Great little octopus but I'm lost re: ID

Discussion in 'ID Requests' started by :)GlassDragon, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. :)GlassDragon

    :)GlassDragon Blue Ring Supporter

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    Hello all... I've meant to do this for weeks now but I've been tank side so much I haven't taken the time to turn my back to the tank to post. Well, not entirely true. I've started this post at least 3 or 4 times and ended up getting pulled away/sidetracked before hitting 'Submit New Thread'. Then I'd end up not getting back to it in a timely manner causing me to lose all that I'd already typed. :banghead: Actually, I have two reef tanks (a 55gal and a 135gal) that I have ended the day soaking wet from for the last couple of weeks for various reasons.

    Anyway, I have little Olliegoo who I think is a male. He was pretty small when I got him about 5-6 weeks ago (I've lost track of time) and he immediately started out as some kind of performer. I had the name Ollie in mind but as he was being acclimated my daughter looked in the bucket and said, "he just looks like goo...I think he's dead." He really did look dead but just about the time I was beginning to really panic, he popped back to life! He wasn't shy or stressed but was more like, 'ha, I can't believe you fell for that...pretty good aren't I?' He's done it a couple or times since then ending with what almost seems like he's laughing at me.

    He doesn't hide much unless you count camouflage for the sake of ambushing his food hiding. Is out at all hours of the day or night - he doesn't seem to be particularly consistent in that respect. He is extremely curious about everything in or out of the tank. Not trying to climb out but watches me constantly and tries to follow me as best he can as I go about the room. He's in my home studio so I am there all the time...
    I also had to take down the overflow box because he kept trying either pull it down or go behind it. He seems to like to play on or hang from the pipes like they some kind of jungle gym.
    He also seems to like to do what looks like dance. I posted a video of this yesterday and if you watch it, for a size ref the triangular glass bread at the bottom of the tank is approx 1.7cm on each side. He is a little bigger now but not much. He will usually start this 'dancing' anytime I sit in front of the tank and it can go on for anywhere for 10 to 30 minutes at a time. Sometimes he stares at me so intensely as he does this it looks like he is trying to hypnotize or mesmerize me. Very entertaining.
    Where I got him just listed him as "octopus - various species" but said origin from Indo-Pacific. I'm not sure just how accurate that is though.

    What ever he is, he is delightful. It would be nice to know though and any help would be greatly appreciated. Every time I think I've figured it out, I see/read about another species that seems to fit. Not that I have much knowledge on identifying (or anything else) in the first place.

    There is the silly video clip I made and attached some pics of him. Or if they don't come through, they are also in my albums.

    Thanks for any help you can give!

    HappyGlassDragon
    As soon as they figure out how to shrink people
    and reverse it, I'm going scuba diving in my tank!
     

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  2. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    What kind of patterning does the octopus show? Does it have a skunk stripe? Does it have any eyespots?
     
  3. :)GlassDragon

    :)GlassDragon Blue Ring Supporter

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    He has no eye spots nor does he have any specific patterning. He rarely has a stripe and when he does, it is only sometimes skunk like - mostly it's pretty off to one side or more often, he'll just have one side dark with the other light. One thing we noticed was he has had a tendency to mirror me in funny ways. My hair is dark blonde with highlights and he copied that. We thought we were imagining it (and maybe we still are) but I had my hair done about a week and a half ago but had it done a little darker. He reacted very strangely when I came back, like he wasn't sure about who I was. Once he realized it was in fact me, he started with colors that were very similar to my hair. Or If I wear something dark, he will have the area around his eyes and upper mantel lighter while his arms are darker. He can be totally smooth or very textured - bumpy/fuzzy looking. Also, he does not have any iridescence.

    As a side note, I liked it better when he was sporting lighter coloring - maybe that should tell me something about my hair....
     
  4. simple

    simple Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    If it had eyepsots i would guess hummelincki, since it seems to act like it; but being from indonesia my next guess is A. Aculeatus; and mine used to do the half black half white coloration, although yours doesnt look very acualeatus-like. Does it have what look like little horns on top of its eyes sometimes?
     
  5. :)GlassDragon

    :)GlassDragon Blue Ring Supporter

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    Yeah, he (or she?) does have little horns once in awhile. A lot of times they pop up when I walk up to the tank. BTW, when ever I do walk up, he almost always gives me a greeting of sorts. He bobs his head once I respond by bobbing mine twice then he acknowledges with a double bob. The same pattern is followed even if I start first. It only changes if there is some kind of change/excitement like new crabs added to the tank, something new to explore or if there seems to be a lot of activity in the studio. Then I get a triple bob from him.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    From you avitar, I would guess aculeatus but agree with Simple that the photos look more like hummelincki (but they have definite eye spots - my avitar is hummelincki). They tend to look similar in photos but not so much so in person. Aculeatus has about twice the arm length and about half the body mass of hummelincki and does come from Indonesia (hummelincki is Carabbean). Both are very personable home octos and common in the trade.
     
  7. :)GlassDragon

    :)GlassDragon Blue Ring Supporter

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    Thanks to all for your input. I think it helps to have some idea of what species this little guy is.

    You guys are probably right re: Aculeatus - Goo definitely doesn't have any eye spots...at least not any that I can see.

    I thought he might be a O. rubescens at first because of his coloring (most of the time his prominent color is red/brown or reddish/purple-ish algae like color) and he definitely has the three papillae below the eyes. They are not always present/prominent but there are distinctly three.

    He did put on quite a show this eve! He pulled of some incredible stunts of disguise - like nothing we have ever seen before. And at one point actually looked like he was walking, bi-pedal, across the front of the tank. I screamed at my husband to come down to the studio to see him because I couldn't be the only one to see this...it was just too neat to keep it to myself. Besides, I needed a witness so when I recall it tomorrow, I won't think I'm nuts. :wink:
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    This is going to assure you that you were not seeing things :grin: but a clear view of one walking that way in a tank is unusual.

    The video is from Christine Huffard, better known to us as Mucktopus. Christine studies the aculeatus and did much of her doctoral research on them. The film is significant as it had not been recorded before.

    The coloring, however, seems odd for aculeatus as I have only seen them in a tannish coloration but coraline algae on the rocks may make a big difference. There are a number of unnamed species in the adopus complex and we normally assume all to aculeatus but occasionally one shows up that could be another related subset of the complex.

    Do you have night lights on the tank? If so, you may want to turn them off is the Olliegoo is out and active at night. My hummelincki would be restless at night after a power outage would reset the red night light and it would shine white. After a summer of thunderstorms we just turned it off altogether.
     
  9. jacal01

    jacal01 Larval Mass Registered

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    And does he display a music preference? :sly:

    :old:
     
  10. :)GlassDragon

    :)GlassDragon Blue Ring Supporter

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    The walking is great...that is pretty much what he did (and has done again) but without necessarily trying to look like sea grass. That same night he also curled himself up right next to a jumbo snail and replicated it with such accuracy it was incredible. Then traveled about the tank a little before taking a long rest on the wall as a starfish - he looked exactly like my knobby starfish except the color (the starfish is very red). I tried to take pictures but it was too dark for my camera with a weak battery. :sad:

    The bigger he gets the more he definitely looks to be of the adopus complex and probably aculeatus but just has the coraline algae influence. He does go to brown/tan colors too but mostly when he is on or around rocks of those colors. He has an incredible talent for morphing right into the texture and color of the rocks. He so good that even I, who is near him all day, can walk up and not see him right smack in front of me sometimes.

    I followed you advice re: the nightlight last night and will leave it off tonight. I had just started doing that for the last few nights and I'm not so sure that it was the best idea. Before that he was out and active a lot during the day but after using the night led light, he spent far more time sleeping during the day and was not so interested in anything new.

    When I first got him he primarily stayed the color he is in the attached pic - or when in neutral. I thought he might be O. rubescens. Although as he gets bigger they seem less prominent, he often has the three papillae on the lower eye showing that are characteristic of the rubescens.

    In any case, my focus now is to make sure I'm offering foods that are appropriate for him and providing an excellent environment. I don't know enough about aculeatus. I am more familiar with O. bimaculoides which is what I thought was being sent. But the misunderstanding doesn't matter, Goo has been a delight.
     

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  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Unfortunately, most suppliers know next to nothing about octopuses. O. rubescens and both bimacs are colder water species (especially rubescens who would have likely died in your tank) and would have come from the northwest not come from warm Indonesian waters.

    If you are now hooked (if you are not - you likely will be) on keeping octos, there are two books you should acquire. For ceph care, Cephalopods Octopuses and Cuttlefishes for the Home Aquarium written by two of our staff members, Colin Dunlop and Nancy King. For identification, Norman's Cephalopods A world Guide is the standard that even the diver's use, it is pricey but a must have for most of us. Both are available on Amazon.

    I like your choice of the knobby and keep them in with my octopuses (as well as serpents) because they do such a great clean up job and are so day active and brightly colored. I have a video in Serendipity's thread where I was trying to film a knobby and Dipy just had to make an appearance :grin:
     
  12. :)GlassDragon

    :)GlassDragon Blue Ring Supporter

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    I am definitely hooked. I have always loved octopuses - I've always loved the ocean, sea life, water... I should have been a marine biologist.
    Unfortunately, I developed an illness late in life that pulled me away from the coast. But the positive I got out of it was I met my husband who was the first to indulge my desire for a saltwater tank. I now have two reef tanks - a 55gal in my studio where Goo is and a 135 gal in the main part of the house. I keep non photosynthetic or low light tolerant corals with Goo and they do beautifully. I think that contributes to the knobby staying out so much too. I have a dark red spiny star also but it still prefers to hide. My knobby likes to ride around at night on the backs of the huge snails I have. It really looks funny and Goo almost always looks from behind the rocks to investigate this oddity, approaching with one eye raised like in skepticism as if it were his eyebrow.

    He also plays hide-n-seek. I duck below the bottom edge of the tank and move to a new spot - Goo comes over to try to find me then when I pop up he comes over then goes behind the rocks and moves from there to another location. After I shine my pen light where I think he is, he pops up and waits for me to duck....
    He'll do this for 4-7 rounds.
    I've had a GPO do this too for close to 30 minutes. She was fabulous and we even pressed our faces up to one another. That was quite a treat. Especially after I learned that she had been very shy and didn't come out often. :octopus:

    I'll most certainly look into getting the books. I've read nearly ever article or study I can find on the web. Funny thing re: the temp for Goo is when I thought he might be rubescens I started keeping the the tank on the cooler end of the scale. Goo was way more active then. Now that I put the temp up to accommodate as aculeatus he became slightly more lethargic. I need to test this theory though since there is the nightlight issue in the mix.

    I am a talker/typer... but I find this all so fascinating. I am very much into reactions, play, behavioral studies, etc. Before taking an early retirement (so to speak :wink:) I worked with a neuro group. I enjoy the study of the brain and how it works - almost any species brain. Having an octopus here at home just reignites my fascination as well as inspires my art.

    I like the video! That was great. My daughter watched too - gave two thumbs up :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     

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  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Glad you both enjoyed the peek-a-boo octo video, eveytime I reference it I watch it again myself and have to laugh.

    With your interests, octos and cephs in general should keep you well entertained. Be sure to check the Octobot (news finds) as there are occassional news releases on experiments.

    I keep a few of the red brittles as well :smile:. They all show up a supper time but the only one that has a name (Pesky) is seen the most and is in with Suenami (if you watched her acclimation video, you will see why this star has a name). The tank is actually two tanks joined with two tubes with a common bottom and top and Pesky can be found on either side as well as in the DIY overflow or in Sue's den. It is much more active than the others, and is the largest so I don't yet know if they become less shy as they grow or if Pesky is just particularly active.

    If you want another serpent that is very bright and different, look for an orange slimy (I don't know the scientific name and Ken is out right now so I can't check). Ken, sealifeinc.net (I am their webmaster so I don't get first choice but the price is right), has them from time to time but just sent me my first after several tries and it has become a new favorite very quickly. It is NOT slimy but is very smooth skinned and a brilliant orange.
     

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