[Octopus]: Octopus - (?) My first octopus

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by Twizted1, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. Twizted1

    Twizted1 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    This is my first octopus. I have had it for less than a week. It is eating minced shrimp. Today it ate a hermit crab. I have it in a heavily modified BioCube29. I put red led lights in the tank. Just wanted to share. I'm very excited.
     

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  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    :cuttlehi: Twizted1! I don't know what species you have but I believe we have another one just like it being journaled. Have a look at Octonaut's journal and compare. Do you have (or can you find out) where the animal originated?

    I like to suggest that new members edit their profiles to include something about their location. It helps for mini-TONMOcons (member get togethers) as well as sourcing food and animals.
     
  3. Twizted1

    Twizted1 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Thanks D. I have updated my location. As for the octopus. I believe it is the same as in the link. I was told it is an Atlantic Pygmy Octopus. From what I have seen, I believe this to be correct.
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    LOL, welcome to our world of guess the species. There are probably as many (likely more) common names for octopuses as there are guestimated species (over 300). Unfortunately, the common names are not helpful for actual identification and are usually wrong when assigned even if there is an agreed species/common name. With that explanation, the common name "Atlantic pygmy" SHOULD refer to Octopus joubini from the Caribbean. This animal has a long history of being mislabeled even in the scientific literature. It was once pronounced by a leading expert that there was one and only one dwarf species in this region. It is clear now that there are at least 2. The animal most often labeled O. joubini is probably Octopus mercatoris and that is what we call the common large egged dwarf (see paper here on a clarification of O. joubini, I have yet to find one for proper ID of the mercs and you will note in the paper that even that name is unclear for the large egg animals we keep).

    That being said, I have never seen (in the flesh or in a positive ID photo) O. joubini and I don't believe the animal you have is O. mercatoris. The one visual feature that grabbed my attention in your animal is what appears to be false eyespots (dark circular markings, usually found just under the eyes on the webbing in animals with ocellus) on the mantle (the body sack of an octopus often misnamed the head). Octonaut has these as well and they are not listed (and would have made IDing the difference quite clear) as an identifying mark.

    Can you confirm (often vendors have no clue since they buy them wholesale) that this animal came from the Caribbean or the US side of the Atlantic?
     
  5. Twizted1

    Twizted1 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    From what I gather this came from the carribian side. But this is only what the lfs owner "believes". So who really knows. I have a decent video to share. As soon as I figure out how to upload it from my phone.
     
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  6. Twizted1

    Twizted1 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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  7. SkyFl

    SkyFl O. bimaculoides Registered

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    @DWhatley I see the spots and that is so exciting!! I did notice a third spot on the tip of the mantle - which I have not seen in Octonaut. This one also appears to have longer legs in relation to the size of the mantle. It will be interesting following this journal to see if we may have the same mysterious species!
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    @SkyFl I think Octonaut may have investigated a lot of crevices over its life that resulted in losing arms parts. Even the arms that are long appear to have the tell tale sign of having been regrown. Can't be 100% positive without a well focused still but watching your images I see thick to thinner places and possibly odd alignment of suckers at the point of regrowth. This is quite common in all WC animals and I have seen arm truncation in even the very youngest. We know for sure some species complexes (Abdopus) can intentionally drop parts of arms and there are suggestions that more can do the same.

    @Twizted1, Hopefully we will see lots of pictures to make some comparisons :grin:
     
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  9. Twizted1

    Twizted1 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I will do my best to get picture and in-tank video. I have noticed that octopus, that is it's official name, has some shorter limbs also. Is there anyway to guesstimate it's age?
    Octopus still don't come out much. Hopefully it will get used to things and come out more soon.
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Unfortunately, age is very difficult to guess and somewhat irrelevant when trying to determine how long (much longer) an octopus will live. Not unlike humans lifespan varies quite a bit with biologics, eating habits and habitat. I tend to classify them as hatchlings (primarily seen when tank born, rarely in the wild), very young (not sexually mature), adult (older than 5 months - give or take), senescent (at life's end). Below are my "go bys" from personal observation and journals of captive animals. They are not fast rules but may be somewhat helpful in trying to guess.

    As a general "go by" (there are always exceptions) I classify a very young animal to be dwarf sized, be benthic (some are at birth), have a full set of full chromatophores and adult arm:mantle proportion. The skin is often translucent, males will not yet curl their third right arm and they are extremely shy, often nocturnal even for diurnal species. Very few wild caught are in this group unless they were a by catch of a live rock harvest.

    My definition of adult would be somewhere after 5 months but before senescence. This is the age range we usually see when they are first introduced to the aquarium. If the octopus is male, it will clearly keep its R3 arm curled most of the time. If the species (and individual animal) has enlarged suckers on the male, these will be present. The animal will show the widest color and skin flexibility range. When white, the color is very crisp and not gray. The arms are muscular and taunt and the mantle is well controlled. This is also the most curious time and it is clear they are observing their outside world. It is also the age where escape is most likely. Females, depending on the species will start to show a thickening mantle as infertile eggs begin to develop. If she has mated she will fertilize the eggs when she begins brooding (guestimating about 8 months but again species and individual dependent). She will lay eggs and brood whether or not she has mated but may brood later if she has not been exposed to a male after sexual maturity. Signs that she is about to brood will include finding a suitable den (she may move from her existing den and try several others), moving rocks (sometimes not small ones) and loose items into the den area and eating more heavily than before. Removing the eggs does not seem to reverse the brooding behavior (based upon one attempt and a few odd notes of others experimenting)

    Senescent animals are nearing their end of life. It is unclear when it begins (technically probably with sexual maturity since the two are related) and the beginnings are clear in some animals and almost overnight in others. The appetite usually dwindles to eating as seldom as once a week and much smaller portions when it eats more often. The muscular arms become sort of squishy (if you have physically interacted with the animal the difference is quite noticeable in touching the arms but also somewhat visible, something like an athlete that stops exercising). Very often the arms will corkscrew at the ends when the animal is hanging on the tank wall. Color change is very limited and splotchy and the animal will often display a grayish white. The mantle may be difficult to control and will be seen to bob rather than showing muscular control (especially true of post brood females who survive the hatchling event for a week or more -- rare). Eye sight is diminished and nocturnals may stay out in the daylight (this usually only for a day or two before they are terminal). Senescent octopuses tend to do odd things and seem to forget what they intended to do. Here is a post and a couple of videos of KaySoh shoveling sand from one side of the tank to another. Dementia is not just for humans.
     
  11. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Welcome, and what a fun mystery you have! You aren't seeing it out much, what time are you looking? If you have a nocturnal, you might have to stay up pretty late, or then again, check around dawn. Also, it helps to keep red lights on all night, if they know there will be a completely dark time of the day, they will wait until then.

    Congratulations, and thanks for sharing!
     
  12. Twizted1

    Twizted1 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Thank you. I have to tried at dusk yet, but have stayed up until 3am. If I put something beside its barnical in which it resides, I get a single tintecal that come out just to check it out. I'm going to set the gopro up to take timelapse in hopes of the battery lasting long enough to get a few shots of it.
    It love hermit crabs. And eats a few a week. I just through in 5 or so at a time. That way they can clean up a little.
     
  13. Twizted1

    Twizted1 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    It loves hermit crabs.
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    I always keep hermits in my tanks. Not all octos seem to go for them, but I like giving them the opportunity to free feed if they want.
     
  15. Twizted1

    Twizted1 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I did that. But the. I would never see it come out. When it consumed them all it's out looking for more. So I only throw one in when it comes out. It ate on a piece of silver side last night. I have more video, just have to edit it.
     
  16. Twizted1

    Twizted1 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Sorry I haven't updated in awhile. Been very busy. I have something strange going on in my octo tank. My octopus is doing fine. Eats like there's no tomorrow. But I came home after a long day of work and running to see these tiny'ish arms dancing around in a big batch of barnacles I have in the tank. At first I thought it was some funky kind of algae, I seem to be plagued with gha. So I do what any right minded person would do, I reach in the tank to touch it. Well it suctions to my finger like my octo would and out came about 4 more arms. I seen a total of 5 at one time. So I get my feeding prong out, put a small sliver of shrimp on it, and it snatches the prong and won't let go. It eventually get the shrimp, although it did not eat it. It just keeps reaching out and feeling around. I tried to get a pic and video. Neither really came out good. Going to set the gopro in the tank tonight to see if I can catch a glimpse of it. Is it possible for my octo to have a baby? I thought they laid eggs. Wouldn't I see a bunch of these? What else could it be? Any idea are greatly appreciated.
     
  17. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Brittle star? Hard to tell without a photo...
     
  18. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    All known octopuses lay eggs, none are known to hatch live young and if Octopus is still eating well, this would not be an offspring. Have you put anything new (live rock, macro algae, gorgonians) in the tank within the last month or two? More than one baby octopus has been known to be discovered as a hitchhiker. That being said, look closely for suckers vs hair like protrusions that can feel "sticky". I have several red brittle stars that are quite active at feeding time. Many brittles/serpents can be hand fed and the arms are frequently mistaken (as CG suggests) in my house as those of the octopus being hunted.

    A word of caution. If you determine it is a hatchling you will want to move it to another tank as very few species can live together and even with those that are successful, unequal sizing has never been documented to work. On the other hand any kind of serpent or brittle star makes a good clean up crew for an octopus and will often live close to an octos den. When I can't find one of my wards, I look for the serpent in the tank, my red brittles are particularly prone to living in or nearby the dens and are the first out at feeding time. Often they are bold enough to take the food from the feeding stick but they do not discard it.
     
  19. Twizted1

    Twizted1 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I'll keep a close eye on it. I haven't put anything new in the tank since I started it, so it had to have been in the tank for awhile. I'm 100% it's not a brittle star as it don't have the "hairs" running down the sides of the legs. Every battery for the gopro was dead so I'll have to wait until tonight to put it in to see what I get. Thanks for the quick responses. I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out.
     
  20. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    It still could be a serpent star (no hairy arms) ... It is alway fun to discover something that shows up "new". Even on my oldest tanks I discover new stuff "showing up", some from something new added like macro algae sometimes is the likely hitchhiker carrier (I think my mini serpents came this way) and other things like sponge may have been growing in the rock but only now visible. Last week I discovered two bivalves of some sort while I was looking for the new guy. I suspect I will loose these once the octopus discovers them but I have no idea where they have been hiding or if they grew in the tank and are only now discovered.
     

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