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Fuerteventura encounter with octopus.

8leggedgroover

Pygmy Octopus
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#1
Whilst filming in a rockpool at low tide yesterda we spotted an octopus. It was obviously in its lair during the day as the doorway was scattered with crab shells.

Anyway, last night we took a jar with a hole in the lid and placed a couple of pieces of fish inside. No surprises that this morning they were gone.

Today i took my gopro camera to film the lair and the ocyopus made a lunge for the camera! The octopus actually broke the surface of the water.

I'll put the video up next week when I get back off holiday.

Kind regards from the canary islands.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
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#2
We have heard about various "attacks" on equipment, often cameras or masks and I keep wondering if it has something to do with treatment of the glass. Is the lens on the camera polarized?

Anxiously awaiting your video - and Welcome to our group!
 

8leggedgroover

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#3
I had to modify the Gopro camera with a polarised lens so it shoots clear video under water.

To be fair i had the camera maybe 12" away from the octopus for a fair while so maybe it saw the camera as a threat?

I was considering leaving the camera near the lair but after it grabbed a bottle with a couole of fish in it clean out of my hands theres no way I'm giving up my £300 camera to him.

We are going back to his lair later today at low tide to get more footage. He has been there in the same lair for two days so every chance he'll be there again later.

8leggedgroover.
 

DWhatley

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#5
Fun video! It is hard to get a perspective of size though. How long would you guestimate the mantle and arms? I thought we might have some fun IDing thi little critter but my first guess is of a relatively small animal.
 

8leggedgroover

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#6
The mantle is the size of a small womans fist tighty clenched with arms easily 10" long making it 20" across.

I'll do a little write up on its behaviour a little later.
 

OB

Colossal Squid
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#7
O. vulgaris, most likely? I know O. macropus has been collected in the mediterranean, but I'm not sure regarding the Atlantic, i.e. Canary Islands... Then again, the latter species often displays a typical orange with white spots, certainly not present in this particular video.
 

8leggedgroover

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#8
Whatever the sp. it has been very entertaing to go and watch it. We visited it again at very low tide when only a foot of water covered the lair.

Firstly I squeezed some sardines in the water in an effort to promote some activity. Nothing this time! He was well squeezed into the lair and I could barely see his suckers but he was definitely there!

I put the camera on the floor a foot away from him. Nothing!

I wanted to make this the last filming opportunity and to leave him in peace a day or two after today.

All of a sudden a tentacle started moving and he was up!

Still partly hidden in the lair with his eyes poking above an arm he was aware of something being amiss. With sudden colour changing he struck out at the camera, no exploratory action, just a strike with vivid colour changing. Maybe the initial colour changes were a warning?

The only time the octopus strikes like this is when the camera is at floor level with himself. Anything above and he takes no notice except maybe an exploratory bit of investigation.

As I said before, there was no way I was giving up my £300 camera to him so I kept the camera a safe distance knowing how fast he can move and how far he'd venture out of the lair to see the camera off. I'm also aware of the massive strength an octopus has as my friend that lives in Fuerteventura tells me he was spear fishing here a few weeks ago and nearly lost his spear to an octopus and had to grabble with all his strength to keep his equipment!

Anyway. I don't wish to cause the octopus any further stress so won't be filming it again. I imagine its pretty distressing for it to strike out as he has done squirting jets of water (not inking) when near the water surface. Had a fascinating few days but it's his domain and not mine but I hope you enjoyed the video and my description. Sorry I'm not a natural historian or icthyologist but thats my story of my first wild octopus encounter.

8leggedgroover.
 

DWhatley

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#9
8leggedgroover,
Thanks for sharing the video even before you finish your vacation. You certainly don't need to be anything official to enjoy these critters. To have the opportunity to go back and see him a couple of times is fun just thinking about it. We only get a few in situ viewings and they are always exciting. Trying to figure out the species is always interesting.

OB, I would say not Macropus (wrong colors even though they can make white spots they are very red when they do and all the photos of the ones I have seen matched the red of the two small ones I have kept). I watched the video several times to try to decide on guessing O.vulgaris (which is getting to be a lot like brown octopus) and think the mantle thickness is much more robust than the O.vulgaris we have in this hemisphere, but may be more typical across the water and the photos in Norman do seem to support this. The chocolate coloring looks a lot like the videos of O.cyanea but I did not see an eyespot no matter how hard I looked (and don't know if they are found there but we had reports of a mimic in North Africa and it was confirmed that they at least range that far). There is a smaller (dwarf sized) animal in Norman (pg 239), O. capricornicus, that shows the coloration at 4:00. The circles with the surrounding flower like pattern could be diagnostic but I don't quite know where else to look. I wish Norman would do an update with just octopuses :grin:
 

8leggedgroover

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#10
No problem for putting the video up.

I set my camera to take pics every 5 seconds too. I'll pick a few of those pics off the pc and load them up here, see if they help with id. I can also take stills from the video.
 

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