Hank - O. Bocki (?)

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by Missnano, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. Missnano

    Missnano O. vulgaris Registered

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    What kind of octopus is this? I picked him up at my LFS, and they told me a brown Octopus. That they don't get specs. He's really small. HIs mental is like the size of my pink, maybe an inch. His tentacles are way longer than that. I don't notice any fake eyes, or horns or anything. I did notice him get darker as he's getting pissed.

    They put a small crab shell in there, and he ran to it and ate it. I was told he'd eat snails, crabs, shrimp. Pretty much anything.


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  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    As you have guessed, brown octopus means nothing. The photos don't reveal a lot but the protruding eyes suggest a nocturnal dwarf. If the arms are roughly 3 times the mantle length, then there is a good likelihood that it is O. mercatoris (assuming Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico) but we had a number of O. bocki last year (go to the journals forum and search titles for bocki or visit the List of our octopuses 2016). The eye of O. bocki are more prominent than for O. mercatoris. More pictures will be helpful.
     
  3. Missnano

    Missnano O. vulgaris Registered

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    Here is him in his tank inside my big tank. (Temporaray) It looks like he has two dark spots on his mental. One on each side?



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  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The two dark spots are the two branchial hearts. Octopuses have three hearts, the two you are seeing deliver oxygen from the gills to the third that circulates it through the body. Look at the pictures in the links (the first includes an excellent photo). Using the same kind of title search, you can also look at O. mercatoris for a comparison (most journals will have a number of photos).
     
  5. Missnano

    Missnano O. vulgaris Registered

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    I'm thinking it's a bocki but I can't be sure. His legs look like they are stripped and he's a grayish light color. Not shy, as he was everywhere when I placed him in the tank. However he tried to eat a snail i put in there, but couldn't get it out? Too big maybe? or is there something else I should put in there? Sorry if this seems noobish, I'm just going off what I was told which I'm not sure is 100%.
     
  6. Missnano

    Missnano O. vulgaris Registered

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    Here is a picture of him in the bag showing his suckers.

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  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    We have all been noobis (and I still feel I am one after keeping over 20 octos). The forum IS for questions :grin:.

    I am not a fan of snails for octos because they have to expend a lot of energy to try to eat them. Many small animals will eat hermit crabs (I confess to not having luck with them but many others have) but the best food is small live crabs. If you can locate small fiddlers, it is almost guaranteed he will eat them (disable or remove the large claw on the males and let me know if you need an online source). You can also try stick feeding a piece of table shrimp about the size of its eye (a small piece of raw fish may work but don't use as a steady diet). For years I swore O. mercatoris would not eat table shrimp but was proven wrong when Neal (spouse) tried feeding one of ours a very small piece. Since then I have had success using it as food as long as it was small.

    Mercs don't show grey so I suspect O. bocki. Keep in mind that there are over 300 species and many have not been formally named. We do occasionally see one that doesn't fit the most commonly shipped. That being said, I think O. bocki is a good guess.
     
  8. Missnano

    Missnano O. vulgaris Registered

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    Ok, So I will take that out then. I have some hermits and blue legged crabs they gave me. I will go to the store tomorrow and ask if they have fiddlers, but I doubt they do. My store has nothing anymore so online source would be awesome just in case. Would he take a large mysis shrimp (Defrosted)? Also, I am looking in the forum on how big they get and behavior but can't find anything? Would you happen to know?
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Give me a sec to scan something for you.
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    This is a scan of page 282 in Mark Norman's Cephalopods A World Guide. Sadly it is out of print and VERY hard to find. I wish he would update it (copyright 2003) but it is the best octopus reference to be found even now (click thumb to enlarge).
    OBockiNorman20170305_01315291.jpg
    There are several sources for small crabs on line and eBay is always worth checking but Paul Sachs has been are reliable supplier for years. If you can get him/her to take thawed mysis, by all means, use them. Including crabs, however, is going to be your best primary food. For the mercs, I also used newly killed shore shrimp. O. bocki may be able to catch them live but I found the merc only did this well when young.

    There is no need to remove the snails. They work for clean up and if he wants to eat them on occasion, it is fine.
     
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  11. Missnano

    Missnano O. vulgaris Registered

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    Very nice! Thank you!

    Do they bite if I wanna touch? I've seen some nasty bites, to people petting theirs haha!
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    You are not the first to ask :wink:. Here is a thread on recorded bites (some rather humorous). Yes they can bite but it is rare. All octopuses have some kind of venom and the reaction can be a slight swelling to a several week numbness. There are mixed thoughts on touching and our scientists are against it for numerous reasons, keeper safety being the primary. That being said, I enjoy trying to interact with them. I recommend not trying to touch them but to let them approach and touch you. First touch is always a thrill and a shock to both parties. Try not to jerk away, the octopus is most likely to touch and then retreat rapidly. The dwarfs are less likely to be as curious as the larger animals but I did have one merc with a lot of personality. Almost all successful animals (animals that survive the first two weeks and live out a normal lifespan) will allow hand feeding at some point.
     
  13. Missnano

    Missnano O. vulgaris Registered

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    First two weeks are crucial for them in a new habitat isn't it? Thought I read that somewhere.
    The lfs said they had him for awhile so he was established there so hopefully that means promising things.
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, I always hold my breath for the full 14 days but it seems that if they make it that long in their new environment, they live out their normal lifespan. Keep in mind that they only live for between 8 month to a year (dwarfs living shorter than larger animals in general) and you don't know the age when they arrive. We have had a few species to produce offspring that survived and find the estimated ages to run true for the species we can measure. An alternate understanding (circumstantial) of living a full lifespan is observing senescence. When an octopus reaches the end of its natural life, in addition to not eating (the first sign) it will begin to lose its ability to color and will often wander aimlessly around the tank.
     
  15. Missnano

    Missnano O. vulgaris Registered

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  16. sirreal

    sirreal Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    great looking octo. Before anyone else says anything they are called arms and no tenticals. No big deal and I did myself when I fist got into octos. Good luck with Hank. Look forward to reading more about him/her. And lots of pics are good LOL
     
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  17. Missnano

    Missnano O. vulgaris Registered

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    Arms. Got it! Thanks for the tip!
     
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  18. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    To arm :wink: yourself with a bit more understanding about why, for cephalopods, the distinction is real you need to understand a little about octopuses cousins. Both squid and cuttlefish have 10 appendages. Eight of them are arms with suckers like the octopus but the other two are designated as tentacles and have suckers only at the tips. These are specialized for catching food. The last member of the extant cephalopods, the nautilus has only suckerless tentacles (about 90 of them).
     
  19. Missnano

    Missnano O. vulgaris Registered

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    Wow, that's really cool! Thank you for that, as Infind them so interesting.
     
  20. Missnano

    Missnano O. vulgaris Registered

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    Update: I've noticed when Hank is at his calmest he's a bluish, gray color with dark splotches. His eyes stick up off his mantal for sure. Kinda bug eyed. Pretty sure he's a boy based of the third arm curling post I read on the forum.

    He does change colors though, from blue/gray to dark brown to almost black. (He was brown when I got him, but I'm pretty sure he was upset with his tank condition at the time.) I'm hoping his blue/gray with dark splotches isn't a sign of old age though.( senescence) But I can't find another octo his size that has the colors like what he does.

    He's eating well, and even almost escaped the other day. He thinks he's sly I tell ya.
     
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