Impossible ID?

Discussion in 'ID Requests' started by JeremyNYC, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. JeremyNYC

    JeremyNYC Larval Mass Registered

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    Ok, here's the story:

    About 30 years ago, I had an octopus, as well as other exotics like sharks, sea horses, etc. The octopus was my favorite and I've always stated that I would get another later in life. I've periodically popped into fish shops and seen the change in species for sale, and their prices. I didn't do much research until a few days ago when I saw a mimic octopus in a local store. I was pretty shocked that these were legal and did some research bringing me here. Much has changed and I'm wondering if anyone thinks they might be able to tell me what I had. Yes, I realize this is difficult ;) without pictures:

    1) probably ~2" mantle (don't remember a pointed tip like I see in some here)
    2) maybe 6-7" end to end when moving fast
    3) pale brown color when not agitated, feeding or camoflauging
    4) pretty sure it had false eye spots but most definitely there was nothing blue or colorful
    5) spent a lot of time in his den, but also was pretty active/playful outside
    6) escaped the tank into the overflow filter twice
    7) think it lasted 6 mos to a year. died after I had to break it and my horn shark up [don't ask]. I always assumed it was from damage or stress, but it may have been coincidence. I don't remember anyone knowing how long they lasted back then.
    8) inked rarely, mostly when I would run into my room fast after forgetting something.
    9) I lived in Southern California and think there is a good chance it came from there
    10) didn't seem to grow in size from the time I brought home

    Sorry no pics or vids. Seems to look most like this:


    thanks,
    Jeremy
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    You are right Jeremy, the clues make it really difficult to guess even a suggested list. I'll offer one suggestion based on the location (likely call for being local since few if any would have been imported 30 years ago), size (since was small and did not grow much, a dwarf species is likely) and color (brown or red/brown but most can show some variations of brown). The one thing that does not fit Octopus digueti is the existence of an eye spot. There are over 300 species and counting so the suggestion is a shot in the dark based on what we have typically seen. A Google search of: Octopus digueti site:tonmo.com (<-clicking the words will activate the search) will display a few TONMO threads about this animal and using only: Octopus digueti will show a few images (be careful with using the image tab as looking for pictures of any octopus - using the word octopus or not - will display a variety of species but the initial text search is often on topic). I have also added an abstract and link to a fully viewable paper in the Cephalopods by Species -> Octopodidae forum if you would like to read more on the species.

    I can also likely eliminate several other species common to the US Pacific coast:
    Octopus bimaculoides and bimaculatus (the one you kept was too small and would have shown a lot of orange a different times on both the skin and suckers. A caution about this link, it contains multiple species only the animals with a single, clear, target like eye spot are bimacs)
    Octopus rubescens (not likely because of the temperatures but not totally out of the possibilities - still no eye spot and should have often appeared red but the link will show you some photos)
    Enteroctopus dofleini (Giant Pacific Octopus - way too small and would have needed a cold tank)
    Octopus maya (again your animal was too small but this one does have an eye spot. I have never been able to validate its color. Note the first animal shown in the link is O. maya the others are likely other species. This species is being raised in Mexico as an aquacultured food product.

    As for the animal in the video, I had to watch several videos of the same animal before I decided it is very likely O. bimaculoides. The poster's location is in CA and probably in the northern part of the state (they also have a post of a GPO in a Washington aquarium). What made it difficult to be comfortable with the ID was the lack of typical orange on the sucker tips and spotted around the body in any of the videos. It may be the deeper water, O. bimaculatus that is very similar but not one we have journaled on TONMO or have any photos of for comparison. The eye stripe and patch of white in the front (comparing images to the one O. bimaculoides I have kept) does suggest one or the other of the "bimacs" in abundance in CA.

    Other members closer to CA may have additional suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
  3. JeremyNYC

    JeremyNYC Larval Mass Registered

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    Thanks for the detailed response! I guess I may never know unless I find some old photos. I don't ever remember it getting red and it also was kept at room temp.. I am guessing 70-72. I don't think a whole lot was known about keeping them in captivity, and this was well before the internet existed. :)
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    LOL, 30 years ago :old: we didn't know much about keeping anything from the ocean in captivity. We cut living coral, bleached it for a month
    to kill the bacteria and then soaked it for another to remove the chlorine. We (fortunately) have come a long way and I think the hobby has contributed to understanding more about our environment but we still have a long way to go.

    70-72 would have supported a bimac (anecdotal evidence suggests it would have been more active but lived for a shorter period). The temp would have been successful for anything naturally living in a close temp range. There is evidence of O. rubescens living in waters this warm but it is expected that an animal relocated from colder waters would not do well.

    Hopefully you will find a box of photos somewhere and scan them in :grin:
     
  5. JeremyNYC

    JeremyNYC Larval Mass Registered

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    Yeah, My setup was simple. I had an under gravel filter and the overflow. I have no idea what a protein skimmer is. I had a 55 "show" which is the 48"x20"x13" configuration. This was seen as overkill for a tiny octopus. It was weird for me to read that everyone should have at least 55 for a small one. The recommendation for tank size was just a function of number of animals and size of animals in the tank, regardless of species. I fed mine freshwater goldfish. I think I fed it about twice a week.

    Anyway, the mimic in my LFS has been renamed a wonderpus and seems to have a couple tiny T-Rex arms. wonderpus.JPG
     

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