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color changing habits of a bimac octopus


Aug 21, 2004
what are they , What differetn colors do they turn , and do they turn them often

my friend had a bimac once, and It hardly ever seemed to c hange color , but only pattern it changed
No, it won't change to match you, and it doesn't do bright red. It also does more colors when its an adult. Some of the colors are purples, dull orange, gray, gray with yellow spots.
This is a tangential question that probably belongs in physiology:

What is the range of colors an octopus can see?
Are limitations on colors related to how chromatophores work or to their visual spectrum or both and/or other things?
What organs - skin, muscle, and maybe something specific to texture the way a chromatophore is specific to color - are used by octos to match the textures around them?

Finally, Steve, when are you going to isolate these genes so we can all do that?

Octopus don't have rods or cones so I think that they are colour blind aren't they... or am I wrong?

From the way I understand it they see in shades of grey and turn themselves what they see as shades of grey that match the rocks they see around them.

They also seem to change their colour on moods, GPOs go white and green when they seem scared or angry and red when they are content... mine do anyway!

I work in the quarentine unit for the company Sealife, it's a company that owns around 20 public aquariums over Europe, they order items from us, we order them in from a supplier (GPOs come from Living Elements in Canada) and quarentine them for a set amount of time.

With things like Octos they are "Feature Creatures" so we usually have one of all displayed species with us at any one time as a back up for a worst case scenario.

Only got a Californian Long arm and a Small (Arm span about 120cm) GPO at the moment, getting O. vulgaris soon... lots of them and come currled!

We do get to see some fantastic things here, we kept Sea Snakes (Yellow Lipped Banded Sea Kraits) which I think are the most venomous in the world for a feature called "Venom" which I think is in Great Yarmouth this year. Every year the features pack up and move to another centre... very good idea!
Oh, and no I don't have one at home... but one day I hopefully will!!!! I'm designing a tank for it at the moment... not sure how long this one will take!

I don't actually have any octos at home as it is very hit and miss ordering them in through TMC and to get a bimac through from the states and with customs charges they end up at around £300 each ($500) so it's not likely on my pitiful salary!

I might look to get a small Eldone cirrhosa tho, they are much fun!

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