Octopus source in New Zealand?

fillup

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#1
Hi all

I'm after a source of octopuses in the Auckland, NZ area, but am finding them hard to come by owing to the season.

Any ideas? Any breeders in New Zealand?
 

Tintenfisch

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#2
Hi fillup,

Sorry to say any octo you are able to keep (if you're looking to keep?) in NZ will be wild-caught. Most of the common species here are small-egged and have so far proven pretty much impossible to culture in captivity (the hatchlings don't feed). Kelly Tarlton's usually catches its display animals up at Leigh or elsewhere north of Auckland.

Cheers
Kat
 

Steve O'Shea

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#3
Hi fillup; terrible question that I ask, but live or dead? I just bought 5 dead ones today, 16kg all up, and paid ~$9.50/kg for them (from a local fish shop). We needed them for dissection purposes, and I wasn't about to go out and collect them for this purpose.

What species are you looking for? Pinnoctopus cordiformis (= Octopus maorum of many), Octopus gibbsi (= O. tetricus of some, but I have some doubts until the systematic status of tetricus is resolved), or O. huttoni (= Robsonella australis of old, and Octopus warringa of others more recently)?

If you SCUBA and want to keep the animals alive then P. cordiformis is easy to find subtidally on soft-sediment flats, wherever you get scallops (not represented in collections from north of Whangarei); O. gibbsi is a shallow-water reef-dwelling species, reasonably common in the Auckland area, more common north of Whangarei, in clean-swept habitat; O. huttoni is not at all common around Auckland (it is far-more common in southern waters, and strangely, off the very top of New Zealand), though I believe it once was common in Hauraki Gulf (primarily subtidal on shell-armoured clean-swept sea bed). Neither P. cordiformis nor O. gibbsi would be appropriate for aquaria - they grow far too large!

What do you intend to do with these beasts?
 

fillup

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#5
Thanks for the replies

I'm after them alive now. I've looked at a few dead ones - one very fresh, but have just about learned all I need from them. A few of the fisheries have my number in case of a live catch, but it seems this is very rare.

Hopefully there's some pots going down around Ti Point now on my behalf, but progress is going very slow and I'm all setup to receive up to three of them now.

I've emailed you a while ago Steve, regarding my project. I'm looking at the development of octopus eyes, owing to their similarity to human eyes, despite convergently evolving. Hence the younger the better!

I'm actually from Whangarei originally and would love an excuse to go hunting up there - are there any beaches/bays in particular?

Sorry for the slow replies - forgot to 'subscribe' to the thread.
 

Steve O'Shea

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#6
We should catch up; perhaps at NZMSS in two weeks? We could easily dive for you and catch a few ....
 

DWhatley

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#7
Steve O'Shea;141084 said:
We should catch up; perhaps at NZMSS in two weeks? We could easily dive for you and catch a few ....
Octpuses or Beers? :sagrin:
 

OB

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#8
Vino, surely, Miss D!
 

Steve O'Shea

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#9
:smoke:, :wine:, and some :diamond_trans:; the best combination for an enlightening discussion.

I think I'll have me a fine cigar come NZMSS close!
 

DWhatley

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#10
ob;141095 said:
Vino, surely, Miss D!
Since I can no longer drink all night and not regret it in a big way, I will have to insist on beer (maybe one wine with dinner :wink:). At half the alcohol I can drink twice as much in an evening.
 

DWhatley

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#13
While you are looking at eyes ... I have noticed on the octos that they will "close" the eye facing you when they are not concerned about your presence and don't want to interact. They are still watching though and will color if you move. My food for thought question is, is it possible that they "squint" to focus rather when they do this?
 

fillup

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#14
Tintenfisch - No, although in the same dept. Working with John Phillips/Simon Backhouse.

dwhatley - Certainly a possibility. Initial appearance suggests they have a muscle functionally similar muscle to the ciliary muscle in humans - but this action could be supplementing it, or a secondary effect of anterior-posterior lens movement against the iris. I will be initially looking at their focusing mechanism, range, visual acuity, and perhaps some aspect of binocularity, so ask me again in a few months :)

Update - Just got 1 in Leigh 10 mins ago! Hopefully picking up this weekend.
 

DWhatley

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#15
Cool, please post what you can about what you discover on how they focus. My current briareus has severe focusing issues (he is extremely far sighted and can't see things closer than about 8 inches) so your study is of timely interest.
 

fillup

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#17
Update

I now have two!

One 424g and a larger 916g one arrived today :) Both female.

The smaller one has a damaged cornea, which is slowly recovering, but otherwise both seem in good health, very interactive! The smaller one can open jars and is learning how to 'touch' one target over another (presented outside the tank).
 

DWhatley

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#18
PICTURES! How about starting a journal (collective would be OK). We do have a single journal on an in situ octo (unfortunately she, Situ, seems to have gone off to brood recently) but none on lab animals.
 

DWhatley

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#20
Is the one on the left a Gloomy? It appears to have enlarged suckers but the name would suggest otherwise.
 

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