[Octopus]: Intro Casper - O. vulgaris


Oct 23, 2012
Port Richey FL. 30 miles north of Tampa
Hello all. Its been some time since I have been around. Lots of things changed for me in the past year but not my love for all octopus. Casper was found in a shell by a friend of mine. I am 99% sure its a Merc. Very different then all my other mercs. I know the first couple of weeks they can act strange. I got him "I think" on oct 10. I did not post him here because I wanted to make sure he was going to live and get past the freaked out stage. 5 weeks in and this is the friendliest octo I have ever had. Not afraid to come out during the day which is why I thought something was up and maybe he was close to the end. Maybe its not a merc but such a small octo in FL has to be one right? So now we will start with some pics and vids. Oh and his name is Casper because of how friendly he is. Oh and I know he is to small of a tank but the truth is he seems to be doing very well and I change water every other day and another tank is almost cycled. this tank is a cube.
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Few things I find odd about Casper. 1 he is not skidish at all. Anytime I am doing anything with the tank he is right there inspecting and touching. all the pics I posted were at 3 pm. Now I know when the end is near they will get bold but in the 5 weeks he has been like this all along. 2 he eats like a horse. never leaves and scraps. Last week I got 4 bait shrimp and 2.5" each and 7 shore-grass shrimp about 1-1.25' in 2 days everything gone. I feed everyday at least one frozen bait shrimp and if I feel they are a bit small I will give him 2. Never leaves anything other then shells. Also I got 12 large white hermits and they were gone in a day. If he was leaving anything I would cut down the amount of food. Also I had a the same shells in there for a home that I used with my other mercs and he wants nothing to do with it. After the first couple days his cave is open and he never really hides much. He has also grown. He is bigger then any merc I have had before. I have some pics with some of his other colors that I am trying to post. He does do a white with black spots. The fact that he is local to Tampa Bay makes me think Merc but his personality and size has me wondering. Again I know if he was near the end of his life he would be bold but then he would not eat so much. I will get some more pics up
Uh... I think we need a bigger boat :sagrin:. Unless I am mistaken Casper is a baby vulagis. Take a look as some of LittlBit's pictures and notice my quandry on his species for several months. I am so jealous!

This would explain his eating habits and the fact that you can't keep hermits. Littlebit was the only octo I have kept that ate every and any living thing in the tank (except echinoderms -- brittle stars and urchins)
I mentioned to @Neal at dinner that it was great to see O. vulgaris back in Tampa after about 10 years absence (he is actually the one that came up with the Jaws comment when I mentioned that you likely had a vulgaris and not a merc -- I would have replied a bit sooner if I had known you were looking for my guess :wink:).

Loving your enthusiasm and hoping that I am on the list of consideration for shipment if your friend finds another! The 90 should be fine for life. LittleBit (fortunately for my tank environment) never outgrew the 65 split tank but she was quite small for the species. The one found in Miami , hoever, was not (or so the photos suggest). There are quite a few to be found near the Blue Heron Bridge (Phil Foster Park, West Palm Beach) but that is a park, popular dive site and not a place for collection.

Great video on the Blue Heron here with segments of Chelsea Bennice (OctoGirl speaker at TONMOcon VI)
D you would def be the first!!! I dont know if you remember but this is not my first Vulgaris. My first ever octo was a vulgaris 15 or so years ago. I took the time to read all your posts about little bit and love it. When you were talking about color changes i remember how mine "No name, had one but cant remember" would change from very white to dark brown to red by the kind of mood he was in. Seemed red was mad of aggresive, white was hiding and brown was all is well. When I had no name cell phones and common dig cameras where not so common so i dont have any pics. He was in a 75 and could reach end to end.
Funny thing, Casper is in a 8g bio cube with an open top!! With a Merc I was not scarred of escape. With the vulgaris I am moving him to a much more secured tank. I will say its been 45 days and no sign of wanting to get out or even go into the other chambers. I will take many photos and log a lot.
After Margay, I beg you to get his tank covered. His was but the tops were not latched. I had kept at least half a dozen others in that tank without latching the top. I am still depressed over his death.
I will. Not worth taking any chances. I do remember having to pick no name up off the floor a couple times. He was my first octo ever. He liked to sneak out during cleanings. He was also very strong. Almost freakish strong. If he grabbed me it was very hard to pull away. At the time I just stopped touching him. Now I know so much more and am very excited about the coming year. Something I found odd about little bit was the life span. Makes me wonder if there was something wrong with her. I know they dont live long at all but at the size you got LB I would have thought you would get 16-18 months. Unless I am wrong with thinking Vulgaris normally live somewhere around 2 years birth to death.
We think about 18 months is normal but there is a wide variation even in siblings with all species. LittleBit laid eggs (infertile) so her death was predictable. We don't know enough about life spans or what initiates egg creation to make a good guess on timing but she was unusually small for her species. You also have to remember that they spend at least 1 month as pelagic free swimming creatures so Casper is already several months old.

She was also aggressive and I avoided a lot of contact once she transferred to the larger tank. Later, I felt that she just played rough and might have learned to be more gentle if I had handled her more. After she died I wondered if her aggressiveness may have been a desire to have physical contact.
You know I agree. I think they like contact. I play with him/her a lot. Looking close at Casper I don't see the 3rd arm being protected so now I am thinking female. I will post a bunch more pics tonight and maybe you can tell me. Thank you for all the help with all my octos. The 90g is the same one I used for Tranny.

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