Once bitten, twice shy

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by DHyslop, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Mr. Octopus gave me some venom last week when I was playing with him. If he's out playing when I open the lid he'll usually come to the top and start grabbing me. I enjoy playing tug of war, but he'd never given me more than a nibble. It felt like a very bad beesting. These photos are of my finger within about a half hour. I took some ibuprofen and slept on it, the next day my finger was still noticeable but not quite as bad as the night before.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Ouch.....My reasoning exactly as to why I'm a little hesitant to let Spike get ahold of me..........
     
  3. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    It's too late for this time, but for future reference:

    http://www.thecephalopodpage.org/octobite.php

    recommends hot water treatment for octo bites, and has some references.

    sorry about your finger. I'm glad you're not terribly allergic to cephalotoxin.
     
  4. zyan silver

    zyan silver O. bimaculoides Registered

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    hmmm.... trained assassins. zy
     
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Hmm, that's the worst bimac bite reaction we've had, I believe. Maybe people react differently to the venom. Or maybe this was a deeper bite, not just a nibble. I'm posting my husbands hand after Ollie bit him, which was much less severe. At any rate, unless you have a severe allergic reaction or get an infection from what's in the water, these bites seem to be minor.

    Nancy
     
  6. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    :shock: yikes, sorry to hear you had such a bad reaction... are you allergic to other animals (like bees)?
     
  7. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    I haven't yet encountered any other animals I'm allergic to. Nonetheless its a good reminder that these are animals that can act unpredictably--Mr. Octopus had plenty of opportunities to do this to me in the past and didn't.

    Dan
     
  8. Taollan

    Taollan Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    I honestly believe differences in bites have less to do with differential reactions than it does with whether or not the octopus actually envenomates and to what degree that it does...
     
  9. Michael Blue

    Michael Blue Wonderpus Registered

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    So, are all Octo's venomous to some degree, or just certain ones?

    How about cuttles and Squid?

    I know the blue ring, blue lined Octos, striped pajama squid and more recently the flamboyant Cuttle are truly venomous, this question regards the remaining species.

    Thanks!

    :bluering:
     
  10. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Dan, was there anything different about your interaction this time? Did he seem to act any different? Taollan's comment made me wonder why, if in fact it's a matter of "choice" on the part of the octopus whether it envenomates or not, why he would this time and not before.
     
  11. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    No difference, really. The bite itself wasn't much more severe than ones he'd previously inflicted--he barely, if at all, breaks the skin. I would have to agree with Tao that it seems like the octopus makes a choice whether to envenomate.
     
  12. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    At least most cephalopods have some sort of venom, but most species have venom that isn't too dangerous for humans, just crustaceans.

    I believe that the toxins in flamboyant cuttles and maybe the pajama squids are not injected as venom, but rather in the flesh and the slime, respectively, so they're dangerous to creatures that eat them, as opposed to the blue ring is dangerous to creatures that it bites. So, to be pedantic, the blue ring is venomous, while the flamboyant is toxic/poisonous.

    edit: Actually, for safety's sake, I should point out that flamboyants and others may also be venomous, I'm not sure that anyone knows. I'm just sure they're toxic, and I'm sure that blue rings are venomous with venom that is lethal to humans. This is key, in that it is much easier to be accidentally bitten by your pet than to accidentally eat your pet.
     
  13. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    When considering envenomation, you have to consider a host of variables when discussing this topic. They include species, size, depth and duration of the puncture, immune system of the victim, etc. Then there is the danger of the introduction of pathogens into the wound that has nothing to do with the venom that the octopus possesses. As I have said many times before, it is ill advised to offer any octopus the opportunity to bite. Some species definitely pose a risk due to their venom (Hapalochlaena, O. motuti, to a lesser extent O. rubescens and O. fetchi, and what about the 100 or more other species for which we have no data. Play it safe and do not invite a bite.

    Roy
     
  14. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    I think it's possible to avoid being bitten by never giving your octopus the opportunity to envelop your hand. After all, it has to get its beak in contact with your skin to be able to bite, and you can control this.

    Most people who offer their hands want to contact and play with their octopuses, but its possible to play with the feeding stick or limit touching to the tips of the arms or gently rubbing between and above the eyes (yes, strange as it seems, many of our TONMO.com octopuses have enjoyed being petted in this way).

    Nancy
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Dan,
    Maybe the bimac's pair of "blue rings" means, "I am only a little poisonous" :wink:
     
  16. Michael Blue

    Michael Blue Wonderpus Registered

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    Monty, I knew the flamboyant was toxic, but didn't the recent study on the Nova(?) program determine they were also venomous? I thought they tested several variables (including the skin and saliva) and said all samples came back toxic, meaning it was both toxic and venomous.

    Maybe I misunderstood it?
     
  17. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    NZ's small O. huttoni (Benham) has sent a few to hospital; I receive a call or two a year from worried doctors.

    What on Earth is a pajama squid?
     
  18. WhiteKiboko

    WhiteKiboko Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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  19. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I guess these names are just made up.

    What's next? Chocolate Pantyhose Squid? Grandma's Bloomers Squid?
     
  20. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Dan,

    Glad you are OK.

    Steve, you think those names are made up, you should see what people are doing to coral names. I kid you not - radioactive gorilla nipple zoanthids.
     

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