Ocho's 6 Month Update

bassman

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Phuntoon;86792 said:
Thank you! Herb is very cool looking and still pretty small. If all goes well, you should have him for quite a while. I had maily fed ocho striped or purple shore crabs that I'd catch in the tidepools after a surf session. Since Ocho had lifted a corner of the UGF moving around gravel and such, she's been mainly getting thawed frozen shrimp from the Albertsons seafood deli. I'm just worried that a small crab could slip down there or Ocho would drag it down there to eat. I wouldn't be able to get to the remains which would just rot down there. Your second picture of Herb reminded me of this picture I took back in October....once again with the crappy camera phone.



Yeah, it's a little difficult trying to get pics without the flash since most of the time Ocho is out, so are the lights. I used to be worried that the flash would cause an inking event. But after awhile of using the flash though, she's gotten quite used to it or at least tolerates it and I'm not worried about her inking anymore.

By the way, I took a bunch more high quality shots this morning with the digital camera and will have those up tonight or tomorrow morning. Pics will show: Feeding time, chillin, and also her squeezing her mantle down the UGF....
That is a great pic, makes me want to try and get some newer ones of Herb. It looks just like a bigger Herb. It's nice to see because up until now I haven't been able to find any pics that look like Herb. I was hoping you would know 100% for sure what species Ochos is. Hard little guys to pin point aren't they. LOL

I can't wait to see your new pics. :smile:
 

Neogonodactylus

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If you look at Norman's Cephalopods: A World Guide, on page 255 he published two photos of mine that are of an octopus that I reared from a paralarva collected on Moorea. (It says Fiji, but that is an error.) Until now, my photos were the only record of it. It is pretty obvious that they are the same species.

The paralarvae, when they are ready to settle, are huge - a couple of centimeters long and bright red. They look like small very elongate squid. I have seen several, all on Moorea inside Cook's Bay, all in October and all came to a night light 4-6 days after the full moon. We have yet to find were the adults are.

Roy
 

monty

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yeah, wow, those pictures in Norman do look exactly like the Ocho pics, don't they. "Octopus sp. 11" It sounds like Ocho's doing well in Phuntoon's tank, it's astounding to think that between you you may have 100% of the knowledge of keeping this species! Sorry, I'm a "science fanboy" sometimes...
 

Phuntoon

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Now I'm really curious. I need to see those pictures! I've been meaning to get Norman's Book on Cephalopods for awhile and now I have even more of a reason to. It sounds as if Ocho could possibly be a rare species? Was there a name given for this particular Octopus in Norman's book? It's very exciting to think that I may be one of the very few who have had extended experience in caring for this species.

Since I'm not too familiar with Moorea, I did a search on it and it's in French Polynesia, a small island next to Tahiti in the South Pacific in case anyone else here doesn't know.



After looking at some closeups of the island, it looks like lush coral environment just offshore, which means warmer water (after all, it's the South Pacific). Since not knowing exactly what Ocho is, I've been keeping her tank at around 74 degrees which is kind of in the middle of tropical to semi colder water temps. After a little more searching, I really should be having Ochos tank the same as my reef tank, 78 degrees. I think I'm gonna take the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" approach though since she appears to be doing just fine. I'm also curious as to why there were no adults found. Ocho seems to be more inclined to digging and burying herself in the substrate as apposed to making a den in rockwork. Maybe the adults were in a less obvious location.....lying in wait under the sand?
 

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Neogonodactylus

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I reared the paralarva that I collected on Moorea in my lab at Berkeley. When Norman was putting his book together, I sent him some of my photos and included a couple of the macropus-like animal. I was surprised when he didn't recognize it and put in the book that it was the only record of this species. Unfortunately, things got a bit mixed up and the photo caption says that the animal was collected in Fiji.

Many octopus in this group bury during the day and hunt at night. I suspect this species is not that rare. It probably just lives in a mucky environment where no one dives at night. I must admit that some of the lagoon passes on Moorea make me just a bit spooked by strong currents, low visibility and the odd tiger shark cruising through - and there isn't that much to see but a lot of muck.

The thing that really interests me about this species is the paralarva. They really do look like thin, inch long squid and they are bright red. As I said earlier, they are attracted to night lights. UC Berkeley has a biological station inside of Cook's Bay on Moorea and I teach a class their every fall. To collect stomatopod larvae, I spend a lot of evenings standing waist deep in the water with by dive light in one hand and a net in the other. I see a fair number of octopus paralarvae and even the odd bob-tailed squid, but the first time I caught one of these paralarva I honestly thought I had netted a small squid. I caught four that night in about an hour. When I got back to the lab, I put one in a container and didn't look closely at it. The next day I noticed that it was "attached" to the bottom by its arms. Over the next week it gradually changed shape to start looking like an octopus.

I have caught one or two most years, but always just a few days after the full moon in October. We look for stomatopod larvae year round and I or my students have never found one of these guys any other time of the year.

The animal that we reared grew to the size of yours and lived about a year. A water temperature of 74 is cool for Moorea - just about the low winter temperature. During the summer it gets into the low to mid-80's. I suspect the reason that your animal is living so long is the cool temperature. I would not raise it.

Is yours a male or a female and do you know where it came from?

Roy
 

DWhatley

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Phuntoon,
Thanks for the geographic reference. I also looked it up ;>) AND broke down and bought Norman's book - not a used one in sight so I had to pinch my pocket but can't wait for it to get here ;>(.
 

Phuntoon

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Neogonodactylus;86975 said:
Is yours a male or a female and do
you know where it came from?
Roy
I think she's a female. I've looked and have never been able to find the "modified" third arm that would transfer the spermatophores. I also have no idea where she came from. I special ordered her at Connie's in Castro Valley. They had one on their wholesale list and I said order it, but they weren't sure where the shipment comes from. When I picked her up, the shipment had just arrived and she was still in the double bag she came in. They identified her as "the one with the purple head." Don't know how they saw that though cause you could hardly see anything through the double bag except blurry suckers. Had no idea what I was getting and I hate that. I like to prepare for the specific needs of the particular animal I'm receiving.
 

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