caution. Blue Heron Bridge is a well known dive/snorkel site and taking anything out will put you out of favor with a lot of people. It is not protected but respected. It is a site I want to visit but will not harvest the wild life there (as badly as I want an O. vulgaris). The two main octos found there are O. vulgaris and O. defilippi. Both are large aquarium suitable. It is unlikely that there are many O. mercatoris out in the sandy part but there may be dwarfs in the rock piles near the bridge. Chelsea Bennice (aka Octo Girl) - TONMOcon VI speaker - is doing her PhD research on octopus sharing habitats (here is her Facebook page with lots of great video). You may have seen some of her OMG (Octopus Monitoring Gadget) cameras in the water.
 

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