SE Asian octopus identification

Discussion in 'ID Requests' started by srobbens, May 2, 2011.

  1. srobbens

    srobbens Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Please can you help to identify this species of octopus I photographed whilst diving in Burma a few years ago. It's body was half the size of my hand and it's arms were thinner than the common reef octopuses I was used to seeing (I workd as a divemaster guide there for about 2 years).

    The "suckers" were quite large (the arm diameter) and protruded quite a way from the arm and the arm and white coloured.

    I found it over a rubbly bottom quite a distance from any rocky or coral features and it gradually disappeared into a small hole in the bottom when it was disturbed.

    There have been reports of Wonderpuss around Phuket (Thailand) which is not too far away but the colouration of this species doesn't look at all alike. More like a "hairy" octopus.

    Please excuse my ignorance of the finner details of octopus names and identification........I am not an octopus aquarium enthusiast, just a keen diver and photographer! I can be emailed at srobbens@yahoo.co.uk if you have an answer for me.

    Many thanks,

    Stuey

     

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  2. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Abdopus complex? Chrissy? Roy? Anyone? :wink:
     
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  3. srobbens

    srobbens Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Do you know the species range for the Abdopus complex? Are they found in SE Asia?
     
  4. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    It's all they do, it's WHAT they do... AND THEY NEVER STOP!!!! :wink:
     
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  5. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    IOW, the Indopacific region is where these species are found, so, yes, including Myanmar/Thailand
     
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  6. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    That would be my guess. Def not a hairy octo or a wunderpus.
     
  7. mucktopus

    mucktopus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Very nice shots. It'll be hard to tell without a full body shot showing mantle and arms, but a few candidates are Abdopus, O. cyanea, and possibly relatives of the mimic (but not the mimic). What was the depth? It definitely has Abdopus-like features- the star around the eye, other skin patterns, skin texture...The pinks are fairly rare in Abdopus in my experience, but they do occur. From the size of the octo compared to the rubble I'm guessing the mantle (body sac) is about a few inches long? That would be on the large end of Abdopus abaculus, but the color patterns fit somewhat. Octopus cyanea (a close relative of Abdopus) is another possibility- young individuals are known to burrow in sandy rubble, and can have some pinks in the skin. Both these species can have prominent-looking suckers.

    Do you have other images? From a side-on shot we could look for the eye spot on Cyanea, or from a front shot we might see the distinct arm bands of cyanea.

    Abdopus is a fairly species-rich group with several undescribed species, so there's a good chance it doesn't have a scientific name.
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I am no help with ID but am trying to learn what to look for :grin: Mucktopus, I noticed the eye star that you have mentioned and the red/pink that would be odd for aculeatus but this one seems to have a particularly large siphon, would that be diagnostic, just photo angle :oops: or possibly indicitive of an animal that spent a lot of time in the rubble?
     
  9. srobbens

    srobbens Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I have done a little more research on the internet this morning of the species you suggested and also came across what I believe could very well be the species that I photographed (it was about 25 metres down by the way). I think it could be Veined octopus (Octopus marginatus) based on the description at the following websites:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/francescoricc/4129373326/in/photostream/
    http://www.diverosa.com/Lembeh 2006/IL2-065 Veined octopus, Octopus marginatus 2.html

    It seems to exhibit the same trapezoid shapes under the eyes, the colouration there as well as having the "horns" and slight protrusions (not enough to be a hairy) on the body.

    What do you think?

    I realise that finding it on in Andaman Sea might be seen as a geographical issue but given there have been confirmed sittings of a Mimic on the same coastline in Phuket then perhaps they have managed to migrate this far (past Singapore) too!
     
  10. srobbens

    srobbens Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Aculeatus does also seem to be an option too though!
     
  11. srobbens

    srobbens Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I wrote a lengthier pieces but it hasn't been posted (not sure why moderators!).

    Anyhow, I did some research based on what info you kindly offered and I came to the conclusion the octopus in question could be a Veined octopus (Octopus marginatus), see following links:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/francescoricc/4129373326/
    http://www.diverosa.com/Lembeh 2006/IL2-031 Veined octopus, Octopus marginatus 3.html

    or Aculeatus but lost the links I had to the photos there.

    Marginatus are ID'd from the the trapezoid shape under the eye (if I remember the info from the link correctly) that my octopus has also exhibited.

    Any comments?
     
  12. srobbens

    srobbens Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Also like you say a good chance it's a juvenile Common reef octopus!
     
  13. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    When and where? i see nothing that you posted other than what is here.
     
  14. mucktopus

    mucktopus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Amphioctopus marginatus does share many similarities- the pinks/purples, some eye patterns, prominent skin papillae- but has distinctly 'granular' skin- (really bumpy in regular patches and grooves), which Abdopus and O. cyanea don't have. Aculeatus doesn't have pinks, so it wouldn't be that either. Do you have other images of it from the side?

    And who knows- there's a chance it could be undescribed too!
     
  15. srobbens

    srobbens Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    The reply I wrote that was missing is now here so thank you moderators (there were two replies so perhaps one got missed initially!).

    Dear Mucktopus. Thanks again for your detailed reply and effort in ID'ing this little fella. If you look more closely at the photo on the right you can see there are some papillae on the body (hard to see) - there are actually clearer at the rear of the body seen in contrast to one of the pink patches. It didn't really come out of the rubble so was didn't manage a body shot (and didn't want to stress it by digging!). I don't have any other shots of it either and curse myself for resizing the pictures (originally much larger) and forgetting to keep the originals (Thanks MS Picture Manager for not giving me the option!!!).

    I do remember it had very thin, long (at least they seemed to be) and 'bendy' (I know aren't they all) tentacles similar to the species shown in the pictures below. Like you say it could be a new species.......a hybrid of marginatus and something else! Does that mean I get to name it too - I don't want to keep a pet octopus (prefer to see them underwater!) but naming one sounds cool!

    Thanks
     
  16. srobbens

    srobbens Pygmy Octopus Registered

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