do mother octos consume their eggs??

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by dittychacko, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. dittychacko

    dittychacko Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi, :welcome:
    I have an unidentified octo which I got from the beach during my evening walk. To my surprise it was brooding on its eggs.. I placed it in a fiber reinforced plastic tank of 150 l capacity and tried to feed it with small shrimps which it hardly consumed. To my surprise, after a couple of days a lions share of the eggs were missing. I searched the entire tank but could not find them. I'm confused :confused: .. Do the octos eat their own eggs?? There is no other creature in the tank..!! :shock:
    What do you guys think??
     
  2. erich orser

    erich orser Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Hi there, :welcome: ,

    I've never heard of this before, but wait until Nancy or Jean have the chance to respond! This place is actually packed with people who can help, but those names jumped to mind faster than anybody else!
     
  3. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    I've seen it happen several times in blue-rings and Octopus bocki that laid eggs in the lab.

    Roy
     
  4. TidePool Geek

    TidePool Geek O. vulgaris Registered

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    Hello,

    First off, let me say that I know next to nothing about Indian octos so what follows may or may not be helpful.

    The question that occurs to me is: How confident are you that the eggs in question actually 'belonged' to the octo?

    Most octopuses are quite secretive in their day to day existance and become EXTREMELY secretive when brooding their eggs. From your description it sounds like your discovery was fairly casual. To find a brooding octo in the intertidal zone ought to be incredibly difficult since they generally use a new den (without the shell midden at the front door) and often further camoflage it by piling rubble in the entrance.

    OTOH: There are lots of other animals (mainly fish and snails) that deposit egg clusters in tidepools. It seems to me that an octo might find such eggs to be an excellent snack.

    It would be helpfuli If you could post a description or, better yet, a photo of your octo and a description of what the eggs looked like when you first saw them - size, shape, color, and grouping [Octos often weave their eggs into skeins while fish and snails usually stick theirs to the substrate individually or in clumps.] With that information, I'm sure some of our experts :grad: could help you figure out just what you've got.

    Suggestively yours,

    Alex
     
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi and welcome to TONMO.com :welcome:

    You're our first ceph keeper from India - glad to have you aboard!

    Nancy
     
  6. dittychacko

    dittychacko Larval Mass Registered

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    Hello Alex
    Thanks for your message. I forgot to mention that the octo was brooding its eggs in a sponge covered with coral rubbles. The remaining of the eggs had hatched out and small octo larvaes were found swimming. The shape of the eggs were oval and was abour 7 mm in length. I've uploaded the photos of the egg and hatchling just hatched out. I'm sure they were octo eggs..

    Thanks
    Ditty
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    :welcome: Ditty

    Yep thats an octo egg all right! Yes Mum could have eaten some eggs (rare 'n all as that is!) possibly from stress. Also some infetile ones may have just disintigrated!

    Unfortunately Mum is very unlikely to feed, in most species of octopus breeding is terminal and the mother refuses food and wastes away. If you're planning to keep he babies to try to raise (which is VERY time consuming!) you'll need to get some plankton such as krill, mysid shrimps or small crustaceans such as amphipods to feed the squirtlings. They are also cannibalistic so I wouldn't be surprised if some of the babies vanish and their clutch mates have a self satisfied smirk on their faces :lol:

    If you're not confident about being able to raise the babies I'd release them where you found the mother (we do at the aquarium where I work cos it's just too much to look after the babies)

    Cheers

    Jean
     
  8. dittychacko

    dittychacko Larval Mass Registered

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    Dear Jean :welcome:
    Thank you very much. I've decided to see what it takes to rear the young ones :hmm: . Probably I'll be able to raise the next generation :grad:


    Ditty :smile: .
     
  9. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    You're wlecome but I'd change that "probably" to "possibly" They are a great deal of work and have a naturally low survival rate...but good luck and keep us posted!

    J
     
  10. mucktopus

    mucktopus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Those hatchlings are large, and probably also capable of crawling (along with swimming some). Sure- there'll be some natural mortality, but you have a very good chance of raising some young- but it will be very time consuming. They eat a lot (try amphipods), and will eat each other, so they should be housed individually somehow. If you focus your efforts on a few, and let the rest go where you found them, they should have a decent chance.
    Any pictures of the mom?
     

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