[Octopus]: Ghost--O. Briareus

Justin Nguyen

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#1
I got this guy about 20 days ago from a driver out of Florida. So far its been eating fiddler crabs and takes them right out of my hand. Seems to be setting in well got itself a home behind the stack of rocks on the right. It does show interest in anything I'm holding in my hand so I'm working on hand feeding it frozen food still didn't except it yet. In the tank pic all the returns and power heads are now covered the photo was taken before i finish octoproofing the tank. Ill keep you updated as it goes :biggrin2:





 

tonmo

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#2
Nice! Thanks for sharing Ghost with us... Facebooked it! :thumbsup:
 

sedna

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#3
Awesome little friend! I have a bow front, I think octopuses are the best thing to keep in them. Thanks for starting a journal!
 

DWhatley

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#4
Welcome Ghost! Love the bow front.

Ghost is a part of Justin's introductory thread and there is a little more prejournal information here.

You might want to octoproof the heater too (if you have a sump, I would move it there). Burning heat is not something aquatic animals understand and Jacques Cousteau discovered that octopuses are totally foreign to the concept of being burned (If The Soft Intelligence has not been on your reading list, I highly recommend it. Very inexpensive used copies - it is out of print - are available on Amazon and often on eBay). In the book he tells of diving with tourches (underwater lights had not been invented) and burning a curious octopus to the point where they had to send it way as it was cooking itself.
 
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DWhatley

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#6
Best guesses :biggrin2:. Looking at the pictures I can tell that most of his arms have fed other critters. All your pictures show this but the first one has some nice clear focus on the arms. Notice were the suckers go from large to small, that will be a place where the arm was removed and has regrown. The really thin arm in photo #3 is probably the most recent arm loss and was very close to the webbing. Regrowth rate is not well established and have been reported as as much as an inch a week to an inch a month. Rate is likely a factor of age with slower regrowth as they get older.

There are two possible indications Ghost is male but I will put my guess at 65% certainty. Many male octopuses have enlarged suckers on two or four of the front arms (one of my male merc had them on all eight). We are not sure what function this serves but suspect it has to do with mating (it is not unusual for a female to decide to consume or kill a male during the process and the enlarged suckers may give him an advantage for avoiding damage). The enlarged suckers in the first photo may be an artifact of the photo angle and/or the new growth that has not caught up. The second possible indication is the curled up tip in photos 3 and 4. I can't tell which arm is involved (the hectocotylus would be the third arm to the right as you orient your eyes with the octos and look clockwise) but it looks like the displayed tip is shaped slightly differently and does not have suckers (this could be from removal rather than being the lingula. You can watch for the third arm to be curled most of the time when Ghost wanders the aquarium to try to validate. Here are some photos to help you observe.

He is at least a teen ager (sexually mature) if my prior observations about that dent in the mantle are valid. I have seen that begin to show up in both males and females about the time they are sexually mature.
 
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Justin Nguyen

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#9
Last post was supposed to be a video disregard that here it a youtube link :) . Photobucket does not buffer the videos fast enough.


Tried photobucket for videos that was a bad idea so here's a link to it on youtube its kinda dark though.
 
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DWhatley

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#10
The little "string" you see in the first photo in post #7 is the beginning of arm regrowth.
 

Justin Nguyen

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#11
Gave him a clam on half a shell and he went nuts over it. Also I found the shells of the ones he blew away today and they were eaten so he must of had a feast at night.
 

DWhatley

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#14
Crab body in the last one? Try to observe how he reacts with some of your anemones. Octopuses, particularly O. briareus, don't go around things and stings are an infection concern. If you see him touch one and withdraw, it would be wise to remove that animal from the tank. Leathers, gorgonians and mushrooms are better suited than most polyps and anemones. In the ocean they can avoid some of the issues (or just get sick and become food for other animals) but in a tank, anything in their restricted hunting ground is moer impactive. Keep in mind that when stinging cells are released in the water, they are not scattered quickly like in the ocean so extra care with what we place in with octos is warranted.
 

Justin Nguyen

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#18
Also gave him a tube with a air picket to make it float hes playing around with that now next will be putting food in it so see if he can figure out how to get to it.
 

DWhatley

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#19
Sadly, I am afraid ghost may be older than I originally hoped. That "hiccup" action, the prominence of the eyes and the way his mantle is kind of loose and not firm are all signs that he is aging. I noticed the eyes before but, as I mentioned, stills don't give as much information as a longer observation. With good water, this species seems to go through a longer senescent period (or start earlier) than the smaller animals so I don't expect death to be immediate. Animals are often a bit more active during this period so don't hesitate to interact. I have often wondered if their skin gets "itchy" and may be the reason they seem to enjoy being "petted" once they know you are not interested in eating them.
 

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