IDing one of the infamous 'bali octopusses'

Discussion in 'ID Requests' started by Sepioteuthis, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Sepioteuthis

    Sepioteuthis Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi all!

    Can't believe it took me this long to make it over to this forum. I used to be an avid lurker on the ceph list and after that I kind of drifted away from the cephalopod community as I went from researcher to hobbyist.

    But enough about me, lets talk about the octopus :)

    My husband (who used to post a lot on tonmo, a few years back) and I purchased the little octopus in question about two weeks ago.
    We initially thought it was a juvenile bimac (ulatus or uloides), but changed our opinion after she layed eggs.
    She is about 5 cm ML with short stout arms. she is showing a lot of black on the head and the arms can get very brick red (more orange than a vulgarus). She has eyespots but she's only showed them a few times and they are black with one blue ring.
    She is a small egged octopus and, according to the store, from indonesia.
    I haven't been able to take a decent picture since she doesn't show herself much (which is to be expected after laying eggs),so I hope the description will do.

    I'm hoping anyone here can think of some possible IDs. We did go through MArk Norman's book and found a few maybes, but nothing that really fit.

    thanks so much!
     
  2. mucktopus

    mucktopus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Hmmm...5cm ML, stout body, ocelli, from Indonesia would most likely place it in with Amphioctopus (same group as the coconut octopus).... Cyanea is a red ocellate but it matures at a much larger size, and doesn't have a blue ring in the ocelli. Other red octopuses include Callistoctopus lutues, ornatus, etc, but they have long arms and none described so far has an ocellus. Octopus wolfi, as well as animals in the vitiensis group are very stout, have huge eyes, and can be dark, but again- no ocelli. Several ocellates from the region are new/unplaced species, so I can't say for sure. Is she carrying the eggs in her arms rather than attaching them to a rock? Does she sit perched up with her mouth and suckers exposed, and the eggs behind her tucked up in her web? Is the front portion of the web (between the eyes) much shorter than the others (i.e. does it barely form a membrane between the two front arms)? (for pics of this, go to http://www.cephbase.utmb.edu and search arenicola in the reference database. Figure 5A of this paper shows this characteristic posture in a Hawaiian species). If so, then it's very likely a member of Amphioctopus. I can't wait to see pics. Try to show the mantle if you can.
     
  3. Sepioteuthis

    Sepioteuthis Larval Mass Registered

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    Thanks for the quick and detailed response!

    No, the eggs are attached to a rock. She actually abandoned the eggs a day after we found them, I think we disturbed her too much. Had we known she had layed eggs we would have never bother her, but she had dug herself in so well that the only way to find out if she was still alive was by moving rocks around. :hmm:
    As for the other things you mentioned: I think the web is pretty much the same length all around. Her eyes are also pretty small.
    I looked at those pictures and she isn't that dark red, I guess it's more of a brownish orange.

    I can't wait to show pics! :D Unfortunately she has chosen a den that isn't very conducive to photography.

    cheers
     
  4. Sepioteuthis

    Sepioteuthis Larval Mass Registered

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    I got a pretty good look at her today. I fed her a shrimp which she happily excepted.
    While I was watching her I realized that my earlier description wasn't 100% accurate. It's not the arms that are orangish, it's the suckers. The arms are actually dark brown.
    She also showed a light beige streak from between her eyes down the web between the first pair of arms.
    Still no photo opportunity though...
     
  5. mucktopus

    mucktopus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Hmmm...cyanea can have that pale stripe (but no blue ring). So do some members of Abdopus, but so far we don't know of one that has a true ocellus. Is the pale stripe bordered by a darker stipe as in this pic of A. aculeatus?
     

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  6. Sepioteuthis

    Sepioteuthis Larval Mass Registered

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    Most of the time she shows the pale stripe the rest of her head and web are practically black.
    I managed to take 2 pics while she was nibbling on the shrimp that aren't too aweful:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    As you can see, the ocellus is very faint.
     
  7. joefish84

    joefish84 Sepia elegans Registered

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    that eye spot looks just like a bimacs
     
  8. cephjedi

    cephjedi GPO Registered

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    She's definitely not a bimac. The eyespot actually isn't bimac-like. it's not chained (like -loides) and it's not spoked (like -latus)

    We bought this octopus thinking it was a bimac, and then it laid a zillion small eggs. (bimacs are large-egged) We ruled out -latus (which is small-egged) based on size and coloration. We also ruled out cyanea based on size. That's when we pulled out Norman's book.

    I hatched out some (large) mercatoris eggs a long time ago. Small eggs are colossally more challenging, but we're going to try anyway!

    Thanks for the input, it's very helpful!

    Cheers, CephJedi
     

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