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New octopus at LFS... ID = Mercatoris?

gholland

Haliphron Atlanticus
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Joined
Jan 18, 2008
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569
#1
We recently got an O. mercatoris from an LFS (Crystal Clear in Norman, OK) and they now have another octopus from a different supplier (through a distributor in TX, not direct from ocean like ours, so origin is unknown). A few pics of the new guy...







It looks alot like Varys (our Merc) to us, but she is the only octopus we've known and we honestly didn't see a lot of Varys before she got broody with her eggs.

The mantle on the uknown guy is about 2-2.5". Looks to be missing the tip of one arm and has some curls at the tips of the arms... how much curling is indicative of senescence? We don't need another Merc since we have the potential for a dozen or so Merc babies hatching in 2-3 weeks, but wanted to try and learn something anyway... and maybe give someone a heads-up on its availability.
 

shipposhack

Haliphron Atlanticus
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Joined
Dec 16, 2005
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672
Location
Laie, Hawaii
#2
Nice pictures. It looks like a mercatoris to me. It sounds like it is full grown, but you shouldn't immediately think senescence when his arms curl; Mercs will do that to catch particulate matter.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
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Sep 4, 2006
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19,804
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Gainesville, GA
#3
The colors look right and the eye horns are common so I vote Merc but there is a very similar pygmy from the west coast area and the give away "star" pattern is not showing. I can't find the picture I have seen but not taken of the star like pattern that you will sometimes see but here is a link to one of my photos that looks very similar (this may be Sisturus while still in the breeder net but it is definitely one of my first brood and he is much smaller than the one you have photographed)

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o6/dwhatley/Octopus/ColorChange04.jpg

In either case, it is likely another adult female since I don't see any obviously larger suckers (the enlarged ones can sometimes be hard to see until they are up against the glass though, depends on age and degree of enlargement, we thought - hoped - Medusa was a she for a long time but Sisty showed his masculinity ;>) very early, in spite of the fact that he is somewhat smaller than 'Dusa).

Merc curl their arms most of the time from birth (Sisty often walks around with his outstretched but none of the others do. He keep them curled, however, when not walking about on the glass). If they stop using the tips and the suckers don't seem to function at the ends and almost disappear, then you are definitely near the end.
 

gholland

Haliphron Atlanticus
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Jan 18, 2008
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569
#4
dwhatley;109450 said:
The colors look right and the eye horns are common so I vote Merc but there is a very similar pygmy from the west coast area and the give away "star" pattern is not showing. I can't find the picture I have seen but not taken of the star like pattern that you will sometimes see but here is a link to one of my photos that looks very similar (this may be Sisturus while still in the breeder net but it is definitely one of my first brood and he is much smaller than the one you have photographed)

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o6/dwhatley/Octopus/ColorChange04.jpg

In either case, it is likely another adult female since I don't see any obviously larger suckers (the enlarged ones can sometimes be hard to see until they are up against the glass though)
Is the "star" pattern you're referring to on top of the mantle behind the eyes? This one does seem to have spots that make a pattern like that... could it just be more pronounced in juveniles? Here's another pic with a good view of the suckers. I'm assuming these are "normal" and not enlarged suckers at the base?

 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
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19,804
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Gainesville, GA
#5
Yes, you are seeing the star pattern that I keep referring to. They don't seem to show it often but it is quite distinctive. I believe your newest find is female. Here is a link to a picture of Sisturus showing his enlarged suckers. Excuse the green color but I either get red without camera color correction or green with it and the green seems to make what I am actually shooting more visible. I have tried occassional flash but the small hex tank usually just reflects the light and I get nothing.

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/...nretouched Octos/SisturusSuckers200712-01.jpg
 

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