Artemis- macropus complex

sedna

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
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Artemis came home with me on 1-16-09 from my favorite haunt, the Pet Connection. I posted some of these pics on the ID thread, "id my new friend," and after some conversation among members Artemis has been narrowed down as belonging to the macropus complex. Upon reviewing "Norman's... World Guide," I see that there is still a wide range possibilities within just that complex...

I'm pretty sure I have a boy, this morning (like 4 am morning) I noticed that 3rd arm curled up while he was wall walking. While "Artemis" may have been the goddESS of the hunt, as a SUPER nocturnal animal with moon- like colors, my girls settled on that name. This time, I'm not disappointed to have a male- I need time off from small eggs!

Artemis is living in my 55 gal. tank by himself and the standard "clean- up crew." He has not shown interest in the snails or hermit crabs, but took a piece of raw shrimp from a stick today. He is so dainty compared to the aculeatus I've had. I don't even feel him pull the food off of the stick. I am keeping the temp at 77- 78F, same H2O parameters as the aculeatus, unless someone knows better...

It took a week to decide how to set up the lighting on this tank. Since he is under a rock all day long, I like to keep the regular tank lights on during the day. In talking with the LFS boys, they remembered they had a RED compact fluorescent bulb (400 lumens, 9 w). I got a "Coralife mini aqualight" balast for it, so it fits perfectly behind the regular strip lights, and they are on timers. I haven't seen anyone else using this type of red lighting, I'll let you know how I like it. The shape of the tank (corner bow front) really limited the size of extra lights I could add, which is why I went this direction.

Right now, Artemis' mantle is just under 2 inches. There seems to be quite a variation in size within the macropus complex. I am excited to think I've finally lucked into a young octo who I can watch grow for a while. I'm worried it might grow too big for the tank. Is there any "rule of thumb" for octo size:tank size ratio? If it turns out that he needs a bigger tank, I will be willing to donate him to a better place, I'll worry about that if the time comes.

I'd really like to hear from the few others of you who have experience with this type of octo. There is NOT much info on these guys!
 

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sedna

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Well, it's been a fun day shipping octos around! I wanted to make a quick post about a few things I've noticed about Artemis. Those ridiculously long front arms make so much sense when he's moving on the ground. Those front 2 arms stretch way out ahead of him, searching under the live rock and flushing out all the 'pods and worms lurking inside. If a predator were to get a old of the arms as they probed a lair, there would be plenty of time to ditch the arms and get away with 6 good ones.

I didn't see him out in the morning the last 2 days, I'm wondering if the light I added on Monday is responsible. It is brighter, so I put more dark red sheeting to dim things down more. Hopefully I'll see him out tomorrow morning.

Also, I'm worried he's not eating much (my favorite neurosis). He's not eating crabs and I've only stick fed him twice because he went to bed before I could feed him. I'm going to have to set the alarm to feed him early. I was hoping to try to have feeding time as we're waking up, but I may have to back it up to 4 or 5 am (arrgh) and start from there. At least I'll know he's eating. Of course, if he's using those arms as their meant to be, he's flushing out the giant 'pods and living on those for now...
 

forever27

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Try feeding live crabs to him. I've got one very similar to yours, but it's got a more pointed mantle, not so much rounded. When I through the fiddlers in, he always comes out and get grabs them. It's just about the only time he comes out during the day.

Keep us updated! It's fun reading about someone with a similar species!
 

sedna

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I got up at 5 am and was bummed when I didn't find Artemis out this morning. Then I laid in bed and did what I'm best at, worry. When I was finally able to fall back asleep, I had a dream about tons of dwarf octos loose and walking all over my floor and an octo in the big tank whose mantle was bigger than my head... At least my conscious and subconscious minds are in sync!

I was very happy and surprised to see him out wall walking at 7 am. I was able to feed him a piece of shrimp, and he is still out now, with the shrimp in his webbing, watching me write this post. I would say that dimming the lighting must have made a difference, as that was the only thing I changed between now and the last time I saw him out. He doesn't seem to mind that the ambient lights are on, albeit on dimmers- and is interested in us.

As posted on D's macropus journal, if this guy does turn into a monster, I'll have to give him up to someone with an appropriate sized tank. There seems to be a lot of variation in size within this complex, so he may do fine here til the end of his days in my 55 gal. However, it was no heartbreak to get in some shipping practice!

*On that note- is there a rule of thumb guide anywhere for octo size VS. tank size? If not, where would be the best place for me to tackle this question?
 

sedna

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forever27;132264 said:
Try feeding live crabs to him. I've got one very similar to yours, but it's got a more pointed mantle, not so much rounded. When I through the fiddlers in, he always comes out and get grabs them. It's just about the only time he comes out during the day.

Keep us updated! It's fun reading about someone with a similar species!

What is your friend's name, and will you start a journal for it?
 

forever27

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I named him Lennon, and I'll try to get a journal up tonight after class/work! What kind of camera do you use for your pictures?
 

Nancy

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From my count, there are three Tonmo members keeping
macropus complex octopuses:

Sedna (Artimis), forever27 (Lennon), Thales (no name?).

Am I missing any?

Nancy
 

sedna

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forever27;132292 said:
I named him Lennon, and I'll try to get a journal up tonight after class/work! What kind of camera do you use for your pictures?

I have a Nikon D70s, which to be honest is a bit overwhelming still, I haven't figured out all the tricks yet. I have been playing with the low light automatic setting, and for the shot of Disco Pus (what my husband called the blurry one) I played with ISO settings and took it manually.
 

sedna

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So you want a macropus...

Today makes 2 weeks for the new guys in my life! Artemis is a beautiful animal and I like him a lot, but I'll make a few notes here for anyone considering a macropus.

There have been entire days where I didn't see this octo. I can check under the stand and see him moving in his den just enough to be convinced that he is still alive. If this is a deal breaker for you, don't get a super nocturnal animal.

In novel situations, expect novel behavior (all animals, not just octos at the store). I actually didn't think Artemis was nocturnal because he was up in the corner of the critter keeper in a bright tank and he had tubes he could have been hiding in. The LFS guys said they'd seen him active in the day and he'd eaten crayfish in the open during the day. When I got him home he acted diurnal for that first day as he searched his new home. By that evening he resumed his regular nocturnal lifestyle. Now to be sure, I take it as a good sign that he has been given an appropriate habitat. I am happy that he's "happy," or at least displaying normal behavior. Just sayin'... just because they act one way in the store doesn't meant that is their natural behavior.

Having said all that, don't interpret me wrong... I like Artemis and am glad I have him. I still would have gotten him if I'd known his habits. Actually, my whole family is having fun seeing him in the mornings before work and school. I just want to give others the heads up!

Artemis continues to be interested in us when we cross paths in the mornings. Even though he doesn't seem to eat the grocery store shrimp, he'll take it from the stick. In fact, he may be wanting to actually just play with the stick. The other fun thing he does is wait until we're too busy to pay attention to go to bed. If we sit and watch, he'll start to go for his den, but then pop up to see if we're still watching. If we are, he'll come back out for a minute then repeat. He really doesn't go to bed until you get up and walk away and not come back for several minutes! He's like a toddler looking for attention, as long as you'll watch he'll put on the show, no matter how tired he is.

I am hoping that the longer he is here, the more he'll want to be out when we're up. Part of the problem is figuring out just when he IS up!
 

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