Octavia - O. Bocki

Octavia2016

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I have known Octavia for a little over six months, although I imagine she is probably a few months older than that. The LFS sold her as an O. briaerus, and while she does show a lot of blues and have the long, thin arms; her mantle is a lot larger than what one would expect to find from said species. To me she is proportioned more like O. vulgaris, but much smaller in scale, something along the lines of A. aculeatus, but without the resting papillae. I have done a fair bit of searching, and I hope I have not missed something completely obvious before asking for help. I have attached several photos taken in various moods and throughout various stages of her life, and I am hoping some of you experts will be able to provide me with the answer I am looking for! Thank you in advance!
 

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Octavia2016

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Thank you for your reply! This was the only shot I took that managed to capture the whole diamond pattern. (Brilliant suggestion btw, I now see exactly how specific pattern comparisons need to be!). A few of the images in Margay's journal are so close they may fool me at a glance, which is remarkable. What is your opinion of the picture? Now that I have an idea of what you are looking for I have uploaded some other patterns, although I am assuming the diamond pattern would be convincing evidence for O. burri?
 

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DWhatley

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If you wander though Margay's journal, you will note that it took me awhile to come up with O. burri and I only have about 80% confidence in the choice (I am sure of what she was not though, having kept many other species). I do believe Margay and Octavia are the same species, however. She was a favorite and I still become very sad thinking of her untimely death. Keep a SECURE cover on the tank. The cover I had never allowed any of the many others to escape and I no longer locked the lid openings (the lids do not open easily by themselves and are 2 inches above the waterline). BIG MISTAKE.
 

Octavia2016

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I am very sorry about Margay! It seems like Octavia has a lot in common with her, including one escape attempt-- which thankfully, for the both of us I think, was thwarted by an overly curious cat. (She was on the way to snag herself some fish in a neighboring tank and ended up retreating to the sump.)

Feeding has been a little different with Octavia. She is a glutton. She ate without hesitation during drip acclimation, and she as never been one to leave a snack for later. If I put 10 emerald crabs in the tank, she will grab every one before retreating to her den. I once put 6 clams in, thinking "hey, she will snag one when she feels like it, or is tired of shrimp or crabs." Nope. Took them all. Tried taking Them at once, which was amusing to watch, but it of course became absurd when she started having to dismantle her cave to jam them in there because they didn't all fit. She is greedy.

She shared in Margay's shyness for that first month or so, very cautious about everything. After becoming acclimated to the aquarium environment and realizing her only tank-mates were two starfish and food, she became very active, and has remained that way. You have seen some pictures of her "dancing" on the front glass, which is a daily thing that will go on for some time, she also swims every so often-- it is a strange day if she is not out and about for hours at a time. (I think she enjoys getting the cat all worked up.)

Physical contact/hand feeding. This took a while. Naturally, I had a fair bit of apprehension about this, but a lot of curiosity and the desire to make that "bond" with her. Reading Sy Montgomery's Soul of an Octopus only fueled those flames. The first few attempts she was hesitant but curious, and after a minute or so would take the hermit or crab and would then proceed to investigate my fingers slowly, and then move up to my hand, and then move away. It didn't last long. This was the status quo for the first three or four encounters. I didn't want to push her so they took place over a few weeks. The next time I attempted it she rocketed up to the top of the tank, ignoring a silverside I had already dropped in for the sunflower star (first attempt with this food-- I traditionally use live food), and went straight for the one in my hand, taking the fish, but remaining for my hand for several minutes. Needless to say, I was not expecting this. My last hand feeding attempt was several weeks earlier. Following this event I noticed she would push two of her forward arms at me in a particularly "social?" way. I opened the lid and (without food) put my hand in, she again shot right up and started putting her arms all over me. This began to happen daily, to the point where I come home from work and she darts up to the top of the tank just below the lid and "dances around" until I socialize with her. Now, even during maintenance she shoots her arms out from her den and loops the tips around me. A far cry from when I made the mistake of getting too close months earlier and she inked out the whole tank. I am still amazed how quickly that transition happened. I have started to record it with a GoPro, which initially gave her pause, but she quickly overcame it. When I am back home I will post some clips.

Looking back I am amazed how far our relationship has come (that's a weird thing to say, isn't it?) in such a short amount of time, and find it remarkable that she is still showing new behaviors. I can't imagine the incredible experiences you must have had with other species, but after half a year with Octavia I can certainly understand why Margay was a favorite.
 

DWhatley

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Excellent recount of timings and interaction with this species! May I move this thread to our journals in hopes that you will add your videos and continue recording your adventure? I am cephless at the moment and truly appreciate vicarious experiences :biggrin2:
 

Octavia2016

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Yes, absolutely! I have taken several hundred photos and have intended to write some sort of account of my experience to go along with them. This would be a great medium for that (and I am sure my Facebook friends are tired of seeing her!) I also had a really great setup with a pair of flamboyant cuttlefish (I am aware of the controversy there-- but they thrived for many months and I have some great shots of them) about 2 feet from her tank, and the interaction was pretty neat. (Sadly my AC died in mid August and took 6 days to get replaced, the cuttlefish didn't survive the first night. Octavia made it thanks to lots of ice-- but I guess that a story for the journal) I am still trying to accept that loss.

Anyway, yes, let's convert it to a journal, I am looking forward to my first entry! Again, thank you for your help!
 

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