Ziggy - A. ? (presumed Indonesian)

DWhatley

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I ordered a "Mexican" octopus from LA after CaptFish placed a similar order and the animal looked interesting. Sadly I am quite sure what arrived is an Indonesian species and has the general look of Abdopus aculeatus. I don't believe it is young juvenile (the very young I have had have translucent skin during most of their exponential growth stage) but the patterning is strong and lacks signs of senescence. I believe it is too small to be aculeatus but don't have a good guess for an alternate species. I posted an ID request noting features that I believe are diagnostic.

As we expect from Live Aquaria, the animal was well packaged with large amounts of water and oxygen. The heat pack was still warm but placed directly on the bag rather than the preferred method of attaching it to the box to prevent direct contact. The animal arrived lively and the water, with the exception of the expected PH drop was clean without detectable nitrites.

I offered it a piece of thawed crawfish tail during acclimation. After several attempts of touching the food to the suckers and seeing an interest but no consumption, I left the small piece in the acclimation cage and remained out of sight for about 15 minutes. When I looked back, the food offering had disappeared and was assumed eaten. The animal eliminated shortly after being placed in the tank confirming at least that it had recently eaten something.

On entering the tank it explored all of the live rock with no interest in the sand. I could follow its progress by watching the fleeing pods and seeing the arms actively investigating. At about 6:00 PM it came out into the open and sat on the live rock for over an hour. I offered an additional small piece of the crawfish tail (about the size of it eye stalk) and it accepted the food from an acrylic feeding stick.

Unfortunately, my acclimation photos don't give much information.

 

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DWhatley

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Day two the octo was unseen until 6:00 PM. It came to the front of the LR with a shell attached to several front suckers and as I sat looking at it, it banged the shell several times on the live rock. It did not handle the shell in any other way. We added a dozen small hermits to the tank on arrival because I was not sure I had food it would take. I am not sure if the shell had or did contain a hermit. It looked all the world like it was throwing a temper tantrum and demanding to be fed. I offered a piece of thawed shelled blue crab claw and it did not hesitate to approach the feeding stick and take the meal. Needless to say I am delighted it is eating well but worried that it may be a female close to brooding. It stayed out in the open on the LR until about 7:00 (roughtly an hour) and returned again in about 15 minutes to observe surroundings. By 10:00 PM it disappeared into the LR. This may not be indicitive of natural behavior though as we have often seen them change schedules after fully acclimating to the tank.

Sadly I missed videoing the shell slamming and the still is not clear


It seems to protect the end of its mantle with its arms. I have not seen it swim or fully leave the live rock at any time.
 

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Cuddlycuttlefsh

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Seems as if your octopus is crepuscular (though I have absolutely no evidence that the octo is active during the morning) and wouldn't an aculeatus be diurnal?
 

iAlex

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You should send an email to LA's customer service about how you think this is an Indonesian species rather than a Mexican sp.
 

DWhatley

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Cuddlycuttlefish, Until they are comfortably adjusted to an aquarium (about 2 weeks) their schedule is not obvious. I am recording observations for something to look back on. Unfortunately, I expect this one to be nocturnal.

Alex, I plan to complain by phone but not too harshly. They are one of the few places that are trying to provide ocotpuses (and it looks like they are considering experimenting with raising bandensis cuttles) and I don't want to discourage them.

I observe it out at 3:00 AM as well as at 6:00 AM but it was in the LR at 8:00 AM.
 

iAlex

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Are you talking about how they have the picture under aquacultured inverts? I've talked to them about that before and they didn't seem like they were actually going to persue it for whatever reason.
 

DWhatley

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Alex, yes, that is the display I noticed. They have not removed it yet and they are dabbling more with octos so I guess we wait and see.

Ziggy (for now, not final) did not show up at 6:00 but did at 8:00 PM. Before she came out, I noted a new shell blocking one of the holes where she denned yesterday. She was not in front of her den but took the crab on a stick (with less gusto then yesterday but quite willingly) and the moved to her den's primary entrance to eat it for half an hour. This time I sat and watched her. When she was finished, she took the outer skin, hopped (best way I can describe it) off the live rock, skimmed along the sand in front of the tank, deposited what she did not eat and skimmed back to her den entrance then sat and just observed (or digested?). She took the excess food to the exact location I found it yesterday.

Later she returned to her den (well inside a piece of LR) and started securing all the entrances with shells and I saw her blow out sand. Then she did something I had never noticed an octopus doing. An arm came out from one of the lower holes in the LR and picked up sand in her suckers. I saw her do this twice and it was quite clear she was intentionally picking up the sand and bringing it into the den. There is no way for me to see into her den so I am at a loss for how she may be using it, especially since I saw her blow sand out of the den earlier. I don't think we know how octopuses that hand their eggs create the hard, bark like substance some use to make the egg strings and I wonder if sand is part of the forumla.

I also fear she is preparing to brood :cry:

Supper Time - Shelled Blue Crab Claw Chunk
 

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corw314

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Nice! Welcome to Ziggy (?).....I see a nice size bristle worm there too!
 

DWhatley

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Not so nice, wayyyyyy too many. I am trying to invent a reducing device :biggrin2:

I tried to video Ziggy's hop and glide to take uneaten food away from the den but setting up the camera and messing with the lighting made her uncomfortable so she went inside, leaving the food outside. She then recovered the food and dragged it in with her. I waited 45 minutes but she never exited to deposit left overs while I was watching. At least she is still interested in food.
 

DWhatley

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In a recent fossil paper I had the fun of being cited for explaining that octopuses don't eat the shells of their food victims and don't produce a hard pellet that could be fossilized. I have also mentioned observing that the smaller octopuses that I have kept don't make midden piles in aquariums. Ziggy has been demonstrating both and I finally caught it on video. Normally she will take her hard waste (but not uneaten food without a shell) all the way to the far side of the aquarium. The video shows her dropping it 1/3 of the normal distance away and I think it is because she was very aware I was watching.

She comes to the front of her den promptly at 7:00 but has been taking the food inside (she learned supper time in a day but initially would eat outside her den). The video shows her outside but I tricked her into this by giving her a claw that was too large to fit :sagrin:) If I happen to see her out at other times (rare) she now goes to her den. Hopefully this will change in a week or so (if she does not brood by then :sad:).


 

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