Both of mine are cyanea, and they are both very playful and have great personalities! They are also one of the few day active octos along the Australian coast, heading south you start to get blue ringed octos - stay away from these is my advise unless you alreay have experience with cephs, it might sound cool to have a blue ringed octopus but it wont be cool if he bites you when your cleaning out his tank or something!!
There are also a few smaller dwarf species but these are all nocturnal and will be almost impossible to catch.
As for catching them....this is a fine art (and a whole lot of luck!!).
We have divers in Qld which bring in fish and live rock for the Auqarium and often they call and say they have either found an octopus lair on the last dive or they send up the babies that quite often come in the rock... this is how i got Julius. I dont like to take them from the reef but if they come up to us in some rock I cant set them free in local waters so i have all these escape proof tanks!!
Are you looking to get an octo? I wanted to start a breeding program similar to Octopets but am currently in discussions with AQIS. We would need to import the eggs most likely from the US, but AQIS say that because there is no formal descision on the importation of LIVE moluscs they cant allow them in at this stage but we are attempting a couple of other avenues. getting them off the reef, sexing them and then hoping they will mate is a bit hit and miss so we'll just have to wait and see... but at least i got to do heaps of reasearch on Australian Octos and environment so if there is anything else I can help you with let me know.
I havent really given you much of an idea of any other species - i just looked an re read and thought to myself that i haven't really answered your question, but yes go to the ceph datatbase in the previous message and then google the common names and you should find some better info that way.
i was surprised to see a response after so long - good to see people actually read the old messages!!! although since that post i have indeed got the mark norman book and also the australian handbook- same author from the library... it was quite helpful but i spose you can only read so much before just getting one!!!
I am more interested in cuttlefish but good luck in your business (of course its strictly business!!! ) venture and keep me posted! It is great to hear of ceph enthusiasts who are spreading knowlege and animals in australia - i think you would be the first!!! good luck and thanks for the reply!
good book too collin - i have been away for a while - good to be back!
A word of advice: Do everything you can to make that exchange to Australia happen. Also, buy a one-way ticket, because you won't want to come back. I did a year long exchange to Deakin Uni in Geelong, Victoria, and I'm now desperately trying to finish my course here in Northern California so I can move back and become an Aussie citizen.
Beautiful country you have there, mates!