• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

Abdopus aculeatus


Pygmy Octopus
Jun 22, 2011
Hello all, this is my first time posting here though I've been looking at many threads to help learn more about cephalopods and cephalopod care.

I'm very interested in getting an Abdopus aculeatus, I'm actually doing a research project on their ability to discriminate between colors. I have three flow through tanks that I've constructed in the wet lab at my school, and I have grass shrimp, live caught silversides, and frozen shrimp ready for food. All I need now is the octopus! I saw that Live Aquaria had what looked like Abdopus aculeatus but they just sold out. If anyone knows of any other suppliers or fish stores that may have Abdopus aculeatus I would love to hear about them! Thanks!!
:welcome: to TONMO.

Wow your project sounds great! I hope you keep us informed of your progress, and of course we are here to help you in anyway you need.

LA really is the best and most reliable source for A.a. If they are out then it is usually not that long before they get more in, You can also call them and they might be able to tell you when they are expecting more. LA is great distributor and they typically have awesome customer service.

just a quick warning, there is no guarantee you will get an Aculeatus, but this is the mostly what we see coming from this vendor.
Yeah, I'd much rather get an octopus from a reliable source, so I'll wait it out until they have more available. Thats also good to hear that they're usually not out of stock for too long, I've been eager to start my project for months now!!

Thanks for the info and the welcome :)
You do need to be prepared for that possibility of another animal and decide what you will do with it if it is not the animal you need. I have tried to acquire one on three occasions and received something else. Since I am an octopus keeper by hobby and don't really mind (perhaps enjoy is a better phrase) keeping a variety, I am enthusiastic regardless of what shows up. For a research project, however, I would attempt a call and request to speak with a supervisor. Explain why you need a particular species (stress the educational part) and ask if you might be given a contact at the holding facility. They may or may not (I have not tried this but with a little insistence, LA can be quite exceptional) give you an edge but it is worth the effort. If the animals were kept at their primary facility (listed as Diver's Den) this is more easily viable but it is my understanding that the Indonesian octos are from wholesalers and are houesed in CA. I don't know if they are directly kept by LA at any time so it may not be possible to bend the right ear.

Also be aware that you will not likely have a long time with the animal. On a rare occasion we get lucky but most often they are adults with only a few weeks or months left of their natural lifespan.
Yes I've heard that is always the unfortunate part of keeping a cephalopod, so I will try and get as much data and keep them as happy as I can for the short time that I have them!! I've thought about the possibility of not getting an Abdopus aculeatus, most places I see don't seem to know what species they have. Luckily I'll only need one for my project and am getting three just in case I get some of the wrong species, or (hopefully this doesn't happen!) one dies quickly after I receive them. So as long as I get one Abdopus I'll be happy! Maybe not a good sample size for a research project but I'll take what I can get :)

But that is great advice, once I see they have any in stock I will call and try and see if I can get a hold of someone that can make sure I get the right species delivered.
It sounds like you have a good plan and have been doing enough reading to at least have realistic perspective. Do note, however, that these little guys are quite addictive :grin:
too bad your in maryland, the LFS in my area here in california usually has 2 or 3 a week -- just saw a little one at another lfs at lunch today for 49 bucks
Located in Southern California

If your still looking in a week or two let me know and I can probably get one shipped? --
I might have to take you up on that reverhart!! $50 is about the same price for a medium to small "Indonesian" octopus from LA. I'll wait till the end of the week and see if they get any more in stock.

It would be great to live in an area like Florida and California where octos are more easily available. Though we have gotten some bull sharks make their way up here so who knows about octos in the future :razz:
I'm so excited to have stumbled upon this thread! Big reason I wanted an octopus was because I wanted to see if I could learn to communicate with it via colors. Sounds like I stumbled upon the right species for the experiment ^_^ Abdopus aculeatus!

My goal is to see if he'll learn the different color codes I'm assigning to different foods. Hopefully he'll take to flashing me the colors when he's hungry to tell me what he wants to eat. ^_^ Big goal/expectation I know, but I want to know if it can be done.

Although first Sir Octavius Spindlius needs to learn how to open jars... and to trust me. Mine is really shy and slow to warm up to people.

I really hope you get your Abdopus aculeatus for your own octopus color experiments! Best of luck!
@Mysti Glad you are finding helpful threads and adding comments is great but you may want to examine the posting dates for currency. It always takes me a minute to find them but if you look at the left bottom of each post and squint :grin: there is a date stamp.

Opening jars is quite viable but keep in mind the strength of the species when you design your experiment. One alternate to a jar has been to find clear or partially clear plastic (be sure any jar you use is all plastic, no metal tops) easter eggs (or the "eggs" often found in those old quarter games in some stores where you try to knock the item in to a well to win the prize).

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