sharing a den

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by brandy g, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. brandy g

    brandy g Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    today i finally picked up my two new mercs from my LFS. One was a more reddish and bigger and the other smaller and more whiteish. After two hours of dripping i set them both lose in the tank, the bigger one (poseidon), quickly found out that he was free, swam over to the rocks and began to explore his new home. The smaller one (squrit) stayed in the bag for a bit then slowing swim onto the rocks. They both searched around abit then Poseidon found a hole in the live rock (Im guessing leading to a bigger hole). Not to long after squirt came around where poseidon was staying and i fed both of them some frozen krill. After squirt made his way into Poseidons hole and thats where they noth are still and not left since. What could they both be doing in there?
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,079
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Sleeping :wink:

    I have only had the opportunity to see mating twice, both times it was with the same pair but I suspect they mated more often than I observed. My female had chosen a barnacle den and the male would often hang around and den in one of the other barnacles. When they mated, he more or less trapped her in the den by covering the opening with most of his body. I have always regretted that I could not get my camera to focus on this event and the pictures are very blurred. The second time was a post brood mating. There would not have been more eggs and the female left her den shortly afterwards and locked herself in a new place and used a large shell to completely disappear. The shell stayed in place for about the same amount of time as her first brood and then dropped but the octo simply disappeared.

    They may not continue to take the krill so watch that they are eating. Fiddlers have been happily accepted by all mercs (and I can't remember a healthy octo that did not take them) so acquiring a few until you have an established frozen (and then once a week or more is a good idea) would be wise.

    For our octo list, should Squrit be Squirt?
     
  3. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    2
    :welcome: to poseidon & squirt

    3 new mercs today, wow, I am getting a little jealous. So for now :silenced:

    Will be following along. I can't wait to see how they interact. How do you know if you have a male/female combo, is it obvious? What would happen if they were both the same sex?
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,079
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    I have raised two males in the 15 and two males and one female in the 45 but never had two females in the same tank. Since females appear to be homebodies, I would not expect a problem though.

    Here is my best shot at suggestions on sexing. The post includes photos of two male mercatoris.
     
  5. brandy g

    brandy g Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Update! Last night shorty after I posted I saw a little head pokeing put and looking at me frount the outside of their den, I'm guessing it was poseidon be because of his size. He watch me for a bit more then crawled out and began to explore his still new tank. Squirt is still nowhere to be found.

    I do not have any idea have any idea of their sexes.

    What you descriped of the mating you have witnessed sounds alot like what happen yesterday, Poseidon went into the hole then squirt hung around and then it looked like a struggle when he made his way into the same hole.

    They both are still taking the krill, but won't the fiddilers be to big for them. For the krill I have to
    cut one up in three pieces for it to be small enough for them.

    Sorry I still haven't posted pictures of the little ones, will do aspa.

    And for dwhatley it's squirt sorry for the typos
     
  6. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    137
    I've photographed mating in O. mercatoris several times. It is usually pretty difficult to tell what is happening since the sex is pretty rough and often at least partially in a cavity. This is one of the clearer photos that I managed to take last year.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,079
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Fiddlers about mantle size are easily handled by the mercs. Any saltwater food they will take is great but I don't recall anyone being able to sustain krill as a main food (but Sleazy is the first I have known to take frozen table shrimp and she is taking it greedily and cutting it up into a small strip rather than offering it in a chunk may be part of the difference). Right now they may be nervous eating (something I usually take advantage of during acclimation) than eating from hunger so they may start rejecting the krill as some point of comfort.

    If you have a male/female pair, the larger one is most likely the female but only "most likely". On the other hand if one stays in the den all the time and the other explores, the explorer is the likely male. For a long time I thought Sisturus and Medusa were a male female pairing but eventually, Medusa matured as a male. Sisturus matured very early and even tried to mate with Medusa at one point but not after Medusa's full sexual maturity (there even worse pictures of that mating attempt).

    The not so well focused pictures of the mating are posted as a link on entry post #2 where I wrote "the pictures" if you want a "1000 words worth of description".
     
  8. brandy g

    brandy g Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just got home and still no sign of squirt, im guessing poseidon is in there with her since there are no traces of both them. I wonder how far down the cave goes if they both can fit in there without me seeing anypart of them.

    Is it okay to leave a light on the tank or does it stress them out?
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,079
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Mine have light during the day because the room has a lot of uncurtained windows (the other tank has some weak blue and white LED's for daytime). I would recommend turning off any lighting no later than 9:00 PM (with this schedule we would see our males out for food around 11:00 PM - Sisturus was very prompt as he old and would even show up for dinner if we forgot and left the room lights (but no tank lights) on but none of my othes were as interactive).
     
  10. brandy g

    brandy g Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    okay, so here is what has been happening, from all the information i have obtain i am almost positive i have a male/female pair. Squirt has been coming out every night to eat and most of the time has one arm curled up. Poseidon i have not yet seen again. I have not since them both out at the same time since the first night. Squirt is still eating the krill but i am ordering fiddlers. Still no pictures yet due to the fact that i can never find my camera.
     
  11. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    137
    Don't be surprised if the female dens up and lays eggs - if she hasn't already. I suspect that warmer water, food and perhaps stress induces large females to quickly reproduce when placed in an aquarium after capture.

    Roy
     
  12. brandy g

    brandy g Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very happy!:smile: poseidon and squirt are both out and looking for food. I was getting worried because intill tonight i would only see one
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,079
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Roy,
    Thanks for the thought on the females as I have been thinking that it is just too common to be natural, at least for the hummelincki. Losing Maya so quickly was painful and I hope we can get a clue on which or what causes the brooding trigger in hopes of delaying or at least allowing a natural time frame.

    Thinking about my experience, my two WC female mercs (Tapper, was in the aquarium 3 months and lived 11 weeks after brooding. Sleazy has been in the aquarium 2 months and is still not brooding), 2 young briareus and 2 macropuses of some kind (not likely the same species as Puddles appears to be a dwarf) did not appear to brood prematurely (Beldar eventually did after 5 months but so far Puddles at 1.5 months is not). Both my hummelincki females appeared to be very young (very small compared to the two males I have kept, very strong color and mantles were not distended) when they arrived and laid infertile eggs at about 2 weeks after entering the aquarium.
     
  14. brandy g

    brandy g Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just a quick update with the two little monsters, Poseidon has been eating about every day with a nice size crab from petco (not really sure what type they were), but doesnt leave her den too much but she is getting much bigger. Squirt hasnt been eating too much that ive seen even tho there are some empty hermits, he come out alot more then Poseidon does.

    No pictures yet, i know you all hate me but i cant find a camera =(
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,079
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Very glad to hear they are doing well. While we do miss not being able to see photos, it is not a hating offense.:wink:
     
  16. brandy g

    brandy g Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    R.I.P squirt
     
  17. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    96
    Location:
    South Florida
    Noooo, :sad: so sorry to hear I was looking forward too reading about your pair.

    :angelpus:

    at least you still have one. Think you will try to get another, so you still have a pair?
     
  18. brandy g

    brandy g Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    i shall get another, squirts wasnt doing to hot at the store i knew this come i just thought i could bring him back.

    Anyone know where i can snag a male merc?
     
  19. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,079
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Brandy, an overly friendly or "tame" octo is often at the end of its natural life. The behavior is common in senescence and there is no way to (that we are aware of) to reverse the final aging process. We think it is hormonal and it appears we can bring it on early but nothing has been found to reverse or slow it down.
     
  20. brandy g

    brandy g Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    A sad day, posiden passed today :angelpus: , he got stuck in a power head that i thought i sealed off but i guess it pulled him in. I fixed the problem now but it is a day to late....:sad:.
     

Share This Page