[Octopus]: Maya - O. hummelincki

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by DWhatley, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Acclimation time: 2 hours Arrival packaging Temp: 75.5 PH: 8.4-8.6 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 20 ppm Specific Gravity: 1.0225 GHolland posted a link to Live Aquaria's Diver's Den after sighting the availability of O. maya. This is the first time I have ever seen one offered and have wondered about its suitability for the aquarium. The adult size listed in Norman is out of range but I have seen other sizing that would be more plausable and I looked around a bit for more sizing information. Neal and I discussed what to do if it got too large and decided to give this one a shot (pushed a bit by the fact that we knew SueNami's time was up). My FedEx driver brought her down with a hand truck and I was worried that the 8" sizing was the mantle size and not general length as assumed.:shock:. It looked like we might have to go to plan B sooner than expeced! Once I got the box and bags opened, however, I had to hunt to find her and was delighted with her petite size. She was glued frozen to the edge of the bag and I could not see breathing but could see that her little eyes were open and bright. When I put the hydrometer in the bag to check the salt content, she came to life. At two points during her acclimation, she climbed up the bag. I had to stop filming the second time to chase her back into the water.:smile: You will unlikely find anyone who packs an animal the way Live Aquaria does. She came in a huge box with roughly two gallons of water, bagged in 6 (yes 6) individually sealed bags, cradled in lots of peanuts. She was shipped very late in the day and her water tested so well, acclimation was almost un necessary. I took 2 hours to acclimate her anyway. She did not seem overly stress so I took my time getting her prepared for the tank. The normal recommendation is not to feed new critters but I take exception to that rule. If an animal is not stressed when it is acclimating I prefer to feed in the acclimation bucket. Her water was excellent so I added a small fiddler. I thought she ignored it since she did not color and did not move from the upper section of the bucket wall. I exchanged some water and she slowly slid down (as she had been doing) to the bottom of the bucket. It took me 10 minutes to realize that I could no longer see the crab :razz:. She was ready to go into the tank but I let her eat before trying to coax her into the critter keeper. Normally, I would put the whole bag in the critter keeper but the bag was so large that I opted to try to coax her in and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get her fully contained. Once I put on the top though she started looking for a way out and octo arms investigated all the holes.
     

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  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    As you may have noted, her name IS Maya but her species is not. The WYSIWYG picture certainly looks like O. maya and her coloration during acclimation did not suggest otherwise, however, the minute she hit the tank, I knew she was misidentified. Not only did her color change but the eyespots turned from pale greenish brown (as they might show up for Maya) to blue with an orange ring. In acclimation, the sucker tips were orangish, now they showed purple blue. Initially, her underside was white so I was still unsure if she was bimac or hummelincki but during the course of the day, the typical peachy orange spots appeared. As with most introduced octopuses, she left the Critter Keeper and headed for the LR. I expected that this would be the last I would see of her for at least a week.
     

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  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I was mistaken. She never fully disappeared and came back out into the open to explore and hunt for more food. I saw her deploy her webbing and hug a crater in the LR then remembered seeing one of my mithrax sitting in just about that spot earlier ... oh well (I don't like to use mithrax for food as they are such passive and delightful cleanup crew). When she moved to the back wall, I thought I was mistaken about the crab as she had something bulky up under her webbing that I could identify as a shell. Continued observation saw crab parts being expelled while the two snail shells were kept in check. Later I saw her drop one of the shells and my favorite hermit (one I had intended to remove when the tank was octo occupied) was fully centered at her beak. I don't believe she ever ate the snail in the other shell but she collected a second snail and hauled both around for quite some time. When Neal came home, he offered yet another small fiddler that was swooped up immediately. It takes her a long time to eat and we figured she must be full but later in the evening she discovered the clam at the front of the tank and decided to have a go at it. The clam is as big as she is but she hauled it up two sets of rocks before attempting to open it. See the for details :razz:
     

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  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Maya is very inquisitive and comes out if she is not already when you stand at the tank. She is responding to fingers in and on the tank and has already come over to touch and allowed a little mantle petting. Neal offered frozen shrimp on a stick tonight and she readily took it. My only fear is that her over friendliness and hunger could be signs of a female about to brood. From my very limited experience with young octos, it seems that they are very shy and not interactive until they are well into the young adult stage. Maya is very small but is twice the size of Serendipity (I have reviewed photos of both in the same critter keeper) who brooded without young only a few weeks after entering the aquarium. I still think there are two versions of the hummelincki and one of them fits the original dwarf classification and the bumble bee name where the other is a medium sized animal. If this thought holds water I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that Maya is a very young version of the larger animal. In either case, though, she's a keeper!
     
  5. Tommycs

    Tommycs Wonderpus Supporter

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    That's great D, That you finally found a juvenile Hummelincki. Also great how already it has came out and been friendly. Mine tried climbing out about three times during acclimation, and it was a struggle trying to keep it in. Let's pray it's a Hummelincki and not what Serendipity was.
     
  6. bluespotocto

    bluespotocto Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    :welcome: Maya!

    When i got my aculeatus from them it took a good 10 mins just to get the 5-6 bags off and it had a good 3 gallons of water. Live Aquaria=good shipping.

    What kind of filtration do you have on the tank. Also maybe a full pic of the tank?
     
  7. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    :welcome: Sweet sounds like you got a winner, That clam video is hilarious, the little octo that could...
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    She investigated the new clam today and took this one all the way up to the back wall. There must have been a lot of competition on the bottom substrate for food in her originating locale. video Part I and video Part II The one thing I find missing while iding her is the hour glass that was present on both my males. I am hoping this is a male/female distinction or age related and not a distinction between what I suspect is dwarf and medium sized hummelinckis. If she is actually a dwarf version she would be so ideal for a home setting if she could be captive raised. I went downstairs and shot a couple of pictures of her on the wall working on the clam but the sunlight in the room, inspite of my attempts to block it (looking like a towel enshrowded Dracula with one attempt) gives a bad reflection. I will post a better picture of the completed tank on its Tank Talk thread when the sun angle changes. Nine hours and two crabs later, she managed to open and eat the clam - ALL of it.
     

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  9. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    I knew it was only a matter of time before they started showing up on Diver's Den. I am sooooo jealous.
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    She has an attitude for sure. Tonight she was partially in her den and I was looking at her and stroking the glass so she made me disappear by closing her iris. I need to go see what I can find on their eyes as it appears that their iris are like our eyelids and can be volentarily controled but I don't know if their's only controls light or if it also is the equivalent of squinting to reshape the eye and see more detail in a smaller field.

    I am still nervous that she is a tiny adult and not a baby. Her demeanor is more aggressive than my two males and very different from little Serendipity so I am just waiting and watching. When she is out, she is hunting, otherwise she is in her den (this is more like Serendipity and unlike the males) but she is very aggressive and I think she caught a mantis shrimp in the tank last night. I was not sure there was one in there until two nights ago and finally decided to tear up half the tank to try to remove it. With some tips from Muctopus, I put a green net under the rock (after moving half the tank's worth) and lifted the rock and the net. I never saw it move but it was not in the rock or net. In the process of moving the rocks Maya came out so I gave her a crab to keep her occupied but she finished more quickly than normal and was happily hunting as soon as I redid the rocks. It took her about two minutes to find something interesting by her den and dash to the back. She did not come out until the next day (but I could see she was OK) and I have not heard the mantis again. It is really sad because I think the mantis may have been the mate to the one I found when I initially assembled her tank.
     
  11. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    I'm not certain in octos, but there's a paper I read about cuttles' w-shaped pupil that suggests its shape is for directional sharpening of images on the retina. Octos also have a horizontal band of sharper image-sensing cells on their retinas, so the ability to change the pupil shape as a rectangle may contribute to sharper focus on that band, maybe? Another interesting fact is that the light receptor cells in the octopus retina can adjust themselves for bright or dark conditions, so the pupil size is not the only way octos can acclimate to the light level, although pupil size is faster than the pigment adjustment in the photoreceptors.

    I'm not sure if any of this helps with your question, but I've been reading a lot about ceph vision with the goal of making an article on it, so I figured I could pass on what I know...
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks Monty, that goes along well with what I have seen, especially in the hummelincki. Initially, I thought Octane (and as I mention with Maya) was making us disappear but have mentioned the thought that they may be squinting or doing something equivalent to actually look at us under closer scrutiny. Fillup is doing research on octo eyesight and I mentioned the thought to him so I am hoping he will do some experimenting with his collection of live animals. It would be really nice to see you collect all your info into a paper as I don't know much about sight (theirs and only crudely about our own) .
     
  13. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome to Maya! Beautiful creature. I think one of mine was this species. I need to get my tank back up!!!!
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    We have seen Maya do the passing clouds display almost nightly and I finally had the camera charged and near by to get a video. While acclimating KaySoh and when she was getting attention from my neighbors Maya decided to share in the action and made herself visible. I am not sure if she is really aware that there is another octopus across the room or even if she acknowledges that something else is getting attention but it certainly appears that she is a bit jealous. I have thought about changing her name to 'Tudy because she definitely has attitude and shows more patterning and color changes (especially to the ocellus) than I remember with Octane (OhToo did not show as many color variations). I don't remember the eyespot being as bright, change size or become completely orange/yellow with any of the others and I would think she was venomous from the brilliance she has displayed.
     

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  15. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    O. maya seem to be flooding the market. We picked up a half dozen this week.

    Roy
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Roy, Are they really O. maya?

    Roy, are they actually O. maya? I am 99% laymen sure this one is hummelincki (and 100% sure from the writeup that she is not O. maya). If they are O. maya would you give some details on the actual sizing (now and in 6 months :smile:). These would seem like the perfect aquarium animal IF they are not going to get huge.

    If my Maya is not full grown (and I have hope since she is showing so much spunk and extremes in patterning) I am not disappointed in the purchase but I have been interested in the O. maya ever since I first read the description.
     
  17. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Just ... Darn

    And if this was not a family show I would make the comment in the more forceful words of my youth :sad: I may just have to change my name to Sedna.

    A female with excessive appetite who collects snails and has a pissy personality followed by dragging a large rock around to use as a den covering is just something no octopus keeper wants to see. I cannot see into the den so I won't even be able to monitor the eggs but it is likely they are fertile (I never saw babies with Serendipity though). Unfortuantely, hummelincki is small egged (O. maya is a large egged species) and there is no chance of survival in an aquarium. It won't stop me from trying, of course :cry:

    PS
    I called Liveaquaria tonight since the species was in error. As usual, their customer service was excellent and they were willing give me a refund. However, I have asked for a credit and a recheck on Monday to see if they have any that are still in quarantine but not yet listed. I spend enough with them during the year that the credit will easily be used if no octopus becomes available but after Roy's comment, I am hoping for first notice on a true O. maya.
     

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  18. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    There is hope

    After three days of staying locked up in her new den, Maya decided to come out (she would eat if I stuck a shrimp on a stick down into the den). The first day she was only out a little but each day since she has been out more and more. Tonight she came over to the front glass and grabbed at my finger (she has not been on the front glass since the day she went into the tank). She redecorated her lock-up den and changed the doorway so that she could see out and has nothing in front of the entrance (the old entrance still has the large rock she moved half way across the tank and two other pieces of coral I added and she positioned). She will visit her initial den but spends the night in the redecorated one. This afternoon she decided she needed yet another place away from home and excavated an additional cave. She has stopped collecting all the loose shells but I am still leary as my recent reading on maturation suggests that once the chemical changes start they do not stop. I have not called Live Aquaria yet to cancel my credit but I have my fingers crossed that I will be able to. This is one time I would be more than happy to have egg on my face.
     
  19. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Maya has been out every day now and I am keeping my fingers tightly crossed that her initial snail collecting and hibernation were an environment acclimation and not the brooding behavior I thought. She is showing far more aggression than any of my prior octopues (of any species) and I am still not comfortable that this is not prebrooding but time will tell.

    Yesterday she leaped off the rock toward my fingers, held an upright pose in the open water and then flipped upside down to attack (I removed my hand just as she flipped :smile:). She was wearing a blue ring yellow color with an equally blue ring bright blue ocellus and looked about as poisonous as little octo can look. The hover and yellow coloring is the first time I have seen a reason they have been called the bumble bee octopus. Unfortunately, no pictures. (Tomorrow I am going to the local camera shop to see if I can get a part for my tripod so that I can set up the remote again).

    I missed photographing another interesting sight tonight. There is a red brittle star (named Peskytoo) in her tank. We had not seen it too often before there was an octopus and I assumed it was just more recluse than Pesky (in SueNami/Kaysoh's tank) but since Maya's arrival we see it often and it forages her dens much of the time. Tonight it crawled into the den and Maya decided she did not want company and pushed Peskytoo out. The star lived up to its name though and crawled back in so Maya just moved back and let Peskytoo clean up her dinner scraps.

    Maya continued showing aggressive behavior through the weekend and I did get a couple of shots and a two minute kaleidoscope of color changes video but nothing like the hover, flip and strike.



    Today she showed another interesting pose that had 6 arms on the glass, body floating out into the water and two arm out in front with the tips curled and placed at a slight angle from the rest of the arms. It looked every bit like a boxing challenge. This time the camera was close but the focus button stuck and it took me too long to correct to get a good shot. She moved one of the arms back to the glass but you can see the other still in boxing formation.

    We put SueNami's plastic ice cube in the tank again and this time I touched her arm with the shrimp and she grabbed the shrimp and tie. The next time I looked over at her (maybe 15 min later) we found she was at the top of the tank and holding onto the cube. She is much lighter than SueNami so it did not sink but did make me think she may need some toys. I constructed something with the ice cube and a hose barb after she went to bed so we will see if she chooses to explore it tomorrow.

    I may be mistaken but I am expecting less agressiveness tomorrow based upon her behavior tonight. I will miss the displays and I really wanted to get a video of the bumble bee but will be glad if she is beginning to trust her surroundings.
     

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  20. bluespotocto

    bluespotocto Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    About how big is her mantle? I dont think you say it any were up there but if you did sorry.
     

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