[Octopus]: LittleBit - O. vulgaris

She was too young when she came to the aquarium that there was no chance she would have mated so there was no expectation otherwise. LittleBit is a small egg species (both joubini and vulgaris are small egg) so there would not have been an opportunity to raise the young had she been caught at an older age. Even with the large egg species, the ability of the home aquarist to have any to survive is quite low. At this point in time, only O. mercatoris and O. bimaculoides are potential for more than the WC generation.
We lost LittleBit sometime early this evening. She died 20 days after laying the first strand of eggs. I put the eggs in a shallow dish to see how long they would take to disintegrate, expecting them to be gone before she died (the eggs are not fertile). Oddly, they do not look any different then when she laid them. I have never been sure of her species but I think I would recognize another and hope one comes my way again. She was far more aggressive than any other species I kept but I always felt the aggression was simply her way of interacting. She did not bite and would appear to invite attention where shyer animals have avoided contact and would hide she was often out during all hours (night and day) and would come to us when we approached the tank. I have missed her through the brood cycle but could at least see her. The empty tank is already sad.



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I'm sorry abut your loss. She seemed like an interesting personality. :frown:

Thank you for providing us with this little timeline. I have just recently returned here after a few years of hiatus, but I've read through your thread in one sitting and it certainly was interesting and fun, watching her grow up :smile:
Thanks for not finding it boring, I tend to be a bit verbose :biggrin2:

The very best experience I had doing the fast forwarding of time via a long journal was on on Reef Central. I caught up with the reading before it climaxed and was glued to the adventure for some time. There is a point (it continued for well over a year and new readers still leave notes) where you can stop reading is no clear but I would give away half the plot if I mentoined it. I will point you to My Best Hitchhiker was An Octopus for some late night reading :sagrin:.
Omg! Someone picked up corals and had an octopus as hitchhiker? Now that is bound to be an awesome read! Thanks a lot for pointing me to this article! :biggrin2:


Oh man.. I just saw his post on page 3... what a horrible way to come home from a vacation :frown:


Haha and what a comeback.. but.. my god that must have cost a fortune D:
Octopus Egg Longevity

When LittleBit laid her eggs I removed them as soon as I saw them and I think they could not have been more than 21 hours old. I mentioned I wanted to remove them early to see if she would live out the rest of her life foraging instead of brooding (after the second day she stayed in her empty den until the end but did eat daily but smaller portions). I also wanted to see how long it took for the eggs to disintegrate so I placed them in a bowl of saltwater. They are still inflated and look no different then when I pulled them out of the tank (I even allowed the water to evaporate accidentally once), to date 38 days.

I asked Roy if he knew is the female partially existed on her eggs during hatching because of the need for water (in addition to the extreme length a female GPO can brood). He felt there was a very good chance they ate or destroyed infertile eggs but did not know of directly observed viable egg cannibalism or eggs that are produced just to supply food (someone help me with the name for this type of egg).

The fertile eggs that Mama Cass laid, disappeared throughout her brood and and quite rapidly near the end. Since none of the hatchlings survived more than a couple of days, she may have been aware that they were to be unsuccessful but they all had eyes and showed chromataphores so I don't believe they perished on their own. I had placed a small cluster of abandoned eggs outside the den for observation that broke open and disappeared in a couple of days.

The eggs of the two broods can't be compared since large egg group was and the small egg group was not. Additionally the fertile eggs were exposed to serpent stars in addition to the mother so she is not the only thing that could have eaten them. However, the serpent was in the tank when Mama Cass was born and we did not see the huge reduction in eggs near the end of Kooah's brood.

Just a little food for thought without any conclusions. If my squid eggs hatch, I plan to attempt to use these eggs as part of my floating food.
Preserved Photos

I preserve most animals that are not deteriorated and keep them in a jar for members (often young students but any member is welcomed) who want/need a preserved animal. I have been told I need to work on my preservation technique for a more esthetic result (gee thanks Roy, I have hated even smelling formalin going back to high school biology) and sadly LittleBit shows my lack of sensitive technique (stick it in a jar of formalin, rinse and place in alcohol) but she found a home with TONMO to member Grozny in spite of her rather sad appearance.



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Based upon Ned DeLoach's photos in a recent Marine Life Blog post and the article on O. burryi referenced in our Species forum at one point I believed LittleBit was O. burryi. Some of the features the article mentions I did not see but others matched O. burryi more than O. vulgaris. Margay made it clear they were not the same species and Margay displays typical Caribbean vulgaris traits.

I have since reversed my thinking as Margay grew. They are definitely different but the recent paper on Margay showed a distinctive papillae pattern that Margay displayed.
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