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The overactive activity you are seeing is common with senescence (for both male and female). Her color is also indicative of this stage. She may hang on for as long a two weeks or two days, the later being the most common but I have seen both. She is unlikely to eat but you can offer. If you have Cyclop-eze (frozen not dried) she may take that if you gently squirt a pipette toward her mouth but I have only been able to KNOW this was taken by Trapper (my first animal). I have video of her eating it and she survive far longer than any other female. She also had the fewest number of hatchlings.
Sadly, I have several end of life recordings that show senescent animals seem to appreciate the softness of our hands (I am guessing on the softness part). The only times I have been nipped (no skin breaks - well maybe a pinprick) have been handling my dying animals, usually with the intent of putting them in a breeder net to avoid the clean up crew starting too early. All were animals I had handled many times and would come to my hand for petting. The nips have come when I try to remove them from my hand, now while they were cradled. Once settled in a net away from sharp objects and hungry crew, they would accept petting without holding on.
You are a very smart individual. I wish I can gain as much experience and knowledge of these animals as you have. When I woke up today she, was dead on the bottom (cuc) didn't touch her. We knew this was coming soon. It's sad but definitely a new learning experience as we still have hundreds of babies swimming about the tank. I have looked into that reef soup on eBay and thinking of getting some , or trying to come up with a mixture of our own that works. The babies do like cyclopeze but we need to pick up some more, we only had two cubes left.
I have started a process for preserving her body in hopes we can learn a bit more about her species.
Thanks for the ego boost, now if I could just learn to type and proof read! I have tried to put stickies with reading material at the top of many of the forums to serve as out side reference reading. So if you are in a mood to wade through some of the experimental write-ups, look there for starters. Should you come across new material please add to the stickies, send me a link or post in an appropriate forum (I will see it and add).
We have a preservation thread if you need it. One of the areas my fellow staff members have poked me about is learning to do it more esthetically but I usually preserve the ones that are in good shape to pass on for requests. If you will look at the end of most of my journals, you will see photos of the young people who have them for school and/or for personal observation.
First lesson in octo speak . Octopuses have 8 ARMS, squid and cuttlefish have 8 ARMS and 2 tentacles. Often the distinction is not made in most animals (and you will see arms and tentacles used interchangeably when talking about cephalopods) but because the tentacles look and function differently we attempt a distinction in the cephs.
Sadly, the little guys don't last long. The large egg species are not a cake walk and don't succeed in large numbers. Raising only a couple in the whole brood is considered a success for the home aquarist (We are seeing success in Mexico with O. Maya as a food industry. If I understand their nursery though it is an ocean tank or ocean fed). Of the successes we have from home hobbyist, only O. mercatoris has seen more than one hobbyist able to raise roughly 5 through natural senescence and a third (first tank bred) generation. We have seen success with O. bimaculoides and O. briareus but only with one member each. The bimacs, however had a survival of over 50 animals, the O. briareus only 2 (though I think 5 would have survived had the three that died after the major die off had a better environment). Roy has had a couple of additional species survive in the labs at Berkeley but I don't know all the species or numbers (I think I coaxed species from him awhile back but I can't find the post).