fishing tactics

Feb 24, 2005
well i figured out why hex only has six legs...

i was watching hex hide behind rocks and stick a tenticle tip out for the cardinal fish to see then would wiggle it like a worm. the cardinal fish would approach it to eat it then hex would lunge out trying to catch the fish... im assuming this is how hex lost the other two front tenticles? maybe they were used as bait? has anyone else noticed this behavior in an octopus? hex has been doing this for several days now and i keep trying to get it on video but im always too late or i scare hex and the fish off but ill keep trying.
Thats interesting, but I can't at this point declare it's definately a bait-tactic done. It's definately a possibility because Cuttlefish have this behavior of "seducing" prey and flashing at it w/ coloration and 2 longer tentacles, but octopuses havent been recorded for this behavior yet. In my Cephalopod Behavior book, it lists ALL offensive and defensive behaviors broken down into smaller sections and described precisely.


'Lie and wait' is common among cephalopods. Hiding until prey comes near, before reaching out and grasping them.

(seduction not seen in octopuses)

A gentle, slow approach to fast prey, prior to the sudden final assault; this contrasts with ambush where it is the prey that moves towards the predator.

Prey that has been detected flees and the predator follows. Predator establishes position of prey in space and launches itself at it on the assumption that it will not move.

Speculative Hunting/
Pounce w/ outspread web and a feel for around under the web for food.
i think this would be a cross between ambushing and luring... hex just sits and wiggles 1 tenticle tip above a rock and then pounces when the cardinal gets close to it
I wonder if this behaviour is due to the fact that the only prey in the tank are fish? And that it has therefore had to adapted a new hunting strategy. It knows the fish are too fast and manuverable for it to catch with the normal pounce strategy (this would have learned quickly). A relief from boredom, maybe? Hmmm...

I don't mean to sound like you aren't feeding it, for I have read how much the thing can eat. I just mean that it's typical prey are added and quickly consumed, and then the only thing left to hunt are the fish (until the next crustacean drop).

Yes, it could possibly be luring in the sense that it's only prey at the moment is fish and its learned a new approach to attacking...but it could honestly just be Stalking when the animal slowly approaches the prey prior to it being eaten.

Although it doesn't seem like it, the octopus just sitting their waving a tentacle might just be trying to reach the fish and grasp it with its suckers, but once having it near the fish and not gripping it might just cause the octopus to just leave the arm in the water hoping to get it. To us, it probably looks like defenite luring, but to the octopus mentally, it might just be a slow-process stalk, lol. But then again, ya never know. With Vulgaris, it doesn't seem likely unless its a more rare species or one less commonly seen in captivation.
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