meeting a local - Situ(O.gibbsi or O.tetricus)

Discussion in 'Diving & Ceph Encounters' started by haggs, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    This is one of the many local octopus that I have come across during my wanderings down the headland. Going by it's size and how long it's been in the same rock pool (that I've known it for) it must be fully grown as in it can reach about 40 to 50cm or about 20". After visiting it nearly every weekend for several months I'm sure it got to know me, as quite often as I approached it den it would just sit there and not retreat. After several visits and a bit of bribery (feeding) it used to reach out and either hold onto the camera or my fingers. So here's a series of pictures that show how it used to greet me. haggs

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  2. esquid

    esquid Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    those are really great pics! I love how you can see the shell collection.
     
  3. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Very cool.
     
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Very nice series of photos! Any idea what species?

    Nancy
     
  5. baldtankman

    baldtankman Wonderpus Supporter

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    Nice resolution what sort of camera are you using? Very cool shots..
     
  6. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    O. marginatus maybe.
     
  7. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Those are really great! What great eyes he/she has! Obviously knew you weren't a threat.
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    THANKS!
     
  9. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Nancy ...I have no idea about what speices it may be, I was hoping someone else might shed some light on that for me.


    It's a Canon... wait for it........ 3.2mp Power shot A75, I've had it for a bit over 4 years. I actually wore out my first one and managed to pinch my son's, so that I could still use the same housing. I'm still very impressed with this little camera.
     
  10. baldtankman

    baldtankman Wonderpus Supporter

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    Wow.
     
  11. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Most of those shells look like Dicathais orbita (common here in New Zealand) to me (used to be called Thais orbita). I've never seen a local (NZ) octopus eat them though (I realise that you are in Australia).

    The octopus is rather (Australian name) Octopus tetricus like, but it's difficult to know as I recall reading that there were three-or-so species tied up in this complex (something in NZ, very similar, is O. gibbsi). I don't like identifying species from photos, and I don't know the Australian fauna well enough to know what this thing is/could be.
    Nice shots.
     
  12. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    I actually have never seen them eating those shells either, it maybe that they were convenient for “hiding behind”.


    I went back there again yesterday afternoon and I have a bad feeling that all of my friends have gone out to sea to lay their eggs and die. It’s now been 2 weeks without seeing any sign of them being there, no empty shells … no Chitton carcasses, nothing.

    Heres a picture of one of the rock pools, the blury spots are from water on the lens. haggs

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  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I hope your buddies children find your wonderful spot (one of my Mercatoris - dwarf Caribbean species - took her mother's den, mated and brooded there). How big is that "tide pool"? It looks huge and ohhhh so inviting. Can you reach it from land? (In the keys there are lots of shallows far out from land but I know nothing of Australia's water depths). Also, it is always warmer than the surrounding ocean?

    Humm, I wonder if OhToo would eat Chitons. What kind of food do you offer and how do you offer it to them? I have only had the opportunity to see one octo in the wild (last summer) and it didn't cross my mind to attempt to find something to offer (all I could think about was getting a decent photo - 48 trys 4 decent pics after adjustments :grin:)

    It is interesting to see that brown stripe that runs in front of the eye and likely behind as well as the brown triangle between the eyes. Hummelincki also shows the stripe pattern (and the eye camoflage) and I was noticing and commenting on the triangle tonight (I had not seen it on my prior Hummelincki). I wonder if these are typical markings of many octos or if there is a close relationship. About how large would you guess the mantle (above the eyes to the back of the body) was on this one? Also, can you approximate arm length to mantle length? From someone elses guessed Marginaris, the size and basic coloring is similar to the Hummelincki (small but not dwarf).


    Now I am anxious to try out my birthday present (housing) with my Xmas present (G9), of course it still takes a good photographer but I am encouraged!
     
  14. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Sorry for not mentioning the size of the pool, I had a visitor and just posted it then realized what I had forgotten.

    This particular pool is close to 5mtrs left to right and about 7mtrs from the camera fowards, there is aalso another channel the runs off to the left out of the image that would add anther metre or 2 to the width. At the moment its only about 1 mtr deep due to some rough sea that has filled it with sand, normally it's a bit deeper.

    The island itself is only 80mtrs or so off the beach, due to the high tide you need to swim that at most low tides you can walk in up to waste deep. Summer time it can be up to 5 degrees warmer than the ocean especially if we have several days of calm seas. Ohhh... and Monday afternoon it was about 21 degrees and ever so nice....haha.

    I don't normally make a habit of feeding them, however it's more what I have found outside their lairs, it has taken along time to figure out what these little blue moon shaped shells were from. Until about a month ago it must have just disgarded the Chiton body and it was still intact and hey presto I knew what it was.
    I will find some pictures side-on or maybe a bit of video to show what you are after, but now I have to go to work. haggs
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    That looks like a spot I would have to visit often, 21 c. s a bit chilly for me to be in the water though, hopefully it is about 10 degrees warmer later in the summer. I recently tried 3 chitons (assuming these are the same creatures) in my tanks. Two died in less than a week but the largest is doing well in the reef (I think they may have drown as they appeared healthy on arrival). I wish the timing of your post had been different as I would have put one of the dead ones in with OhToo to see if he took an interest. The one in the reef stays near the surface and has pipe to crawl on and seems to be able to navigate the black acrylic without problems. One of the two that died had crawled to the sump and was fine but when placed back in the tank, expired. The second was placed in a 4' deep tank with clear acrylic sides. Anecdotal evidence suggests that they my have trouble navigating clear walls and need surface air. Any clue on how they reproduce? It would be nice to come up with a new live food that could be tank raised.
     
  16. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    21 degrees is nice for about an hour without a wetsuit. I have never bothered to try them in my tank, I will get one next time I'm there and see how they go. As for reproducing I have no idea at all, you do find quite small ones there. It looks like I might have to spend some more time down there doing some research for you, it also sounds like a good excuse I can use to tell my wife...:sly:

    heres what I call a Chiton

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    This picture of the same octopus when it was on the left side of the rock pool sitting out on the sand.
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    This is sitting at the enterance of it's den at the lower right of the pool.
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    These shells are a main source of food for these particular octopus, to give a a idea of the size of things in the picture, the shells are about 7 or 8 cm across. The webbing is about 1/3rd or a bit less of the length of the overall arm. haggs
     
  17. Octi

    Octi O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Great pic!!!
    That octopus is sooo CUTE!!!:grin:
     
  18. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    :sagrin:
    Yep, that is the same critter I have in my reef tank. I did some internet exploring on their reproduction and found that there are both males and females although one source suggested that they are both most of what I found implied two distinct sexes without info on how to sex them. The articles were very general and said things like "some" octopuses eat them (the link then took you to the definition of an octopus :roll:). It appears that there are a large number of species of chitons and some of the photos suggested attractive coloration (mine is the same boring, camo color as your picture as were the initial ones Neal and I saw - or at least paid attention to - in St. Maartin this summer). Again, "some" species have live birth with others lay eggs. All references said the female gets the sperm from the water and not through copulation. I could not find any negatives about them so I am seriously thinking about trying to raise a brood just for the fun of it. If it turns out the octos will eat them, all the better but they are kind of intresting algae critters and don't seem to have any negatives (at least that I can find). I was amazed at the distance ours traveled in the course of 24 hours since the ones in St. Maartin seemed barnacle like and we were not even sure they were alive. It was also interesting to note that they are nocturnal and that their shells have a common name of "butterfly shell" when found on the beach, they have no head or tail but do have a mouth with rasp, a skirt and a pass through canal.
     
  19. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    I thought I would add a few more pictures, I just realised that I have been taking pictures of these for over 2 and a half years now....

    "dwhatley"... I brought home a few Chitons yesterday to see what I can "learn", I will keep in touch. haggs
     

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  20. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Haggs,

    Be sure to keep your Chiton report on this thread so I can keep visiting your tidal pool! :mrgreen:

    With three I recently tried the two that died were about 2" (5 cm) and the one that is doing very well is about 4" (10 cm obviously). Their deaths were strange in that one found its way to the back of the nano and was happily munching on algae at the top of the sump. Neal moved it back to the main tank and the next day it died. Similarly, I moved the second one that seemed content and it fell 4' (1.3 meters) inside the tank and never moved again. We did not pry or obviously damage either of these. The large one was placed at a high point in the reef tank but was still a good foot (.3 meters) from the surface. Within a day it crawled to the top up the black wall and has stays at or just at the water line. I am thinking they need air and that we drown the other two so you might test my theory. I am also wondering if the larger is male/female and the smaller ones the opposite but the sizing could easily be age. I should be able to get more without much problem but would like to see what you find out before I order them (I am also watching my survivor to be sure he/she is going to make it but so far so good). I was hoping these would work for my small amounts of occassional hair algae since I starve anything that lives solely on it but do need some help controlling small amounts. If my theory about them needing to be at the surface turns out to be true, I am afraid they won't be helpful in this aspect but I still want to see if they would be useful for home grown octo treats.

    Are the eye "lids" (I don't know the appropriate term) that white to the naked eye or is the bright white a result of the camera flash? My hummelincki (note avitar) show an orangish color (very interesting and somewhat demonic looking when the "lids" flash but nothing else changes color) all the time.
     

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