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Egors Eggs Update


Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 20, 2002
While cleaning the glass on Egors tank, I saw her watching me so I grabbed a flashlight to see if I could see the progress of her eggs. They are really big compared to the bimacs and dwarfs eggs I have seen. And........I think fertile! I am almost posative I saw babies in the eggs. I would say the eggs are maybe 2 times the size of a kernal of rice and fat. Has to be maybe 4 weeks or more since she had them. I need to get some food. I am sure there are some creatures living in the tank, but any suggestions what I could order online? Also, if indeed these babies hatch anyone close enough to me with a tank interested in trying to raise a few?

Hi Carol,

I may be interested in babies or eggs if I can't find another bimac egg source. I'm going to be attending a conference in Harrisburg later this month, but I could certainly make a detour on the way back.

If these are large eggs, mysids and amphipods are what you need.

Since you live right by the coast, maybe you could find them along the shore. Can anyone give Carol some advice on where she could look for this type of food? And does anyone nearby have any they could give to Carol? I think we need to help each other with our efforts at raising octopuses!

Jess & I just got back from low tide collecting and we were able to get those tiny shrimp that cling to rocks and really tiny crabs and just for good measure, we took sand from under the rocks where we found the shrimp. I am happy:smile: to say I had posative sightings of almost fully developed babies in the eggs this morning. Unfortunately I have not been able to figure out how to get a pic of the babies in the eggs without disturbing her too much but I will continue to try! My plan is my 15 gal feeder tank, I want to bring back up. It is housing 1 crab I took a liking to. I'm thinking maybe those babyfish feeder nets that hook to the top of tank. I'm thinking as many as I can separate away from the bristleworm population will be a good thing also. Keeping my fingers crossed!!! She had the eggs on the day Tony did the Octopod cast with me, so I think that was on the 21 January.

I'm going to go to my university library tomorrow and see if I can't find a few good papers about raising briareus. I found a treasure trove of info about bimacs, so hopefully there's more info available.

Thanks Dan! Appreciate the research. I redid my kitchen feeder tank last night but have more work to do on it. Today after work Jess and I are going to see if we can find more of those tiny shrimp. I want to populate not only Egors tank but the kitchen one as well with them. I also am going to see if maybe a pill container, the one that has all the little compartments, maybe an option for separating and housing them. I can see those babies clearer and clearer from day to day. I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't come home to some hatched today. You can see their little bodies with the same coloration as their mom when she was in her prime. I am sure I am pissing them off with the flashlight!
Couple pics....Not real clear but you can see the outline of the babies in the eggs...She was not cooperative at all. Kept trying to hide them with her legs.
Some bad news...My library doesn't have the reference I was looking for (nor do any other in the state):

Behavior, body patterning, growth and life history of Octopus briareus cultured in the laboratory.
Hanlon, RT; Wolterding, MR
American Malacological Bulletin Vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 21-45. 1989.

A total of 10 years of laboratory observations are reported, centering mainly upon four groups of Octopus briareus cultured through the life cycle. This species grows at a fast exponential rate (4.8% mean increase in body weight/day) for the first 18-20 weeks, then growth slows to a logarithmic rate for the remaining 30 weeks of the life span. Growth is allometric, with arms III growing faster and larger than arms I, II and IV to become a chief morphological character of the species. Life span is estimated to be 10 to 17 months. The morphology and development of body patterns are described, with detailed descriptions of the 18 chromatic, four textural, nine postural and four locomotor components of patterning. Aspects of exploratory behavior as well as intraspecific (agonistic, reproductive) and interspecific interactions (attack, defense) are described using body patterns as the bases of description.

I might do some more snooping to see if I can find a reprint.

Hi Carol, thats really great you have fertile eggs! I'm not sure if this will help you, however, wouldn't the small shrimp etc. collected locally not live to reproduce in your tank temperatures? In the past I have used clumps of Chaeto (wiry sos pad type algae) species algae to cultivate amphipods and copepods. Your LFS or local reefers can help you get some. Perhaps if you have a enough amphipods and copepods reproducing and growing in your tank you would have enough food for a young octopus or two - especially if you cull the majority of the young. I think the wiry algae would be a good place for a small octo to hide in as well. Keep us posted. Very interesting.

I had thought of this....I have a local tank in my kitchen and was successful with this last collecting episode in acclimating them to room temp. My tank is running at 72 degrees where the eggs are so the next step is adding a heater and slowing bringing the temp up to this. The beauty of living next to the ocean is I can collect daily if I need to so having them reproduce is not a necessity. I will make a few calls today to different local shops and see what they have in stock. A trip to Pa maybe in order this weekend.
Good luck and keep us posted. I am nearly certain Jebidiah (also a briareus) has a clutch of eggs. He/she has taken to hiding most of the time in a very remote den. Jeb does still eat, but not as vigorously, and he/she does not like me to get too near the den. I can't see any eggs without disrupting the rock structure (and since I have over 100 pounds of live rock in the tank, I am afraid of crushing Jebidiah if I try to move it around.
No sightings on hatched babies yet... Good luck with Jebidiah! Please keep her progress updated and continue to offer her food. Ink continued to eat well after her eggs disapeared. Egor has refused all food. Jess and I went collecting again this weekend. We were able to get quite a few more of those tiny shrimp you find when you pick up a rock. Someone on this sight suggested dipping the rocks in a bucket to get them off so this is what we did. Also I had a sighting of the shrimp we collected a few days before so they were able to adjust to the higher temp which is wonderful! Later today I will try to get some clearer pics of the babies in the eggs. (I hope) :)
Yes, better off not to move the rock. The babies should hatch over a period of time - maybe a day. If you want them in separate containers and not loose in the tank, you'll need to catch them before they hide (this has been the pattern we've observed - they stay out in the open for a short period of time (maybe even on the glass) and then they hide in the live rock.

I'm attaching a pic of a briareus hatchling. The container is about 3" wide at the top.

Doc Frye, are you going to try to raise the hatchlings, too? One might survive anyway, with all that live rock.

Best of luck to both of you.

Still no babies yet. Was January 21 so now it's been 8 weeks Tuesday. Egor is looking very thin. I can still see the babies inside the eggs, but can't seem to get a decent shot without disturbing her too much. Do they take this long to hatch?

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