[Octopus]: Rupert - O. Vulgaris 2016

Esther Kelley

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I just got a Vulgaris that is a few weeks old. He's tiny. How quickly will he begin to grow? If I posted pictures could someone identify his species and make sure it is correct? This is the second octopus that I've had and I loved the first so much!
 

DWhatley

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Post away with the pictures. Octopus ID (especially from photographs) is a lot of luck and a few good looks at color, markings, eyes, suckers and mantle length vs arm length.

I will note that if you purchased this in California, it is unlikely to be a vulgaris. if it came from a wholesaler (indirectly through the pet shop) then one of the animals in the Abdopus complex is likely. However, with over 300 species, these thoughts are based upon what we commonly see, not on anything you have mentioned.
 

Esther Kelley

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I will try to get better pictures and post them tonight. I did purchase it in Dublin, California.
The last octopus I had I was told was a Vulgaris but must have been a pygmy because it was tiny and never grew. It was still a great experience, I had it for quite a while and loved it. I just want to make sure I'm not making the same mistake with this one. If it isn't a vulgaris, like what happened last time, I don't need it to have it in my 100 gal tank to itself lol
 

DWhatley

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He is not one of the common Indonesian animals that we see. It is possible he is indeed O. vulgaris (not an uncommon species but not commonly available in the US for the aquarium trade). Here is LittleBit's journal with some pictures at about the same size. Note that O. vulgaris starts life as a pelagic animal (drifting in the plankton) and does not become benthic for at least a month so he would be a couple of months, not weeks old.
 

Esther Kelley

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That's very interesting, I did not know that. Apparently the aquarium I bought him from did not either! I really hope that it is a Vulgaris. Thank you for your input. I suppose the size he grows to will be the way to tell for sure. He's very outgoing. He trys to climb out of any container I put him in to feed. And comes out of the rocks in the tank--which my last one never did. I'm not sure if those outgoing characteristics align with any particular species? Hopefully the Vulgaris?
 

DWhatley

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You mentioned you acquired Rupert though an aquarium. Did they raise him from an egg? If so, it would not be vulgaris. There is a dwarf octopus (Octopus digueti) found in southern California that you might want to research. Here is one of @Neogonodactylus photos. It is an active species but I know very little about it other than, from photos, it heavily favors the Caribbean O. mercatoris (Here is more information about raising them along with external articles). It is a large egg, benthic from hatchling animal that has been tank raised (unlike - for the most part - vulgaris). However, your photos don't suggest this species (keep in mind that octopuses can quite drastically change appearances so a continued collection of images with varying looks is often needed to provide a good ID guess. Many are very hard to ID when they are small.
 
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Esther Kelley

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He does stay in a giant 100gal tank. I took him out into a critter keeper to get pictures to post to try and confirm the species on here. The pictures through the tank glass are pretty poor quality.
 

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