Briarius or Vulgaris?


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Sep 4, 2006
Cape Coral, FL
Trapper is from roughly 30' deep water in the FL keys. His mantel is about 2". I can't see any webbing but he has yet to wonder the tank. When I first started acclimating, he appeared to have a blue/green tint that I don't think was wishful thinking :wink: . The first picture shows what I saw but the photo is pretty miserable. He has only colored up significantly once and that was at release (see pictures). He skin has thus far been smooth all the time. When red, he shows almost a starburst patterns of white.

Educated guesses?


Photos at:

Photo and Video Storage | Photobucket
Sorry I missed your response but Trapper turned out to be mercetoris and female. She has been brooding in a giant barnicle for about 3 weeks. I don't know if the eggs (I can't actually see eggs, mind you, but she has stopped her normal circular route through the tank, is defending her den vigerously and will not bring her mantel out of the shell at all) are viable but she thinks they are ;>). I have been able to get her to eat at least some of a dead crab almost daily but her enthusiam is waning. One thing of interest though is that she now seems to be awake most of the day and leaves her door open during daylight hours. She closes her den up around 11:00 and appears to keep it closed all night. I assume this is anti-preditor behavior but find it interesting since she is naturally nocturnal.
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That Blue Green coloration reminds me of Egor who was a Briarius. Does he have the long arms? Also I see your serpent is right there with him. Interesting Serpent Starfish seem to form an attachment to octopuses. Any octopus I have ever had, my serpent hangs with them anywhere they are in the tank. Maybe necause they know the octopus will toss them scraps! I like that one pic of Trapper curled up but peaking out!:smile:
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Thanks Carol,

The ID request got missed with all the Xmas family stuff in December and I have 99% acertained that Trapper is a Mercatoris. She only showed that greenish color the first day while in her shipping jar. She never grew any more and now will not leave her den. Fortunately, I put a grouping of large barnicle shells in the tank just before she started brooding and she chose one of these for her permenant den (prior to brooding she moved her den every 2-4 days). I was able to move the opening to an angle where she is viewable (when her "door" is open) and have been able to feed her daily.

I have been trying to get her to interact with me with an ET kind of touch (I believe you did this with an octo in an aquarium once?) for the last month and tonight she seems to have reponded. I am not sure, of course, but she did not close her door (or make me vanish by closing her eyes as she has done before) after reaching out to my finger (on the outside of the aquarium). I will try again tomorrow and see if she responds. It is so sad to know what is coming but I have kept up my nightly visits from the beginning and at least now I can sit with her earlier in the evening (she initially would not come out until around 4:00 AM). I hope my nightly attention is helping to keep her stimulated rather than scaring her but the arm that was extended was brown, not white. Twice now, she has extended an arm upward when I have been late bringing her dinner (I have mentioned being a food slave before :hmm: ). I wasn't sure about the action the first time but tonight she repeated it as I was climbing up the little ladder I use to dangle the dead crab in front of her (she wants nothing to do with anything alive).

I have notice you keep serpents with yours too. I decided to move the red one out of Trap's tank though as it was getting too friendly when she started brooding. I was afraid the serpent knew there would be eggs (I recently found a reference that says serpents eat octo eggs and may be a reason for the close proximity :confused: ) because it was constantly exploring the den opening. I was not sure if Trap would harm the serpent since it kept insisting on menacing her so they are now separated. There are actually a couple others in the tank but only one other comes to the front. It has now become more visible since I removed the red one but has not been a constant harasser. I miss the red one though as it was always clearly visible in the low light tank. Its current tank has higher lighting and I have to look closely just to see a couple of arms.
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