[Octopus]: Bella-O.briareus

Well. He was out again this time around noon. We actually startled each other. i was simply walking by the tank, right when he jumped from the LR to the glass, but at that very moment he reached the glass, we both noticed each other, he quickly zipped back to the rock and jumped back and froze. He peeked at me for a minute then retreated into the LR.
oops its been over a week since i posted; oh yeah, thats right there' s not much to report.....I didn't expect much action being so young. I do see the one in the smaller tank every now and then, looks healthy.seems to be eating one red legged hermit every few days. I have tried to give it shrimp morsels but it is way to skittish, and hides whenever it spots me.

The one in the large tank....no sighting, i see some empty hermit shells which gives me hope, but i would have expected at least a glimpse by now.
I am sure Yeti is not O. briareus now but NOT sure what he is. Philipp thought two of them looked a little different when he caught them so I am wondering about the other one.
Monty was exactly that but never looked like a briareus. Yeti is nocturnal and no amount of coaxing has had him see the light of day. Yeti is very delicate looking and not strong. When he moves across the live rock he completely molds his body to the surface. When he is sitting waiting for food, his arms are a spaghetti bundle. Most peculiar. He seems very healthy and actually came over to me early this AM when I approached the tank. Not a friend gesture but it got him an extra shrimp.
FINALLY. the other octo made an appearance!!! I was just sitting there studying for my Physics final and i look up and they little guy was sitting there watching me....and is still there. got a quick arm length measurement with the tape measure, 3.5" AL...soooo cute. seeing this one the first thing i notice is the tell tale green spots which i still have yet to notice in the other octopus, now called Nick-Nack. contiuing to wonder about the ID of Nick-Nack.


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Just when you think you have IDing a small group of octos down, something doesn't look right. I have been working and IDing for 6 years and sometimes I feel I know less than I did 4 years ago :roll:. I am not complaining and I love getting new species but I wish there were more references. Norman is a good start and the best we have but not good enough in many cases and there just is not much published that is easily found. I suppose this draws me to the animals to some degree ...

Nick Nack - the one in the 65 gallon.
Notice the third arm is a few inches longer than the others. its opposite has been severed, but the stalk appears thicker than the just others like its opposite.


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Second and third arm pairs are also thicker and longer in O. briareus. I also noted that Norman mentions irregular red bars on the arms and the flash photo of Yeti shows these as well and during his quick daylight outing, I noticed very thin webbing traveling down most of the arm (up until then, the only webbing I saw was shallow and close to the arm juncture - is there a proper name for that?) ... but I still strongly don't think he/she is briareus. I just can't find similar information about another Caribbean species. :roll:

Monty clearly had ocelli but was definitely not one of the know octos from the Caribbean with eye spots so I am just going to have to wait to see what Yeti grows up to be.
On O. briareus I've definitely noticed thicker second arms and that the front and back (1 and 4) were thinner and shorter but none of the ones I have raised were what I would call delicate looking and all were much stronger with this much arm length. Yeti's mantle also seems elongated (I don't see this in Nick-Nack but that may be the angle). Yeti's arms can appear VERY long when he is using them but just sitting they are not longer than O. briareus (but I have not seen O. briareus stretch them out like Yeti does frequently). Yeti also molds to anything he/she is on in a way that you really take notice (somewhat reminding me of the "flounder" mimicing videos except on the rock substrate, not the wavy sand). The "fishing lure" behavior is totally new to me and he does this nightly.
Its a proud day for any Octo parent, The day your youngling catches her first live shrimp!....:talker:

I added a dozen of the smallest shore shrimp I could get in to both octos tanks. The NickNack the Dwarf just seems to ignore them, I think they may still be too large for him, He is mostly eating red legged hermits. and happily takes chunks of shrimp when i offer it, but I dont very often in hopes he will catch his own.
Nick Nack's journal will continue here:

The first few days i added shrimp to the large tank with Bella the young braireus, I did not see her very much. Then after a few days i realized she was still out but she was stalking and studying the shrimp. Staying perfectly hidden and camouflaged she would just stare at the shrimp and watch how they congregate in the tank. Then finally tonight almost as if to say OK watch me. She came over to my side of the tank got my attention then danced up high on the glass above the school of shrimp at the far end of the tank. then she executed a perfect and impressivly fast parachute attack initially catching a few shrimp, but she narrowed her catch down to one shrimp. She then set mid glass and ate the shrimp for about 30 mins, then she retreated to her den taking her prize with her.


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Bella made her first daytime appearance the other day, and was out for quite some time. She repeated the appearance the next two days but did not come out until it was dark yesterday. She has eaten almost all of her dozen shrimp. i think there is only two left and they maybe bee too big for her. I'll get some nice ones fesh ones tomorrow for her.
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