[Octopus]: This is Pete

CHolland

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#1
IMG_20171113_041121.jpg IMG_20171113_041056.jpg IMG_20171113_041148.jpg I got an octopus via my LFS just last week! I have been waiting to post about him until he was coming out of his den and could include some pictures and video. :smile:

This morning, he finally did! This is Pete. He was sold to me as a Vulgaris and, if he is, he is just a baby! His mantle is maybe a couple inches (at most). All I really know about him is that he was sourced from the Caribbean.

I've already observed some interesting behavior (which is shown in the pics). I must have startled him this morning because his reaction was to stock his mantle straight up and away back and forth. I think he was trying to look like algae. :biggrin2:

I am concerned he might not be a Vulgaris. I know there's a possibility he is a mature dwarf, but I'm hoping I won the lotto and got a baby Vulgaris. Perhaps someone could help me positively ID him?

Without further ado, here are some pictures!
 

tonmo

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Welcome Pete! He is cool. :cool2: He does look young, doesn't he? Not sure about vulgaris... someone here can help I am sure.

Looking forward to this journal! :thumbsup:
 

DWhatley

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Very young vulgaris can display red but the marbled mantle pattern, mantle shape and starburst around the eye have me thinking Pete is a nocturnal dwarf, O. mercatoris. However, the activity is unusual for both a very young animal and a merc and there appear to be papillae on the mantle that you would not find on O. mercatoris.
 

DWhatley

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papillae are the little things that help their skin change texture, correct?
Sorry, yes. At one time I kept a cephalopod definitions page but it failed to make one of the forum transitions. Merc skin displays very little change in texture or color (reddish brown and white). A TONMO media search for mercatoris finds a number of @Neogonodactylus ' excellent photos.

Off the top of my head, the only journalled images of a very young vulgaris are of LittleBit and it took me quite awhile to establish her species.
 

CHolland

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Well, I love a good mystery!

I'll make sure I keep this thread updated and maybe we'll be able to figure it out. :smile:

Thanks for the links. This will be interesting!
 

tonmo

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At one time I kept a cephalopod definitions page but it failed to make one of the forum transitions.
What! :eek2: Maybe I can find it...? PM me or let's take it to the Staff forum... sounds like a good one! :biggrin2:
 

Nancy

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A big welcome to Pete! Even if you can’t figure out which species he is, he’ll still be fun to keep! We’re looking forward to future posts and photos.

Nancy
 

tonmo

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CHolland

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Thanks for the reminder to update!

Honestly, there hasn't been much new. I see him more and more in the mornings when I wake up, but that's about it. I'm not sure if it's because he is nocturnal or still adjusting to his tank.

He IS eating. I keep the tank stocked with live shrimp and (if I need to) hermit crabs and they keep on disappearing! :smile:

I've managed to capture a couple more pictures which I'll attach here.

All and all, things seem well with him! Just not very active (yet!). :smile:
 

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DrPusSea

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#13
Hi Pete! Jealous... All I got on the weekend was a triangle crab and some triple fins ;)
 

CHolland

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Pete is still doing well!

There isn't too much too update. He is still active exclusively at night and still eating like a pig. He eats exclusively live ghost shrimp, which I finally got to see him hunt the other day, and are easy for me to find here. It's been a busy time of year, but I at least have some new pictures.

Sorry for the poor quality on the one with my finger, that's just for scale. He's only a couple inches from the glass. The other has better lighting. He's not happy in either photo. :smile:

He's not too exciting, but a Merc-sized Octo (still not 100% sure in the ID) in a 75 gallon makes for easy maintenance! :biggrin2:
IMG_20171222_023952.jpg IMG_20171222_023939.jpg
 

sedna

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What a cutie! Glad you got to see some hunting action. Mercs can be tough because they are nocturnal and you have to be up late with red lights on to see much of them. They are one of the few types of octopuses that can be kept in groups. With a tank that size, you might want to give it a try! It's a lot of fun to watch the interaction.
 

CHolland

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I was finally able to get some great pictures and video of Pete this morning, so I thought I'd go ahead and post an update. I was most surprised at how large he has gotten! He has easily doubled in size.

I haven't seen him as much the past several weeks, but that doesn't mean anything with these guys. :smile:

I've attached some more photos and here is a link to a video of him digging a new den: Pet octopus digging a new den - Streamable

I've been thinking he's a Merc, but I'm still not certain of that ID.

Enjoy!
 

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DWhatley

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Pete looks like a merc but I have never had one (or heard of one) that burrowed so the behavior is odd. There is another dwarf from the US Pacific, O. digeuti, that looks similar and that eye ruffle matches the one shown in @Neogonodactylusimages here but I don't know its habits.
 

tonmo

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#18
nice!!
 

CHolland

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Pete looks like a merc but I have never had one (or heard of one) that burrowed so the behavior is odd. There is another dwarf from the US Pacific, O. digeuti, that looks similar and that eye ruffle matches the one shown in @Neogonodactylusimages here but I don't know its habits.
That one looks extremely similar to Pete! I think you might be into something!
 

DWhatley

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The body patterning and eye frill look very, very much alike. Sadly, we don't have a known journal on a prior. Here is what Mark Norman has in his Cephalopods A World Guide pg 283. Years back we had a staff member that thought about trying to raise them for resale but decided the effort and cost was not viable.
@Neogonodactylus any observations/history you can share? NormanOctopusDigueti20180222.jpg
 

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