Change in Octopus Behavior - any help would be great!

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Chelsea, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Chelsea

    Chelsea Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi There,

    I'm new here and joined up when researching my problem with my Octopus.

    I work as an Aquarist in a public aquarium and look after a Giant Pacific Octopus, she used to be very active in her tank and responsive to her keepers, always came over to us when we were working around her tank and at feeding time. However for the past couple of months she isn't active at all and always stays in the same cornor of her tank and never comes out, when we are trying to get her attention she sometimes sticks a tenticle out so we can give her food but then goes straight back to her cornor.

    Does anyone have any idea what could be the problem or any idea what I could do to? I am currently making new enrichment toys to see if she gets interested in hope that she will explore her tank again.

    Any help would be great.

    Thanks. :smile:
     
  2. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Sounds like she is getting broody. Females approaching egg laying usually spend more and more time around their den.

    Roy
     
  3. bluespotocto

    bluespotocto Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Ya it sounds like she is about to lay eggs.
     
  4. octopi88

    octopi88 O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I agree
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Doing a brief search for brood times I found this:

    Can you get a good look in the den? It would be my guess that if she has show this behavior for several months that she has already laid eggs and is brooding them (viable or not). Unfortunately, she is a small egg species so there is no chance of raising any of the 20,000 + hatchlings even if the eggs are fertile.
     
  6. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    :welcome: I agree! This is classic brooding behavior. What an awesome job you have!!!
     
  7. Chelsea

    Chelsea Larval Mass Registered

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    Thanks for your quick help!

    Egg laying has been going through my mind, but I guess I was hoping it might be something else, but it is part of their natural behavior, you just get attached to these animals!

    She have chosen the cornor the further away from our access area to the tank so I think I will have to remove her lid to get a better view. She is still feeding though.

    Thank you for your help!!!
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I've only delt with the smaller octos and have found (as has been reported in older threads) that if you can get them to eat, the females will live a little longer but not considerably. Beldar (small macropus complex) lived for only a week (she brooded for two weeks and ate during part of that time). Trapper (dwarf, mercatoris) lived 11 more weeks (brooded for 10) and ate most of the time and continued to eat Cyclop-eeze until she died. Other merc's have died with in a day of the last egg hatching (Bel's eggs were not viable, Trapper had only six young).

    The theory that they stave to death does not make a lot of sense to me, especially for the small egg species that brood for two weeks or less (not the case with the long brooding period of the GPO). I fully believe (totally non-scientific observation) that something else shuts down and not eating or eating very little or very small things is the result of some other change(s).

    If you have the time, would you consider starting a journal on the GPO? We have not had a keeper record time with one and it would be great to have your notes on the forum. A recap of her history at the aquarium would be fantastic but even if you record from this point, the brooding history would be helpful for the next keeper (including yourself if you get another female).
     
  9. Chelsea

    Chelsea Larval Mass Registered

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    Yeah I can try my best to observe, (I do have lots of animals to look after, so time is limited) but between all the keepers we do try to keep a brief diary on her. I will look over the diary again to get the right time periods and will post again to let you know what she does.

    As of now she is still feeding quite well, but will keep you updated. Thankyou for your help so far!
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    MOST EXCELLENT!!!!
     

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