Captive breeding of cephalopods

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by ivan09193, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. ivan09193

    ivan09193 Larval Mass Registered

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    Hello all,

    I'll start off by introducing myself, since I'm new to the forums. I'm a high school student in Virginia, and my current coursework includes a class related to oceanography and marine biology. As part of my own studies (tangentially related to the course) on cephalopods and their behavior, I came across your forum. Just to be clear, I'm not interested in raising cephalopod species at present, so my questions are mainly theoretical, rather than practical.

    One particular question I have regard to cephalopods relates to cephalopod captive breeding programs. From what I understand, some members of this foum have successfully bred Sepia bandensis and some species of large-egged octopus. I have also read that there is a tendency for fertility and viability to be reduced in the F1 and F2 generations of captive bred cephalopods (http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/10435/). I was wondering if any of the members of this forum have experienced such a phenomenon in their breeding efforts, and if there is any explanation for these occurrences.

    Also, I am not entirely sure where most of the members of this forum acquire their cephalopods. Based upon an archived article (http://www.tonmo.com/cephcare/3yearscephcare.php), I am led to believe that this community has experienced "cycles" in which captive cephalopods lived for a long period of time, followed by a period of reduced lifespan. Could this be due to an increase in the number of captive bred cephalopods in the community over time?

    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Most of the octopuses in the journals are wild caught with only a very few captive raised (fewer captive bred). With the exception of two dwarf species, there has been little success (none that I am aware of) in tank breeding octopuses. Captive raised octos from fertile wild caught females have been limited to a few large egged species and are extremely rare. The availability cycle you see in the availability thread is based largely upon wild caught octopuses.

    Most of the cuttles come to members in the form of commercially available wild collected fertile bandensis eggs that are either raised by the final keeper or raised and distributed by keepers with experience and success. Some of the more experienced keepers have been successful in raising tank bred bandensis. Matings are successful but the egg viability is low and reasons are unknown.
     
  3. Tintenfisch

    Tintenfisch Architeuthis Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi there, and :welcome:...

    Whereabouts in VA? I went to high school 'round them thar parts myself...
     
  4. L8 2 RISE

    L8 2 RISE Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    :welcome: Same question to you Tintenfisch :smile: I currently go to high school in Fairfax county. If you're anywhere around me (ivan09193) I'm guessing you go to TJ? Last I checked, which I do/did relatively often as I'm one of the kids who managed to get oceanography started at our school next year, TJ had a pretty good marine bio program and had/possibly still has, an octopus not too too long ago. As for your questions, dwhatley has you covered there I see :wink:
     
  5. ivan09193

    ivan09193 Larval Mass Registered

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    You guessed right, L8 2 RISE. The marine biology program is definitely going strong, although I don't believe that anyone is doing cephalopod research this year. I heard about the octopus they were keeping last year, but I don't think that it faired too well. It's difficult to maintain delicate species in a school environment, especially if a snow day disrupts feeding schedules.

    I'm not involved with the lab itself, and probably won't be, as my top choice lab is biotechnology. Some current projects I have seen include a study of the expulsion of zooxanthellae from anenomes, a molecular study of heat shock proteins produced by cnidarians, as well as an interesting project on seahorse hearing abilities.

    Which school are you at?
     
  6. ivan09193

    ivan09193 Larval Mass Registered

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    Also, are most members of this forum from California?
     
  7. Tintenfisch

    Tintenfisch Architeuthis Staff Member Moderator

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    Dr. Wu sure has a lot to answer for! :wink: That was my first marine bio course and it got me hooked on the sea, although actually she didn't teach most of the semester I first took marine bio, being out on maternity leave.

    I did my senior tech lab with an isopod systematist at the Smithsonian, and last time I was in town visiting their collections, I ran into the guy who had organized the TJ end of the mentorship program.

    Crazy small world. :smile:
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    We have a very mixed lot, including international members, some who work very hard to understand our American English (we have to do our own translations of New Zealand, Great Britian and Aussie English but the first language non-english folks write their own translations :tomato:). Tintenfisch doubles as both a Kiwi and a US member.

    An unofficial guess would be heaviest memberships along coastal states, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea but we have members from even small inland cities.
     
  9. L8 2 RISE

    L8 2 RISE Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    I'm at Oakton... and most of the members are spread throughout. Most of the guys breeding cephs on the forums are in California though...

    Can I ask what the project is exactly that you're doing? (I don't believe you mentioned it... at least if you did, I missed it.)

    And as Tintenfisch said, small world! Quite a few of the recent new members have been from this area....
     
  10. ivan09193

    ivan09193 Larval Mass Registered

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    Actually, I'm a junior, so I'm not involved in tech labs yet. For the most part, I'm just reading journal articles on cephs and their behavior. Quite a few papers on Sepia officinalis, seeing as they're preferred by the NRCC. Octopus vulgaris seems to be quite common as well. One would think that Sepia bandensis would be more popular as a research subject, given their smaller space demands.

    As a hobbyist, I maintain a number of freshwater setups. Currently, I have a breeding group of livebearers and an ancient trio of Xenopus (two of them are 13 years old!).

    I'm curious about the oceanography program at Oakton. Do you have enough lab space to carry out research projects? Is your oceanography course primarily based around the physical portion of the ocean, or does it include the biological aspects as well?
     
  11. L8 2 RISE

    L8 2 RISE Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    What I meant was what exactly are you doing this for... Just for fun, an eventual project, etc? And as for bandensis, I wasn't in the hobby when Thales started to breed them... so don't exactly know all of the background and what not, but I believe they were relatively "un-researched" and not incredibly common in captivity. I don't believe very much research at all has been done on them... This is just what I've "sort-of" gleaned from being part of wamas though.

    The oceanography program at Oakton is non-existant right now. As I said, I was one of the students who managed to help do some stuff to get it started... next year... as for the curriculum etc, I have no idea what it is, as of right now, it's still up in the air between two teachers who is going to teach the class. Eventually I believe the goal is to be able to carry out some "research projects" in the classroom. I've been unofficially "hired" as of now to set up a tank for the course due to the fact that I've already set up a sea horse tanks in one of the bio classes.

    As for the freshwater tanks, isn't it time to move to salt water now? 8-)
     
  12. ivan09193

    ivan09193 Larval Mass Registered

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    The logical progression, eh? :wink:

    Nope, it's more of a just for fun thing. It's great that you were able to get oceanography started at Oakton. It's a shame that other schools don't have those kinds of science programs. I'm guessing you're a senior, so you won't be around to reap the benefits. Or will you?
     
  13. L8 2 RISE

    L8 2 RISE Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    yup, logical progression, and a lot more interesting IMO... I definetly can't be accredited with "getting it started" at all, in fact, I hardly did anything, apart from set up a fish tank and be a part of scuba club which kind of pushed it a little... but I'm definetly going to take part in it! And nope, I'm a sophmore so I've got plenty of time and definetly plan on reaping the benefits.
     

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