Octopus Emotional Coloration - Photos of common color patterns

Discussion in 'Physiology and Biology' started by DWhatley, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The intent of this thread is to display a few photos of 6 color patterns (arbitrary suggestion) we commonly see and invite discussion about circumstances when the patterns are observed. The hope is to suggest an understanding of some of the common patterning.

    I have started the thread with three common displays and known photos and have reserved top space for three more. Please PM me if you have pattern or photo suggestions.
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Skunk Stripe

    This can be either a white stripe displayed in the middle of the body or a color stripe with the rest of the body showing white. Thought to be primarily a hunting display. The photo was taken shortly afer the tank was fed (note the polyps).

    Photo #1 DWhatley Maya - Octopus hummelincki
     

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  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Dark Cirle Around The Eye

    The body and iris remain light/normal but the circle encasing the eye turns dark

    Photo #1 LMecher El Diablo - Octopus briareus
     

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  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Passing Cloud

    All or part of the body flashes from white to dark in a repeating pattern

    Video #1 DWhatley Maya - Octopus hummelincki
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Mantle White Spots

    A prior thread brought up a possible idenfitying marking of two white spots on the mantle. Reviewing photos in Norman's Cephalopods A World Guide, I found that nearly all octopuses seem to have these two spots but they are not mentioned or defined in any literature I have found and they are not always displayed so I am including them here.

    Photo #1 DWhatley OhToo - Octopus hummelincki
     

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  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Pattern #5

    Reserved for Pattern #5 photos
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Pattern #6

    Reserved for Photos Pattern #6
     
  8. hermissenda

    hermissenda Blue Ring Supporter

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    What species is your subject? Beautiful tank!
    Thanks for the interesting topic!
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I edited the pictures to try to make the species designation clearer. The comment format is: member name, animal name - species
     
  10. kpage

    kpage Wonderpus Supporter

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    I thought I would "reactivate" this thread so to speak. Has there ever been any scientific tests on different color patterns? Are there different patterns for different species?
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for bumping the thread, I had forgotten about it :oops:

    Hanlon et al have defined 3 types of camo but that is the only current studies I have seen. The studies are more to describe the patterns than why they are displayed. The concentration has been on background and not emotion.
     
  12. kpage

    kpage Wonderpus Supporter

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    I see, studying the corilation between color/ camo and emotions would be very interesting. It sounds hard to study though.
     
  13. kpage

    kpage Wonderpus Supporter

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    *correlation
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If you should find any interesting articles in your internet travels, it would be nice to put links on the thread. I have not looked for recent info.
     
  15. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Loosely related, but if you go to Google, and do an Image search for "octopus", and then click "show options" near the top of the page, and scroll down to the "Color" section on the left margin, you can choose any color from that palette and the results will render based specifically on the color you selected. It's pretty impressive... you can experiment with any search term, of course...
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Very cool, I have never paid attention to the left side on a search.
     
  17. kpage

    kpage Wonderpus Supporter

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    What about skin texture?
     
  18. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Part of skin texture will be physical attibutes. Not all octopuses have the same abilities to change their skin (aculeatus is on the high end though, look for some of Muctopus' videos, comments and papers on the net (Huffard aculeatus). At the other end of the scale the mercatoris barely show more than a bump or two. So you could experiement with your new guy to see if hunting, eating, playing give any kind of consistency (keeping a tripod and camera handy and always photographing the consistent events). One of the common displays is that skunk stripe but no clear reason for it has been determined. It may be that each octo used its abilities differently, particularly the more recluse animals but aculeatus seem to live in close enough proximity that there may be consistency in display. You might PM Mucktopus for some ideas about in tank experiements and what to watch for.
     
  19. ckeiser

    ckeiser GPO Supporter

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    Fascinating topic! Although I don't have any experience with captive octo's, the behavioral contexts in which cephalopods use different body patterns was the focus of my undergraduate thesis.

    Body pattern expression in response to environmental stimuli (the camouflage for which octo's are so famous) are more apparent and easier to properly study, but body patterning as an expression of internal emotional state is supported by evidence both anecdotal and empirical. It can also be noted that, in most cases, inter- and intraspecific signaling is more complex in the teuthoids and speioids than in octopods, reflecting their vast differences in sociality.
    Passing Cloud Displays may be used solely as a method in hunting prey, but Zebra Displays, Deimatic Displays towards predators, and body patterns during sexual encounters seemingly only have communicative functions.

    Here's a photo of different O. insularis individuals from Jennifer Mather and Tatiana Leite's article in a 2008 American Malacological Bulletin (a fantastic publication), just to reinforce the diversity of displays we can be talking about!


    Reference:
    Leite, T.S. & Mather, J.A. 2008. A new approach to octopus? body pattern analysis: A framework for taxonomy and behavioral studies. American Malacological Bulletin. 24, 31-41.
     

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  20. mucktopus

    mucktopus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Very interesting- didn't know about that one. Now to try and track it down...

    Here are some Figs showing more variation in A. aculeatus, from an earlier paper. In the wild (Indo) and in a large tank (Australia), A. aculeatus body pattern was associated with locomotion, reproductive/aggressive behavior, defense, and evolutionary history.

    Huffard, C. L. (2007) Ethogram of Abdopus aculeatus (d?Orbigny, 1834) (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae): can behavioral characters inform octopodid taxomony and systematics? Journal of Molluscan Studies 73: 185-193

    If anyone wants to pdf, send me a pm with your email address and I'll try to send it this week.

    hope this helps,
    Crissy
     

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