Care of Abdopus for filming

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Alex Page, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Alex Page

    Alex Page Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi all,

    I am posting here as I hoped someone may be able to help me.

    I work for a company called Silverback Films and we are currently producing a six-part series on the natural history of predators for the BBC. One of the animals we are looking to film for our Coasts episode is an as-yet unnamed species of Abdopus discovered in 2011 in Broome, Australia that has been found to regularly leave the water at low tide to move between the rock pools that it hunts within. Obviously this is a pretty exciting predation technique for a marine predator so we are really keen to film it and show people how amazing cephalopods are!

    As the rock pools will be pretty much impossible to set up cameras in to capture any of the octopus's hunting within them in any detail we are actually planning to use a tank for filming some of these pool close up shots. We are working with the scientist who discovered the species who has the permits for collecting and keeping the octopus but he generally collects specimens which he euthanises for his taxonomy research so doesn't have so much experience in keeping them alive and well for longer periods. Obviously we want to keep our octopus stars alive and happy for their benefit and because it certainly helps for the filming!

    I wonder if I could get your advice on the conditions we will need in the tank to keep an Abdopus octopus happy and healthy? We will likely be filming for three weeks and will have a separate filming tank with a rock pool set in it plus tanks that they will be kept in when not filming. As a species they are very similar in their looks and behaviour to A.aculeatus and live in the same sort of conditions (and the same locations in some instances) so I imagine we should follow the best procedures for keeping them?

    Any help would be much appreciated
    Cheers,
    Alex
     
  2. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Abdopus from Western Australia

    I have kept several adults of this attractive species of Abdopus in Berkeley. (See attached) They are tough and easy to maintain, but be careful. They are reported to possess a neurotoxin. Living in the low intertidal, they are tolerant of rapid salinity and temperature changes. Activity patterns may be a problem since you want to film at night when they are moving across the reef. In my experience, this is basically a diurnal beast that can also be active a night during full moons. You may want to set them up with not only a solar, but also a lunar photoperiod.

    Roy
     

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  3. Alex Page

    Alex Page Larval Mass Registered

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    Thanks a lot for that info Roy. Is that the same species of Abdopus as the one studied by Dr Julian Finn in Australia? Julian has observed them moving onto land several times during the day and this was when we were hoping to film them if possible. That's certainly good to get a heads up about the potential neurotoxin possesion before I go sticking my hands anywhere near one!

    As it sounds like you have a lot of experience keeping these octopuses it would be fantastic if I could speak with you to find out more. If that's possible could you please let me know a suitable number and time I can call by emailing me at alex.page@silverbackfilms.tv

    Cheers,

    Alex
     
  4. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Here is the reference to the saxitoxin paper.

    Roy


    First report of saxitoxin in octopi.

    Alison Robertson, David Stirling, Cedric Robillot, Lyndon Llewellyn, Andrew Negri
    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.
    Toxicon (impact factor: 2.51). 01/2005; 44(7):765-71. DOI:10.1016/j.toxicon.2004.08.015
    Source: PubMed
     

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