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Hank - O. Bocki (?)

Missnano

O. vulgaris
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Jan 2, 2011
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75
What kind of octopus is this? I picked him up at my LFS, and they told me a brown Octopus. That they don't get specs. He's really small. HIs mental is like the size of my pink, maybe an inch. His tentacles are way longer than that. I don't notice any fake eyes, or horns or anything. I did notice him get darker as he's getting pissed.

They put a small crab shell in there, and he ran to it and ate it. I was told he'd eat snails, crabs, shrimp. Pretty much anything.





 

DWhatley

Kraken
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As you have guessed, brown octopus means nothing. The photos don't reveal a lot but the protruding eyes suggest a nocturnal dwarf. If the arms are roughly 3 times the mantle length, then there is a good likelihood that it is O. mercatoris (assuming Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico) but we had a number of O. bocki last year (go to the journals forum and search titles for bocki or visit the List of our octopuses 2016). The eye of O. bocki are more prominent than for O. mercatoris. More pictures will be helpful.
 

Missnano

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2011
Messages
75
As you have guessed, brown octopus means nothing. The photos don't reveal a lot but the protruding eyes suggest a nocturnal dwarf. If the arms are roughly 3 times the mantle length, then there is a good likelihood that it is O. mercatoris (assuming Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico) but we had a number of O. bocki last year (go to the journals forum and search titles for bocki or visit the List of our octopuses 2016). The eye of O. bocki are more prominent than for O. mercatoris. More pictures will be helpful.
Here is him in his tank inside my big tank. (Temporaray) It looks like he has two dark spots on his mental. One on each side?





 

DWhatley

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The two dark spots are the two branchial hearts. Octopuses have three hearts, the two you are seeing deliver oxygen from the gills to the third that circulates it through the body. Look at the pictures in the links (the first includes an excellent photo). Using the same kind of title search, you can also look at O. mercatoris for a comparison (most journals will have a number of photos).
 

Missnano

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2011
Messages
75
The two dark spots are the two branchial hearts. Octopuses have three hearts, the two you are seeing deliver oxygen from the gills to the third that circulates it through the body. Look at the pictures in the links (the first includes an excellent photo). Using the same kind of title search, you can also look at O. mercatoris for a comparison (most journals will have a number of photos).
I'm thinking it's a bocki but I can't be sure. His legs look like they are stripped and he's a grayish light color. Not shy, as he was everywhere when I placed him in the tank. However he tried to eat a snail i put in there, but couldn't get it out? Too big maybe? or is there something else I should put in there? Sorry if this seems noobish, I'm just going off what I was told which I'm not sure is 100%.
 

Missnano

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2011
Messages
75
The two dark spots are the two branchial hearts. Octopuses have three hearts, the two you are seeing deliver oxygen from the gills to the third that circulates it through the body. Look at the pictures in the links (the first includes an excellent photo). Using the same kind of title search, you can also look at O. mercatoris for a comparison (most journals will have a number of photos).
Here is a picture of him in the bag showing his suckers.

 

DWhatley

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We have all been noobis (and I still feel I am one after keeping over 20 octos). The forum IS for questions :biggrin2:.

I am not a fan of snails for octos because they have to expend a lot of energy to try to eat them. Many small animals will eat hermit crabs (I confess to not having luck with them but many others have) but the best food is small live crabs. If you can locate small fiddlers, it is almost guaranteed he will eat them (disable or remove the large claw on the males and let me know if you need an online source). You can also try stick feeding a piece of table shrimp about the size of its eye (a small piece of raw fish may work but don't use as a steady diet). For years I swore O. mercatoris would not eat table shrimp but was proven wrong when Neal (spouse) tried feeding one of ours a very small piece. Since then I have had success using it as food as long as it was small.

Mercs don't show grey so I suspect O. bocki. Keep in mind that there are over 300 species and many have not been formally named. We do occasionally see one that doesn't fit the most commonly shipped. That being said, I think O. bocki is a good guess.
 

Missnano

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2011
Messages
75
We have all been noobis (and I still feel I am one after keeping over 20 octos). The forum IS for questions :biggrin2:.

I am not a fan of snails for octos because they have to expend a lot of energy to try to eat them. Many small animals will eat hermit crabs (I confess to not having luck with them but many others have) but the best food is small live crabs. If you can locate small fiddlers, it is almost guaranteed he will eat them (disable or remove the large claw on the males and let me know if you need an online source). You can also try stick feeding a piece of table shrimp about the size of its eye (a small piece of raw fish may work but don't use as a steady diet). For years I swore O. mercatoris would not eat table shrimp but was proven wrong when Neal (spouse) tried feeding one of ours a very small piece. Since then I have had success using it as food as long as it was small.

Mercs don't show grey so I suspect O. bocki. Keep in mind that there are over 300 species and many have not been formally named. We do occasionally see one that doesn't fit the most commonly shipped. That being said, I think O. bocki is a good guess.
Ok, So I will take that out then. I have some hermits and blue legged crabs they gave me. I will go to the store tomorrow and ask if they have fiddlers, but I doubt they do. My store has nothing anymore so online source would be awesome just in case. Would he take a large mysis shrimp (Defrosted)? Also, I am looking in the forum on how big they get and behavior but can't find anything? Would you happen to know?
 

DWhatley

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This is a scan of page 282 in Mark Norman's Cephalopods A World Guide. Sadly it is out of print and VERY hard to find. I wish he would update it (copyright 2003) but it is the best octopus reference to be found even now (click thumb to enlarge).
OBockiNorman20170305_01315291.jpg
There are several sources for small crabs on line and eBay is always worth checking but Paul Sachs has been are reliable supplier for years. If you can get him/her to take thawed mysis, by all means, use them. Including crabs, however, is going to be your best primary food. For the mercs, I also used newly killed shore shrimp. O. bocki may be able to catch them live but I found the merc only did this well when young.

There is no need to remove the snails. They work for clean up and if he wants to eat them on occasion, it is fine.
 

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