The Once-ler

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by sedna, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    104
    It's been a week now and things are still looking good, so I'm starting a journal for the Once-ler. I'm not sure if it is male or female, but I'm sure it'd look smashing in a thneed and if it wasn't already real Dr. Suess would have imagined it...
    I finally decided to measure some fixed things in the tank and am completely embarrassed at how off I was on my estimates:oops: The long piece of live rock (encrusted intake valve- I tell kids it's a pirate hook) that Once-ler is stretched over is 6 in. long. The intake cover in the back of that picture is 3 in. This is a 55 gal bow front tank, 18 in. tall. Based on that, I think the mantle is only 2 in. or so, but the arms are 10- 12 in. for sure. Every animal I have ever put in this tank seems to grow instantly, and taking a good picture is tough if you're at a bad angle to the bowed glass. Yes, this is my lame excuse from here on out for bad photos...
    The Once-ler has a lurkim, a large piece of live rock that it can hang out in and look out with just eyes to see the whole room. Slowly we see more and more of it as it gets used to it's new home. It's diurnal but still sleeps during the day a lot. The most active times are morning and late afternoon- evening. Finally starting to warm up to the camera! The Once-ler is a hunter, all the hermit crabs are gone and the snails are slowly disappearing, but I've also been sucessful with stick feeding shrimp. Will post more photos soon!
     
  2. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    104
    pictures of The Once-ler

    My pictures did not upload with my last post... On the one, it is stretched out over a piece of 6 in. long "live rock." The one shot is a bit blurry but gives a nice "head on" example of any spots, the other is clearer and shows some range of coloration.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    104
    more pictures of the Once-ler

    Here are a few more pictures, one of the lighter color phase, one I just moved over from the I.D. page, and one of it pasted to the glass eating a snail. Already thinning out the truffela supply...
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Tintenfisch

    Tintenfisch Architeuthis Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,083
    Likes Received:
    171
    Great pics and awesome name! 8-)
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,083
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Please tell me I am imagining spots

    Or that I am just :old: and seeing them. I am very glad his initial size estimates come from the typical female misjudgement of 6" :sly: but the markings still bother me.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,083
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    One other find

    I like the possibility of this one because of the second pictures (search defilippi) that shows spots rather than stripes on the same octo but none of the pictures shows the starburst on the eye.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,364
    Likes Received:
    7
    Abdopus. Great pics.
     
  8. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    104
    The Once-ler is a septopus!

    Well, over the last few days we've been seeing a lot more of the Once-ler. It has been coming out more often, and staying out longer. For a while it would retreat as soon as we'd come up to the tank and watch us from it's lurkim, with all the arms tucked in and just eyes peering out. Now that it's been out more I've only just noticed that it only has 7 arms...
    From the time I got it home I noticed the tip of the first right arm is missing. Today I noticed a tiny growth, a skinny string of skin from under the webbing. I felt bad to not notice until now, but it's only just staying on the glass for a while when I sit close enough to observe it's whole body. Of corse at first I worried that it'd eaten the whole arm over night. I'm so glad for have taken pictures right from the start, and not deleting the "bad" ones. I can tell from the pictures that it's only had 7 arms all along. As for eating it and the tip of the other, I'm not sure. It's hard to tell sometimes what's going on under the webbing, but I've made sure the short arm isn't getting shorter, and that all of the other arms taper off properly. There is the same type of stringy growth on the tip of the short arm, they are the same length. I hope I can surmise from this that both appendages were lost at the same time and are growing back at equal rates.
    You can see on these shots that there is a short row of suckers that ends abruptly. D, you can see how far the webbing extends on the legs, you asked about that once.
    Other than that I'm glad to report that everything seems to be going well. The Once-ler is warming up to it's new home and becoming accustomed to our routine while establishing one of it's own. All of the snails are gone, it still likes hermit crabs, and is stick feeding on shrimp well. It doesn't play "follow the hand" on the glass, or really play like Al did. But at least it will come out and dance on the glass and inspect us, too!
     

    Attached Files:

  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,083
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Sedna,
    The thread is, indeed, new growth so if he did chew it off, it was not during life in your tank and he is not eating them now. I was concerned that Octane had some kind of rotting material still attached to the end of his truncated arm (on arrival). It took about two weeks to see that the string had tiny suckers :smile:. I don't know when he lost the tip so I don't know how long it took for that string to develop. After 7 months I could not determine which arm had grown back.

    I am still not convinced Once-ler is of the Adopus group but maybe we will hear from Mucktopus soon (If she is not out in the frozen underworld collecting plankton or diving in Indonesia) with a yea or nay.
     
  10. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    104
    First contact!

    Monday was my birthday and the Once-ler gifted me with a gentle touch. Of course, it turned into the "grab and pull toward my mouth" touch, so I gently pulled away. She sat for an hour on the glass, as if contemplating what happened. Yesterday before I began to clean the tank she was dancing on the glass near the top and didn't hesitate to investigate when I opened it. Immediately an arm popped out and over the side of the tank. I offered a finger and after guiding her arm back into the water, she hid in the corner during the cleaning and gave me no problems. It's been 2 weeks now, and I'm can't believe how much more friendly and interactive she's become, but I also get the feeling that I'd better keep my eye on this one...
    I've decided to go with "she," because I hate "it" and my daughter informs me she has a very strong feeling about it. Since it's the 3rd arm that was lost, we have no hints that way, and the suckers don't seem to be enlarged at all. As for the arm, it seems is regenerating faster than I thought it would. Yes, only a few mm/ day, but enough to notice!
    Here are some new pictures. The one is of the Once-ler's most common pose, head out of her den, arms all tucked in. It has occurred to me that maybe she isn't more shy than Al, but that the placement of her den in the tank, and tank in the room is more centrally located. She has a view of most of the room from her den. Al had to be on the glass to see what was going on, but The Once-ler has 1st row seating in this tank.
    The next pic shows an attempt at animal enrichment, just not the intended animal. I put a piece of shrimp into a plastic hamster ball and fixed it in the tank. The Once-ler did spend 40 min or so cruising the tank and investigating from afar, then went to sleep and never gave it another thought. The shrimp was never eaten. My brother cat, Linus, totally freaked out, though. He sat there, fur all raised, and meowlped for his sister. Her response was even more underwhemed than the octo. Linus cried all evening until the light went out. It still served as great entertainment for us!
     

    Attached Files:

  11. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    104
    Once-ler update

    As soon as I think I've got the Once-ler figured out, she changes things up! I was SO sure she was diurnal because after she settled in we'd see her a bunch in the morning and afternoon, but during the day some, too. She'd sit in a ball on the glass right in the sun. For the last 1 1/2 weeks, I hardly see the Once-ler out during the day. Mostly she's only been out in the morning before the lights go on, then not again until dinner (6:30 or so). Active until about 11 or midnight, then to bed for the night, I think...
    I've noticed some different sleep "types" in the Once-ler. During the morning, from 9-12, she seems to sleep very deeply. I say this because she is almost white in color at this time and so still I think she's dead. She doesn't respond to me AT ALL, no color change when I put my hand on the glass. Her eyes are puffy from having pulled up the surrounding skin to shut them tight. Then by 1 pm, she's still sleeping, but her eyes aren't shut so tight and she'll open her eyes on my approach, her skin will darken and she's aware of me. It's like she has two distinct phases of sleep. Also, when she "goes to bed" later after 11, she holds a shell or piece of "rubble" in an arm, as if to shield the one part of her body which is exposed to the outside of her den. It's different than Al always holding on to the same object like a toy. It seems more like a protective barricade, she'll take anything that fits over that spot. She never does this in the day.
    Today she was right out on the glass, right out in the sunshine again. She likes to walk up across the glass from one corner to another, then SWIM across and down the the opposite corner. A real bonus of a larger tank! I was able to take some pictures. They are a little blurry because she was going so fast. One shot shows how much of her arm has grown back, it's amazing how fast it's growing. The last one is of her awesome pattern as she "attacks" a piece of shrimp on a stick.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    104
    Once-ler update

    As soon as I think I've got the Once-ler figured out, she changes things up! I was SO sure she was diurnal because after she settled in we'd see her a bunch in the morning and afternoon, but during the day some, too. She'd sit in a ball on the glass right in the sun. For the last 1 1/2 weeks, I hardly see the Once-ler out during the day. Mostly she's only been out in the morning before the lights go on, then not again until dinner (6:30 or so). Active until about 11 or midnight, then to bed for the night, I think...
    I've noticed some different sleep "types" in the Once-ler. During the morning, from 9-12, she seems to sleep very deeply. I say this because she is almost white in color at this time and so still I think she's dead. She doesn't respond to me AT ALL, no color change when I put my hand on the glass. Her eyes are puffy from having pulled up the surrounding skin to shut them tight. Then by 1 pm, she's still sleeping, but her eyes aren't shut so tight and she'll open her eyes on my approach, her skin will darken and she's aware of me. It's like she has two distinct phases of sleep. Also, when she "goes to bed" later after 11, she holds a shell or piece of "rubble" in an arm, as if to shield the one part of her body which is exposed to the outside of her den. It's different than Al always holding on to the same object like a toy. It seems more like a protective barricade, she'll take anything that fits over that spot. She never does this in the day.
    Today she was right out on the glass, right out in the sunshine again. She likes to walk up across the glass from one corner to another, then SWIM across and down the the opposite corner. A real bonus of a larger tank! I was able to take some pictures. They are a little blurry because she was going so fast. One shot shows how much of her arm has grown back, it's amazing how fast it's growing. The last one is of her awesome pattern as she "attacks" a piece of shrimp on a stick.
     
  13. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    104
    Darn cat!

    Sorry that got posted again, my cat walked across the keyboard and stepped on some keys...
     
  14. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    137
    This would appear to be a female Abdopus aculeatus and from the size, I would guess that she is not far off from laying eggs. If she starts gathering pebbles, that is a sure sign that motherhood is near.

    ROy
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,083
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Roy,
    In the right hand picture of post #2 there are two distinct white dots about halfway up the mantle. I have noticed similar markings on many octos (researching through photos and on my own). Is there something physical that these relate to?
     
  16. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    104
    past the 4 week mark!

    The Once-ler has been with us for a month now! Even though my family was so against moving the fish out of the 55 gal. tank this summer, everyone is glad I made the change. She has enough room and swims a little everyday, my girls love to watch. My husband agrees that an octopus is the best thing I've ever kept in that tank. I don't care if she is the only inhabitant, it's worth it to know she is safe and happy all by herself in there. It's really satisfying to go to the LFS and not want anything but another cool piece of live rock for her to play on!

    As the Once-ler is only my second octo, I don't want to dispute the I.D. of aculeatus. I have to point out some differences I've seen between her and my last octo, though, I don't know if they are significant or not. The Once-ler has more webbing on her arms without a doubt, and she uses it more. By that I mean, she can extend her arms and webbing to make herself appear larger in a way Al never did. When she does this, she assumes a dark color with light dots, and rolls up her arms like cinnamon buns (very scientific description, I know...), she can even do it with the little growing back arm now. Al never did the polka dot thing, and didn't have nearly as much webbing.

    Her mantle is also larger in diameter in comparison to the rest of her body. This is one of the first things my husband noticed about her. It's not that she is just bigger than the last guy, but that ratio of mantle diameter to body size is different. D, it is "serendipitous" that you posted mantle observations because I was taking pics last night of that same thing. Al did not have the little tassle on the end of his mantle like the Once-ler. When she is smooth, the "tassle" appears as a darkened spot on her skin, check out the photo. A totally different observation, it seems to me that her mantle has gotten a bit "lumpy" looking. Just a slightly bumpy look when she exhales sometimes, and I'd swear it's grown. Does this mean, "Just DARN?" Or is it just that she could still be growing and I'm over-reacting to appearances?

    I posted the other photo so someone can tell me what "parts" we can see through her skin. There are two dark purplish spots that pulse, are these hearts? What is the red spot in the middle?

    She re-organizes the shells rubble around her den nightly, but she's done that from day one, so I'm not sure that's brooding behavior. Yesterday, she excavated a tunnel under a large rock. She's never made a tunnel before, but again she's always played in the sand, it seems to give her an excuse to show off her webbing. Admittedly, I felt down after Roy's post on Saturday, but I decided to enjoy what time I've got!
     

    Attached Files:

  17. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,083
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Sedna,
    We never saw it coming with Serendipty. She was out and about when we were home and I was so sure she was very young (admittedly, I also was pretty sure she was female). The sand den is typical of many octos but the pink lump has me thinking ... Just DARN. I have not seen webbing or spots like that on any of the aculeatus photos but Roy has seen them not only in the lab but also in situ a lot. There are a number of adopus octos so the features you mention may be common to one or more of them. We expected to lose Octane within the first month and he was with us for 7 and probably would have made it to 8 if I had not left the tank open :cry:. We are still not over his absence but OhToo is helping. Giving the small eggs a race is a mixed emotion but a challenge I wanted to try it ... someday.

    "D"
     
  18. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,364
    Likes Received:
    7
    When you start noticing Once-ler dragging small rocks back to her den, it's time to prep for the babies.

    Grover's behavior never really seemed to change until one day the den was complete. Every last piece of movable debris was collected and stacked or stuck in holes during the last few days I saw her.
     
  19. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    104
    And so begins the end...

    On Saturday, we woke up and the Once-ler had dragged all of the shells in the tank around her den. My husband said, "That's an octopus nest!" She was out and about like normal all that day and Sunday, too. Yesterday she was actively pulling all of he shells in the tank into every opening of her live rock den. It was really a lot of fun to watch, she tried all day to pull a too big shell into a small hole. This morning at 4 am I couldn't sleep so I peeked in the tank with a flashlight. I barely needed it because the full moon was so bright on the tank (coincidence?). She had actually managed to wedge that giant shell into the hole! I figured that was the last I'd see of her. She was out again this morning, then again this afternoon. Both times she made a couple of rounds about the tank, then pooped and went back in. Each time I was certain it was the last time I'd see her. Tonight, while we were eating dinner she made her regular appearance, albeit short. She was trying to pull a fairly large piece of rock across the tank, and doing it! If she has designs on that for her nest it's going to be a few more days! I've gotten a little video of her working, I'll try to get it up.
    I've been rereading all of the posts about egg attempts. I agree that it would be great to keep "egg and hatchling journals" in a different place. Even after reading all of the info here I still have so many Q's. I wish there were a "list of things tried" and a "list of next best guesses" for newbies like me. I've gathered my old tank and accumulated equipment and I just don't know where to start! I feel like I don't have nearly enough experience or expertise, but I also know I'll have to try. My husband is excited, even though he knows how hopeless it is and that it means the Once-ler will be gone soon. "Yeah, but what a great experiment! We'll get to see baby octos, and you'll get to say you tried!" I'm gong with that sentiment!
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,364
    Likes Received:
    7
    Aren't they amazingly talented architects? The one kept at the clinic packed so many tiny pieces together in such small spaces, like building a brick wall. And it was a solid structure. Watching them pull the rocks around is so fun too. So determined to put everything in just the right place.
     

Share This Page