Abdopus aculeatus mating paper out

Good abstract. It seems like A. aculeatus may be more social than the typical octopus which may mean they will more readily live with each other in a closed environment. What are the characteristics that separate a male from a female? Do males curl their hectocotylized arm, have enlarged suckers, different patternings (aside from the mentioned black and white striped)?

You mentioned male-male aggression in the abstract but did not specify (I can't read the full article but would like to ...) if this led to death or dismemberment. With my sibbling Mercs, the two males have live comfortably together, one tank houses no female, the other contained one (she disappeared after brooding, producing young and mating a second time). The level of encounter between the males can not be classified as highly aggressive in either case and both sets of males are alive after 11 months. Since there is a difficulty keeping multiple octopuses in the same aquarium, could you give more information on this behavior?

Thanks for keeping us updated on your publishing!
Males pull each others arms and strangle during fighting, and we had one case when a male was found eating arms, so aggression easily has the potential to injure/kill. But severe injuries may be rare. Females have just as many arm injuries as males even though they are far less aggressive. Thus a lot of damage may be done by predators or prey (stomatopods). That's good to know that your mercs are less aggressive. Having two male aculeatus together in a tank would be pretty risky. It's entirely possible that mercs have a totally different set of behaviors/types of competition. Ahh- to follow them in the wild would be a fun challenge!
Somehow I don't think the Mercs will ever be observed like your aculeatus in situ ;>). Locating them and "following" them is not likely to be a problem but the night dives, red lights and trust time don't suggest good, safe thesis material. What I have found interesting is that Roy has reported much more aggression in the Mercs than I have seen in my aquarium. I suspect part of the difference is raising sibblings (possibly same age/size) together rather than putting strangers together. It appears that they may live close together in the wild (conjecture based on sellers finding them in LR in one area) and it may be that if they grow up together, regardless of relationship, they will refrain from damaging each other even over a female. If my thinking has any merit, it would suggest a social behavior and recognition ability closer to what Roy has seen in his shrimp ...
I agree- the nocturnals will be challenges for a long time- at least until UW night vision becomes much better, and rebreathers cheaper. But a girl can dream.
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