Species specific foods for octopus?

Discussion in 'Sources for Cephalopods and Food' started by GuySnell, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. GuySnell

    GuySnell Larval Mass Registered

    Dec 7, 2011
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    I have read a few posts about feeding and I can't help but notice that there arnt any specific species of crab, shrimp, ect that are fed to certain species of your octopus that I could find. I recently acquired a common octopus while wading. I live in the florida keys and fish collecting is a hobby and I caught this little guy with my hands on a an ocean flat. I know what to feed but I don't know if specie specific helps with health or whatnot. He seems to love blue crabs and decorator crabs..but what should I bee feeding him. I catch everything for my fish live and have no exotic species and do not intend to use any. Can anyone help me with this?
  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Jul 9, 2009
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    South Florida
    :welcome: to TONMO

    any of the crabs we have down here are fine, decorator crabs and blues are fine, I too catch my own here in FL. I have used the blue crabs a bunch. I dont know what they are but i also catch the little crabs that are always on the seawalls and pilings, they are small but the octos seem to enjoy the tasty snack...

    my favorite food for octos down here is just regular bait shrimp like you see for sale every where down here, i even keep a few frozen just in case. just drop in a few live, and let the octo eat them at free will. in miami they are between 1.25 and 2.00 a dozen.

    on the blue crabs because they are so violent i always remove the claws so they cant damage the octo. on the small piling crabs i dont bother.
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 4, 2006
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    Gainesville, GA USA
    I tried to catch some of these (what ever they are) in Tampa off my sister's seawall but failed miserably.

    You can freezed these too. We go to the Asian market and just get the claws that are loose in the bins and freeze them. They love the claws and clean-up is much easier than giving them a whole crab.
  4. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

    Nov 19, 2002
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    Dunedin, New Zealand
    Cephs are pretty opportunistic hunters, they'll eat what's there! I would always avoid freshwater species for them, but wouldn't bother much otherwise (of course you may get individual preferences!)
  5. ceph

    ceph Wonderpus Staff Member Moderator

    Dec 20, 2002
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    West Palm Beach, Florida

    If you are feeding local live marine crabs you are doing great! Most people don't have that luxury. I'm up the road in Palm Beach County and also collect local live food for my cephalopods.

    It is very unlikely that your locally caught octopus fed locally caught food will encounter a crab or shrimp that is bad for it; especially if you use some common sense and avoid obviously polluted water and/or mysteriously dying animals. I appreciate your concern but think this is a non-issue and that you are way ahead of the game in terms of providing a great diet.

    If this unlikely event does occur, the octopuses likely won't eat anything dangerous - especially since you are offering live food that the octopus has evolved with. These are smart suckers after all.

    Our paper "Octopus vulgaris in the Caribbean is a specializing generalist" lists 75 prey species consumed by O. vulgaris in Bonaire. That list would give you a good idea of exactly what they were eating. We did not compare what they were eating with what we humans could find in the same area but I suspect that they could find more diversity than we could and were eating a large diversity of the crustaceans and mollusks available.

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