GPO missing arms not regrowing, etc

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by colinda, May 10, 2008.

  1. colinda

    colinda Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I'm new and wondering if anyone can help with info on giant pacific I feed in Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center, I would like to know why it's two missing arms do not grow back and if there is another way to tell if it is a male or female than the missing arm 3rd down on right side!
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Colinda,
    Unfortunately, my only experience with a GPO is three opportunities to view one at our new aquarium and there is a lot of small things that vary species to species. My little Merc can be sexed after about 5 months by looking for enlarged suckers on their front arms but Octane (Hummelincki) has no sucker distinction and only the constantly rolled up third arm gives him away (he keeps it so tightly rolled that you cannot see the tip).

    If memory serves me correctly, everyone who has had an octopus with missing arms were able to see the arms regenerate if the animal was not in sesenence. Octane's arm regrowth initially looked like a piece of hair or dead flesh at the end of the arm. Over about a 1 week period, that stringy material stared to show suckers and now the arm has regenerated enough to be difficult to find (it is still a bit shorter than the others). What I don't know is when he lost the arm tip so I can't give timing on how long from injury it to to start seeing the regeneration.
     
  3. colinda

    colinda Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Oh thank you so much for the reply this GPO is about 20 pounds and about 6 feet from tip to tip it's name is Hodges and he came to us with the arms missing one is four inches up missing and the one on the left is most of it but there is about 2 inches left and in 2 months there is no growth, I just wonder if this is because it did not lose the total arms or is it that GPO's do not regrow them, I've really serched to find this out, so I can give the public the answers they ask!
     
  4. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    At TONMOCON I, it was mentioned by one of the local experts that adult male GPOs have oversized suckers on 2 (or maybe 4) of their arms. I can't find any references to that anywhere on the web or in books so far, though.

    Edit: looking back through TONMOCON I's schedule, I'm fairly sure it was Erich Hochberg than mentioned the oversized suckers in males in response to Pipsquek's "Big Red" sculpture.
     
  5. colinda

    colinda Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    It would be great if I can tell the public if Hodges is male or female or if it will or will not grow back the arms or why it will not, this is what they ask!
     
  6. colinda

    colinda Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Thank you!

    Thank you so much for the help and if anyone has info in future and post it I will keep reading the threads as I learn to do this!
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Colinda,
    I hope Jean will see your post. She works with the NZ equivalent of the GPO and might have a better answer. I will venture a guess that the arm that is almost fully missing and shows no sign of regrowth may not grow back. I know that losing a partial arm allows for regeneration for the medium sized octos based on my own experience with Octane and losing a full arm is a talent of the Adopus species group (they can drop an arm at will to escape predation). My guess would be opposite what you suggest in that he may have lost too much of the arm (too close to the body) to allow regeneration. Unfortunately, the thought is only a guess and not something you can safely tell visitors.
     
  8. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hi Colinda and :welcome:

    I work with Pinnoctopus cordiformis another big octopus, as D says a similar large species to the GPO. We have had them regrow arms but it is age dependent an older animal won't regrow (in this species thats from 18 months to two years). How old do you think Hodges is? I'm guessing by the size he may be half grown? How is he eating? They need extra food to regrow arms. They don't sound like the arms missing too much to prevent regrowth. I'd feed to excess, if they don't regrow Hodges will adapt and cope very well with out them! One other thing what's you water temp like? Ours don't regrow arms well in winter, their metabolism is too slow.

    The third right arm of the male octopus is hectocotylized with a modified tip, called the ligula, that is used during mating, and in E. dofleini may be one fifth the length of the arm.

    So the hectocotylus is missing in Hodges if he is indeed a he. Which makes me wonder if in fact he is a she! In our experience males protect that arm and it is very rare for them to lose it!

    Cheers

    Jean
     
  9. colinda

    colinda Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Jean thank you for this info and any thing you or anyone else can tell me would be great!
    I'm not sure on Hodges age but I would say half grown by the size about 20 pds and proble 6 feet, Hodges eats one crab 3 times a week and eats fine. Hodges is not as friendly as the last GPO at the center and I found it intresting that it is cleaning every day! The water is pumped from the bay so the water is 45 to 55 degrees in the bay, but I will find out for sure the temp. Oh it is the 3rd arm on right side that has more than half missing!
    Thank you so much for the help!
     

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