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Chromatophore Colours

Jul 24, 2003
Just thinkin and wondered if anyone has come up with a chart of what colour changes mean with regards to moods i.e. red is menat to be angry.... I'll start....

Red - Angry
White - Scared/Sick/Dying
Zebra Pattern - ?
Purple - ? - be very intrested to know this one!
Base Shades - Relaxed?

Also if red is angry then why is it red since when they are red they would disappear under the marine spectrum since red is black down there, wouldnt...under threat/hiding be more appropriate??
Does your flash "Zebra" only to you? Or anyone else? Mine used to flash that only at me, their primary feeder. I was assuming it was reconnition? Never saw Purple though...pity..
Charmin turns silver

Hi Everyone,
I have noticed Charmin is white when he is digging beneath the sand, and silver when he is curled up in his rock near the entrance to the den he is building in one corner of the tank. The only other color is pinkish when he is near some plants that came in with the living rock we put in the tank. So far nothing extreme is happening.
Does anyone have a rule of thumb for feeding this 11 inch Bali octopus? I noticed some of the snails are disappearing which I expected. I realized that "escar-went" might occur but if he's eating, I'm happy.
Hi Scouse,

I'm digging waaaaaaaaaaaaay back into the dim dark past here (in a previous life I was a behavioural psych major!) .

The moods/feelings we attribute to animals are rather tricky, as we have no way of ascertaining that they ACTUALLY experience these feelings. So red is considered to be an angry colour because the animal is displaying behaviours we attribute to that emotion ie red the animal is in movement, often inks, bites ......whatever. We have no real evidence to suggest that the animal is experiencing what we call anger or other emotion. (same with your dog.....how to we KNOW that a wagging tail is happy from the dogs perspective? It seems to be but.....?). Your point about the red colour is well taken....maybe when the critter is "angry" it loses control of the chromatophores???? :biggrin2:

Having said that I also attribute human emotions to our octis, Hannibal at the moment is a very delicate greyish lavender and we take that to be a relaxed "all is right in my world" sort of thing!!

My :twocents:


I had a lot of lavender and purple coralline algae in my tank, so my bimac often reproduced these colors. Her color sophistication grew as she became an adult. One of my favorite colors was purple with a "crackle" pattern like you see sometimes in ceramic glazes. Later she made beautiful lavenders.

Also, when she hunted small shrimp at night, she was very dark, almost black - I think she was mixing purple and orange to get this color, since it was not a true black.

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