[Octopus]: Mama - O. mercatoris (?)

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by sedna, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    I have had this one for 5 1/2 weeks now, it's well acclimated- if nothing else. I got it from Matt Andrews at Tom's Caribbean Tropicals, he had it labeled briareus or vulgaris. I waited this long to journal it because I was worried that it will turn out to be a brooding joubini- it reminds me a lot of that one I had a few years ago.

    I couldn't tell if it is male of female when it was acclimating. I should have gotten more pics, but I couldn't guess that it was never going to come out of that barnacle! I put it in the bucket during acclimation, and it hasn't come out (in front of me) since. It has eye "flaps" under it's eyes, it sits there and watches out from that den all day long. Sometimes it holds a shell up in front of it's den like a door, and it keeps it's arms up over it's eyes like a merc, but it's way too big for that. It has the blue sheen like you see in briareus, and it has red bands on it's arms. One shot here is of the back of it's head, with arm wrapped around. I was worried I'd see eggs in it's mantle, but I didn't see anything. The only thing I'm sure of is that it's growing, and it will have to come out sooner or later because it's going to be too big for it soon. Unless it's a brooding jobbing...

    It doesn't like "shrimp on a stick," but does like hermit crabs. It will hoard shell until there isn't any more room, then throw shells out when it runs out of room. It hangs farthest out of it's den after dark and in the morning until 9 or so.
     

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  2. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    These are terrible shots, but what you can tell is that the second and third arms are the longest. I haven't seen the deep webbing I'd expect from a briereus, but then I haven't seen much of anything!
     

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  3. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    NO, SHE isn't a briareus.
     

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  4. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    I decided to take the barnacle out and see what's up. It's a dwarf with eggs. Not a long sting of eggs, just stuck-to -the-top-of-the-barnacle eggs. Didn't count how many, but not a ton. I was putting the barnacle back in the tank when I double checked and saw the eggs, so I didn't take a lot of time to look closer.

    Merc or joubini?
     

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  5. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Was hoping I'd be able to take her into the aquarium and let her eggs hatch out into the newly unoccupied kreisel (the final jelly finally died off)- just to see if I could get more time out of them in a tank w/ no predators (lots of bristle worms). But, there is a donor who paid for a new tank for that spot, so I'm just going to have to do what we all do w/ small eggs- watch them all die off... I know they wouldn't live to adulthood there, but it'd be a fun experiment!
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The in-tank pictures definitely look like O. mercatoris but your out of the water shots have me wondering. I have never seen a good photo of O. joubini and never kept one so we will have to wait for the eggs to hatch. The low count speaks to O. mercatoris. Strangely, even though I have raised a couple of generations of mercs, I have never seen the eggs :roll: so I can't give you a comparison for size guessing.
     
  7. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Silly girl still hangs out of her den in the evening and takes small hermits. She was busy last night, as this morning I found that she somehow upended the barnacle so that her den is punting upward. She would have had to come quite far out of her den to accomplish this. She did this 2 weeks ago, but I righted the barnacle after I fed her, not convinced she'd done it purposely. This time I'm going to leave it as is.

    D, have you ever had a brooding merc be so social? Mine were always shut up tight! Also, we should change the name of the journal. I don't know, "Sedna's NOT briareus?"
     
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  8. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Her den is POINTING upward. Again, need to be wearing those reading glasses...
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    How about giving her a name and we follow the :roll: standard format :grin:. The not briareus would be funny but hard to find later for people looking for merc journals.

    In the back of my mind, (again I have never seen, let alone kept one and can't even call it anecdotal - probably from your experience with a likely candidate) I am thinking that joubini may be more personable than the mercs but I have had two mercs that were wonderful. My first female (Trapper) was somewhat social when she started brooding (but not before) and remained social for the 11 weeks she survived the brood hatch (she also ate Cyclop-eeze nightly from a pipette after brooding and ate much of the brood time). One male was very active and was very punctual for dinner and a few others would interact. Sleazy (my last one) never left her den so there does seem to be a wide range of behaviors, the most common being reclusive.
     
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  10. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Let's just call her "Mama" for now and when the babies hatch out we'll add the species to the thread title. It'd be nice if she's a merc and I can raise the babies, but I really don't have a small (cycled) tank ready for that... I will certainly be ready with food!
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    A breeder net (or two) in you current tank should work well. The journals suggest that 5 surviving might be a good number to anticipate. Based on my limited experience, I think 5 siblings would do fine in your current tank. It took me 5 months before I release them from the over-sized breeder nets but the next generation has an escapee (Wiley) that lived in the 45 from hatchling until adult. I did move him to a smaller tank when he finally decided to come to the front for food as an adult.
     
  12. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Since joining Tonmo, I've become a bit of a live rock junkie. Mama is in the 55 gal bow front which has become quite full of LR. Any sized hatchlings are going to be difficult to keep track of in this tank. We'll see what happens, but I don't have big hopes for these babies.
     
  13. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Octo Mama is doing the same... Taking small hermit crabs, watching from her den, only using the "door" during the brightest part of the day.
     
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  14. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    I have NO IDEA what is going on with Mama. She is still doing the same thing- living in her barnacle, watching us completely unobstructed all day long. She actually pulled the barnacle closer to the front of the tank!!! This morning I found her with a hermit shell that I didn't give her, and I purposely clean the empties away from her den so I can keep track. This means she either ambushed one walking by, or she left the den altogether for it. Also means she's still eating. Weird!
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I think I mentioned that Trapper ate most of her brood time. She only had 6 offspring. Five lived to full adult (the sixth climbed out of the water shortly after hatching). She would only eat Cyclop-eeze after the hatch but did eat daily and survived an additional 11 weeks. Her daughter survived the hatchlings. The male in the tank attempted to mate with her again and she disappeared into another den up inside a rock and kept a tight lid on the opening. I never saw her again but the "door" stayed tight to the opening for quite some time (no second set of hatchlings).
     
  16. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    My girls look in at her and say, "I can't believe she's still alive!" It seems like she's been brooding forever. I got a peek in the other day, and didn't see any eggs at all. I'm not sure that I was seeing the right corner of the den, though. I'm glad she's still around, whatever it is that's going on!
     
  17. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Hi @sedna - what's new here in this tank? :?:
     

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