? - O. briareus

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by smith2295, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. smith2295

    smith2295 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    HELP! My pet octopus has 2 very small tentacles!!
    very confused here.....

    he is a reef octo his head is only about an inch long, I've had him for a month and a few weeks he is doing great. today i was watching him and noticed that the pair of tentacles behind his head are TINY (about half an inch long). Never have i noticed this before, I'm pretty sure it just occurred recently. I've been researching all day and can't find a thing related to this issue. The only thing i can think of is if he got himself in a pickle and had to detach a pair (i think he can do that?). Is it normal for them to be smaller? is he sick? He is still eating and moving with ease, i am worried tho if anyone knows ANYTHING about this please inform me it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    This is normal. They will grow back.It is very common to see octopuses missing limbs. some species of octo can detach the arm at will others just put it in the wrong place and lost it, or lost it in battle with either food or another octopus, even during mating thay can lose limbs....some times senescent octopuses eat there own arms, called autophagy.
     
  3. smith2295

    smith2295 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    What a relief. thanks for the info i can stop worrying. i thought maybe he was sick and his limbs were decaying.
    Thanks Again!
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    smith2295
    Where it is true that octopuses can regrow their arms, they don't loose them for no reason. If your octopus is an O. briareus (Common Caribbean Reef Octopus), dropping an arm is not part of their anatomy. The Indonesian Abdopus complex of animals are one of the groups that can do this. Either way, you need to determine why the animal lost its arms. When we have seen Abdopus throw an arm, typically it is one not two and there is a problem somewhere in the tank that caused the action.

    Do you have photos of the octo before you noticed the arms missing? Current photos would be helpful as well to determine species and to have a look at the truncated arm. To start, look closely and try to find a very thin thread coming off the thick part of the arm. If you see this, how long is it? This will help determine when the arm was lost. If you do not see the thin beginnings of regrowth, then the damage is very recent. It it is an inch long then the damage occurred before it entered your tank and you just have not seen enough of the octo to realize the existing damage (one reason I always recommend taking lots of photos during acclimation). It is almost an impossibility to receive a wild caught octopus that does not have arms in some form or regeneration. Even the very young suffer from arm predation.

    If you don't see the signs of regrowth then this is current damage (the thin, thread like beginnings are usually quite visible after 2 weeks and will be an inch or more long after a month) and you need to determine where he was putting his arms and block the dangerous hardware. Hopefully it is in a species only tank or there is also the probability of predation. In the case of hardware, the most common problem is power heads with no netting around the intake.

    Being arms L4 and R4 (the back two, behind the mantle) this does not sound like autophagy. There appears to be two types of this self mutilating condition, one from a bacteria and the other from physical stress (which may result in the same action even though the conditions are different). It is usually the front arms that are chewed away and the damaged arms will be ragged.
     
  5. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    yes it is. it has happened to me three times trying to catch O.braireus while lobstering and crabbing.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    INTERESTING! From what I have read, this is one feature of Abdopus that classifies the group but have never seen reference to the feature in O. briareus (and have not experienced arm throwing with any of mine in the aquariums). Now I wonder if it is far more common than is written. It would be so logical to have a central library with descriptions that are continually updated as scientists discover new material (it would even be nice to be able to find the write ups of not current descriptions for that matter :roll:)
     
  7. smith2295

    smith2295 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    These are the best pictures I could get. bad quality i know, i actually am having someone care for it while I'm on vacation, and i noticed the tiny tentacles in this video that was sent to me. luckily ill be home tomorrow to really address whatever might be going on, and monitor it closely. They are complete functional you can see in the video him using them, wish i could upload the video. Ill try to maybe youtube it and ill post the link.
    Could it maybe be from not proper lighting? i was told the light was out for 4 days and i was very shocked they hadn't called me sooner, i told them what light to get and to replace it ASAP. anyways would the lighting situation have anything to do with it? maybe stressed?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/80598022@N02/

     

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  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    LOL, Those arms were missing before you put him in the tank and highly likely the dinner for an eel or fish (from feeding videos I have seen, mammal predation usually does not leave a living animal) if you have only had him a month and a few weeks. You probably did not count the arms when you acclimated him (It is not at all unusual not to notice missing arms or parts of arms I forget to look closely sometimes - or the animal does not let me - and this is where acclimation pictures are very helpful) and they were so small they did not show up as an oddity until now. What you are seeing is the new arm growing. Photographing every week or so will give you an interesting record of the growth rate.

    The absence of light is not a problem at all. Octos would be happy with ambient light so over-lighting is more the concern and then mostly because you would see less of them. I will light areas that I don't want them exploring at night and recommend it as one way to help dissuade attempts to enter accessable overflows. Sadly I did not do this with my newest little fella and he ventured into it and then into the sump sometime today. He lost parts of several arms in the adventure but I believe he will survive.

    Videos are encouraged but we don't have a hosting facility. YouTube works well and the videos can be viewed directly in the posts. Photos can be directly uploaded and show without the links. If you will permit me, I will attempt to add the photos this way to the above post (not sure if I will have permissions but will give it a shot).

    As an asside, even though arms and tentacles are frequently used interchangeably, we make the distinction in cephalopods. Octopuses have 8 arms, cuttlefish and squid have 8 arms and two tentacles. The tentacles have a different function, are usually suckerless except at the tip and are part of the classification difference between the three animals.

    Lastly, you have a common Caribbean Reef Octopus, Octopus briareus. Decent call by your supplier as they often have no clue.
     
  9. smith2295

    smith2295 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Wow, i can't believe i never noticed. i spend sooo much time observing his every move haha. i guess with all the arms moving all the time i just never realized it. if you can post those pics directly, ya that would be awesome. ill work on getting that vid up.
    So was he wild caught and maybe had a run in with a predator in the wild? I still am puzzled he is missing two arms and still seems to be happily eating and exploring his new environment. Ill definitely record the growth that'll be an interesting thing to watch.
    thats too bad about your octo :/ but hopefully his recovery will go alright!
    Thanks again for your help in this puzzling situation. Still learning about these amazing creatures!!!
    Also, right now I'm feeding him freshwater ghost shrimp (2 a day) and he seems to like them, i live right on the coast so i plan to go catch some crabs for a good treat. Sometimes ill throw in a molly because they survive in the high salinity. he seems to like them too. If you can, let me know of any other nutritious foods i can feed him. Id like him to be happy as possible.
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Fish are not the best food and freshwater fish even less so not only because of an imbalance in fats (which would be OK for a treat) but because most fish are treated with copper either by the LSF or by the wholesaler. This can be fatal and is an unnecessary risk. Pieces of fish from the fish market are fine if he will eat them but not as a primary diet item.

    Best foods are crustaceans of any kind. Since you are at the shore, most anything in a local bait shop is great (especially live shrimp). Two ghost shrimp a day is a very small amount of food for O. briareus. He may be much smaller than he looks in the pictures though. Regular table shrimp are fine and a good idea to have in your freezer even if you don't feed them daily. Offer half a large or a full small one on a feeding stick. You may need to offer them with the shell on initially but once he eats them and knows the feeding stick you can remove the shell and avoid the clean-up. Any kind of raw crab (as far as we can determine any crab bought in stores is steamed and is thought to lose food value) is great. We shop the Asian market and buy all the loose blue crab claws we can find in the live crab bins and then freeze them. Whole crab probably should not be frozen as the internals may pollute the meat. Whole blue crab is very messy to clean up but smaller crabs like fiddlers or the ones that run along the seawalls are fine and not as messy. You can also try shell fish but I find only clams to be aquarium safe (that is to say oysters and muscles make a mess that needs special cleaning attention). Variety is a good idea so mix and match and don't be afraid to try again if something is initially rejected.

    As CaptFish mentioned, missing arms are not a major problem for octopuses. I had one sad little girl with 6 arms missing. Sad story on why she was sent to me but she lived out a normal (albeit very shy and seldom seen) life in one of my tanks. We worry about accidents in the tank more for infection (and what I will have to sweat out with Yeti) than any disablement. Interestingly they don't bleed immediately with a severed arm. I need to refind the article (I may have posted it in the biology section) but if I recall correctly the tip will bleed just slightly sometime later something analogues to clotting but the initial injury is closed of so fast that the researchers could detect no blood.

    Virtually ALL octopuses that you will find for sale are wild caught (there is a very rare occasion where you might find an O. bimaculoides that was tank born). We are not to a point where we can raise them for resale and only a couple of species are viable to attempt raising from eggs laid by a WC female. The animal you have is one of them because the eggs are benthic from hatching. They don't go through a paralarvall stage and a couple may survive but the numbers are extremely low in the home aquarium. O. briareus cannot be kept together so mating presents difficulties. The only octopus where TONMO has records of tank bred animals is with the noctural dwarf, O. mercatoris.
     
  11. smith2295

    smith2295 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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  12. smith2295

    smith2295 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd like to move this thread to our journals in hopes that you will continue adding posts, pictures and videos. Does it have a name and may I move the thread?
     
  14. smith2295

    smith2295 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    yes absolutely you can move the thread. I'm still thinking of names tho! ill post it when i get a good one.
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    OK, this is now in our official journals and logged into the list of our octopuses for 2012. :grin:

    Besides a name, there are a couple of things that would be nice to add to the log if you think to mention them. One is where you found the octo for sale. The other is your basic location. Member location is not automatically listed on your profile brief and I try to remember to suggest that new members put something in their profile to be displayed. As a minimum, country is helpful but city and state help member find each other.
     

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