They're closely related, so they might be confused. The bimaculatus will grow larger and has small eggs while the bimaculoides is slighly smaller and lays large eggs.
The rings are different. We have only the O. bimaculoides ring posted here, in the Bimac Care Sheet (click on the Ceph Care button above). Note the unbroken chain. Bimaculatus has an irridescent blue ring in the form of a broken chain with spokes.
I thought it was the broken chain thing, rememebr reading in Cephlodpods of the World book....hmmm seems this is it then, for the difference.
So you could actually receive a baby and unless you manage to study is chain closely then you wouldnt know it was actually a bimaculutus until it got much larger...??
Im checkin because I have two routes of order...
1) direct with octopets an risk death on overseas travel
2) with a main supplier to this country, not sure of his source, but suppose there is always the chance of the wrong one arriving!! Which would be a nightmare since my tank is just enough for a bimaculoides!
Have you talked to Jim about whether he even can legally ship to you, and if he can, what the shipping options are?
I ran a check through DHL's webpage and they can get a package to London from Carlsbad in two days for $120 (I estimated the dimensions and weight of an Octopets box). FedEx has a next-flight-out service, but you have to call for a quote and I'm sure it will cost considerably more.
Definately get Jim's advice on what he thinks your chances are. Giving you one that's slightly larger might make him more robust, however he'd spoil the water sooner... Keep in mind the bimac that was lost in a warehouse for 4 days was still alive when he finally arrived (its death was another in a string of new bimac deaths--it may or may not be related to shipping).
Before Ollie arrived I worried about the same thing that concerns you. And when she arrived, I realized it would be months before her ring would be large enough, and she would hold still enough, for me to even verifiy that she was a bimac. However, I also learned that the two species aren't usually caught in the same areas, when they're wildcaught. She did turn out to be a bimac, although she grew quite large.
That's a very long way to have a little octopus shipped. Maybe Colin and the eggs is the best route.
yes mate the supplier i spoke of earlier is TMC but unless you get from fishsupply.com or octopets (think these supply the former) you deffo know thats what your gettin an have to wait 2-3 months...a long time if it turns up an its not a bimaculoides!!
But thinkin about my spare time at mo and i may be forced to with TMC as i wont be able to do the extensive chasing through FSA/DEFRA/C&E that i did originally.