The Big O's - Local Identification

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Fujisawas Sake, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. Fujisawas Sake

    Fujisawas Sake Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Hi,

    I think this may be the first time I ever posted on the Care section, but I have seen a LOT of knowledgeable post here from people who truly observe the growth and development of octopus species, so I figured I wanted to ask those in the know:

    My question is, are there any sure-fire ways of identifying O. rubescense vs. O. dolfleini during juvenile stages (3 to 4 weeks, four to six months, etc.?). The marine lab at school has several specimens of young local-caught octos (I live in the Pacific NW), and they are having trouble with the identification. What I was told is that the juveys are around a few weeks old (about four to six). Any help would be appreciated.

    John
     
  2. TidePool Geek

    TidePool Geek O. vulgaris Registered

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    Hi John,

    O. dofleini is sometimes called the "Devilfish" because it has flaps of skin above its eyes that resemble horns. I don't thing O. rubescens has these.

    Another difference is the skin. The GPO has folded skin such that it can easily change its texture for better camoflage. Reds don't have that ability and their skin is a fairly constant (rough) texture.

    I've also been told that there is a difference in the shape of each species head but there weren't any examples available when I was told so I didn't understand the description well enough to pass it along (or remember it, for that matter).

    Differentially yours,

    Alex

    P.S. Of course, you could always stick your hand in the tank - if the animal bites you it's probably O. rubescens.
     
  3. Fujisawas Sake

    Fujisawas Sake Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    LOL. Yes, so I have seen.

    You mean this is the case with the juveys as well? I took a gander at the young 'uns that they had at the tank and, as the tree said to the logger, 'I'm stumped'. Maybe I can take a closer look sometime.
     
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    When I visited the NRCC over a year ago, they had some juvenile octopuses that might be GPOs or might be rubescens. Important identifying marks for rubescens are two pairs of white rings - one pair is in front of the eyes. I believe they eventually turned out to be rubescens, not GPOs. Over time I posted many pics of these little octopuses. And, by the way, one of them bit the person handling it while I was there - it inked, too!

    Nancy
     

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