New Octo from LiveAquaria

DWhatley

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Mike, I can't see much detail in the small photos. I enlarged the screen but it only helped a little. My best guess with what I can see is adult O. hummelincki. We typically see these from FL or Haiti but The northern gulf side of Mexico would still be a likely habitat (we don't see animals imported from Mexico and I have often wondered why not). I am making my guess based on the robustness of the mantle, the tip coloration (purple-blue) of the suckers, the apparent arm to mantle length ratio and general skin pattern. It will help to confirm if you can locate two alternating yellow and blue "targets" that would be located one below each eye (called ocelli or false eye spots).

In Mexico, there is a larger octopus that is harvested and now being farm grown for food consumption that also has an eye spot (O. Maya) that might need to be considered but I have yet to see one or find a good definition of its eyespot. The one photo of O. Maya in Mark Norman's Cephalopods A World Guide shows them to look similar. I have often thought that it would be great if Mexico would export the culls (ie animals that are considered too small for food) or consider shipping them live from the farms to the pet industry so I can't help but wonder if there is an interest. However, I would think LA would mark them as captive raised if this was the case.

@Neogonodactylus , can you shed some light on visual differences (I know they are larger, large egged and can show many lines in the body but that doesn't help a lot to distinguish visually).
 

MikeHoncho

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I have read varying descriptions of o. Maya. Some descriptions say they don't have an eye spot.

The last octopus that I had was a Hummelincki. It was much smaller. I would be very pleased if he is either. When I ordered, I was worried that I would end up with an Indonesian octopus that was nocturnal. The good news is that he arrived very healthy, and is diurnal. He is very popular in my classroom.
 

DWhatley

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Hummelincki sizing is all over the map. I can no longer find the reference (I have looked multiple times and failed to mark it the first time) but they were classified as dwarfs once but then changed to medium. I have kept one that was dwarf sized and several medium sizes, all coming from the FL Keys. We have even seen some that were not diurnal. There is so little study done on them that there may be multiple species. We know O. maya is not O. hummelincki because of egg size (the large egg size is why they are being successfully cultured where O. vulgaris farming from egg is failing) but it is my understanding that they look similar. There is at least one and probably several others from further south that don't appear to have eye spots and have been placed in and out of the O. vulgaris complex. Then there was my marvelous Monty who was clearly neither vulgaris nor hummelincki. He was caught in the Keys, had an brown eye spot, was on the small side (but slightly larger than a dwarf, perfect for a 40 gallon tank) and diurnal. I still have no clue as to his species but would dearly love to keep another.

I noticed that LA is showing an expanded list of octopus sources that now includes Fiji, the Caribbean, Mexico and Indonesia. It will be interesting to watch which ones have in-stock animals (hopefully actually being from the displayed source) and what species they turn out to be. Part of the fun is the box of chocolates concept (most of the time :biggrin2:).

What age group are you teaching?
 

DWhatley

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I found a video on YouTube that shows O. maya fishing and a good look at the animal (software does not retain start time but the best image is at about 1:03). It appears (and I found one photo and two other other references) that the eye spot is brown. O.maya definitely has ocelli - its common name is the four eyed octopus. It should be interesting to see how the students react to trying to spot the eye spot (if it exists) as well as what colors it displays.

 

MikeHoncho

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Denise, I teach Jr. High students.

Let's hope it's not an o. Maya, those things were huge! I really don't want to buy an aquarium for an octopus that big.
 

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