Touching Octopus

nickcoletti

O. bimaculoides
Registered
#1
Maybe this have already been talked about, maybe it hasn't but i figured i would ask anyway. My octopus is very active and actually only comes out during the day:smile: . He spends the whole day trying to get my attention because when i come around it usually means one of two things...food or hand contact which it seems to love more than anything. We play tug-o-war all the time and he even tried to get me with jets of water. Seeing DHyslop's post on that bite made me think twice about hand contact but its hard to resist. Now for my question, lately when he lets go of my hand a hand full of particles come off and float in the water. It looks almost as if its shedding the tips of its suckers because they are round and about the size of his suckers. Has anyone had this happen and if so should i be worried?
 

Nancy

Titanites
Staff member
Moderator
#2
Yes, I've forgotten how to express this anatomically correctly, but their suckers can shed.

I think you can play with your octopus and avoid letting him cover your hand, which is when you get bitten - his beak has to contact your hand.

Nancy
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#3
Nickcoletti,

I thought those were egg casings and several others had different ideas but you win the prize. Jean has confirmed that they shed the inside layer of skin on their suckers routinely.
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#4
Octopus regularily shed the skin on the inside of the suckers! Just be sure that your hand is wet before you touch him (lessens the heat), and that there are no chemicals on it like detergent, sunscreen, hand creme etc.

Usually it's best to let them take the initiative with contact, lessens the chances of a nip, although as D found out it doesn't negate it entirely!

J
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#6
Jean,
Trap never bit me - It was my LION fish that I ran into and was stung :oops: and Miss Piggy, my anemone that thinks my hand in the tank means it is feeding time and puts out stinging cells to be sure to get more than her share.

Learning when to use vinegar (I do think the undistilled works best) and when to use HOT water has been a useful bit of knowledge :roll: and somehow, I expect to reuse the information since I can't seem to make myself use gloves and have never been able to keep my hands out of my tanks.
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#8
dwhatley;92478 said:
Jean,
Trap never bit me - It was my LION fish that I ran into and was stung :oops: and Miss Piggy, my anemone that thinks my hand in the tank means it is feeding time and puts out stinging cells to be sure to get more than her share.

Learning when to use vinegar (I do think the undistilled works best) and when to use HOT water has been a useful bit of knowledge :roll: and somehow, I expect to reuse the information since I can't seem to make myself use gloves and have never been able to keep my hands out of my tanks.
:oops: I need to read things more thoroughly! My thoughts do tend to be cephalocentric :lol:

J
 

tywtly

GPO
Registered
#9
dwhatley;92478 said:
It was my LION fish that I ran into and was stung



Yeah, that sucks...trust me, I know. My volitans lion bumped into me, and I didn't realize what happened for a few minutes...than it stared throbbing...that scared me, didn't know what was going on. Then it swole up, then it started getting yellow and white spots in it, so I went to the doctor. They said that they had no idea wat it could be, so I told them I got stung by a lionfish, and they asked me "what's that?", so I said nevermind and left...well, long story short, I got stung, too.
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#10
Having given pointers on touching octopus I have to say that it isn't really something I would actively encourage. We don't allow petting of the aquarium octopus for example! It's hard on the skin and stress levels of the octopus and potentially hard on you. Although the venom doesn't seem to be particularly toxic to humans, many species haven't been tested (and I'm NOT volunteering :grin:) so we don't actually know how toxic they really are plus there's a huge potential for allergic reaction. We've had to air lift a student to hospital who had been bitten by a supposedly "safe" species, one I've been bitten by several times :roll: .......and that wasn't very comfortable either, lasted for 3 weeks and I lost fine motor control in my fingers :sad:.

On the whole the safest way to "play" with your octopus is to have them play tag on the glass with your fingers (octopus inside:fingers outside:lol: ).

J
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#12
Michael Blue;92580 said:
Was this permanent or did control return after the 3 weeks?
It returned after about 5 weeks! I'd not recommend getting bitten by one of these......not fun!

J
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#13
Jean;92798 said:
It returned after about 5 weeks! I'd not recommend getting bitten by one of these......not fun!

J
which octopus was that? I know you've had several species...
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#14
monty;92803 said:
which octopus was that? I know you've had several species...
Octopus warringa/huttoni It's a complex that's hard to ID and frankly I wasn't in a position to do a sucker count (too busy commenting on the parentage of the staff member who puts them in the tank and doesn't tell anyone :lol: or in one case trying NOT to comment, as we had a family with small children who were enjoying watching me "play" with the octopus......I know cos they told me so!!!!)

J
 

corw314

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
#15
I tend to favor the tag on the glass. I think in all the octopuses I have had, only 2 have gotten "ahold" of me. For some reason and maybe it's not a bad idea, I am very cautious about getting nipped. Thinking about it, when Jess was 5 she got nipped by Inklet. Seeing that recent reaction to a bite, and being she is "allergic" to several things, probably not a good idea to ever let her get that close again.
 

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