[Octopus]: Mama Cass - O.briareus (tank hatched)

WOW! Thats amazing!

I can see how you might be a little nervious about trying again... that was a pretty scary moment to to watch. Even though you had already said what happened I was still sitting on the edge of my seat watching to see what would happen.

Great Job!
It looked to go pretty well and since nobody was harmed we can breath easier. It was sweet at the end with the gentle touching. I can understand why you didn't leave them together longer. Seeing as your dealing with the unknown...this could have taken a bad turn. He certainly didn't give you a hard time going back to his side of the tank. How long did it take to get Cassy back into the transfer container? Did she give you any problems? Great documentation and worth all the effort.
Keeping my :fingerscrossed:
Thanks Roy,

I had a feeling that this may not have been successful (you are correct, there were no loose spermatophores in the water in any of the cut footage or observed) but she is showing increased appetite already so I hope we have not waited too late. Other than the mistaken belief (and obvious panic) that the female was initialy smothering the male, there did not seem to be any aggression or struggle so I think I will be less panicky on a second go round. We have never seen the male show white coloring so this should have been a clue that he was covering her and not visa versa. However, should we allow him to completely envelop her? She did not panic but my big concern was suffication (can you tell I am a novice at this :biggrin2:).

Thanks again for the reply!
CaptFish, I see you figured out that in the right corner, dressed in white was Mama Cass and in the left corner, dressed in red was Tatanka. :wink:. To be sure we were confused on who was who for awhile. Cassy is larger than Tank and shows much more colora variation so we were pretty sure we knew who was who when we put Cassy back in her own tank (and she went straight for her den) but they are so changeable that we questioned our own judgment for awhile and were not 100% positive until Tank came back out with his arm curled.

We will try again next Saturday if Cass does not start brooding. She is acting very docile and very hungry. The hungry part concerns me a little for Saturday. Observing when I calmed down (good thing the audio was off on the camera) and during review of the videos, neither showed any predatory aggression in spite of the fact that the initial coupling was ballistic. When Roy said to keep a net ready, I am quite sure he did not have my use of it in mind but I was determined to be able to see that both were able to breath.

We did have one casualty. When we attempted to put the hood and lights (the lighting during the mating was borrowed from Cassy's tank) back on the aquarium we blew the light ballasts in the hood lighting. We have a temporary fixture over the tank for the mushrooms and polyps that is brighter than the normal light (but does not span the tank) and Tatanka was out on the brightest side dancing at the same time Cassy was out showing hunger (Cassy's norm but not Tatanka's).
Cassy's appetite has been high for the last two weeks (or so) but tonight she would not come out from her normal den and would not eat dinner. From prior broodings I believe she has not yet established a brood den but I believe she will do so soon. I took this photo last night (March 2, four days after the attempted mating) and tried to capture how large her mantle seems to have grown just since Saturday (4 days). The second picture was taken on February 9 th Hopefully we will be able to introduce her to Tatanka Saturday but I think we are pushing the envelope on timing.


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Cassy has stopped coming out in the light (a normal daily occurance) but is seen swimming early in the AM. This AM at about 4:30 I saw both out and dancing where they are most likely to see each other. Cassy has become quite shy suddenly so I stayed very still to see if I could see any definite signs of recognition. While I was trying to watch the two tanks (octopus eyes would have been very helpful as the tanks are across the room from each other) I thought about the possibility of one or the other trying to escape its tank and go to the other tank for a visit. As I was thinking this, there was a motion on the floor by Cassy's tank. Instant heart failure :biggrin2: but it was only Bailey (Irish Wolfhound) coming through the laundry door (obscured by the staircase).
Mating O. Briareus - Take Two Same prep as last week but this time I stripped down the left side of the tank. I really did not want to take either side apart but felt that the sand cleaning was a good idea (the right side sand was in good shape so I just rinsed it and put it back rather than replacing it as I had planned). The drill went a bit differently though :roll: Cassy was much harder to coax out of her tank. She has been nocturnal since the mating and not at all social but has come out and danced for Tatanka early in the mornings. We ended up half disassembling the LR before she finally came out enough to get her into the bucket at roughly 9:40 PM. Once she was in the split tank she was fine and did not appear (using coloration as a go by) at all disturbed. It took Tank about 20 minutes to greet her. He peeked out of the LR several times but until she stayed close to the tube, he would not come out. When he did, the coupling was as fast as the first go round (likely an instinctive self-preservation move) but, unfortunately, they met on the uncleared part of the tank. We attempted to encourage them to the other side but they would have nothing to do with going back through the tube. At 2:00 AM (four hours after they embraced), Cassy was still fully beneath his webbing. Initially, I was panicked (again) but with a little observation, we could see his webbing move with her breathing so we took Roy's advice (sort of since we did intervene at the beginning) and left them alone, at least until 2:00 AM. I had seen Cassy move around under the webbing several times but there was no sense of panic. At one point she seemed to stretch an arm or two, extending one up the tank wall, but did not grab for LR or seem to try to escape. Over time she would free small parts of her arms and at one point I could see a small amount of her mantle. However, if she moved her mantle, Tank would cover her completely again. By 2:00 I decided it was time to free her from her amorous suitor so I put my fingers on Tank's arms and he gave no resistance when I pushed him slightly back. Cassy had no desire to leave and simply sat on the back wall and let me pet her gently. They both played a little with my fingers Both used their suckers to gently hold on but neither pushed nor pulled. Since Cassy was not at all thankful for the offered release I let them remain together for another hour. I found it significant that neither one seemed to mind my intervention and were completely docile. Should a preditor attack a mating pair I suspect it would be a easy dinner of two (or as Neal put it, buy one get one free). By 3:00 AM (5 hours after their meeting) I decided it was definitely time for the party to be over. I quickly reassembled Cassy's tank and proceeded to be a bit more insistent trying to coax Tatanka away. This time he agreed to leave and, once free of his controlling grip on Cassy was quick to exit to the other side (again, I am guessing this is a self-preservation instinct). Cassy thought about following but chose to go into the LR instead. This put Tank on the empty side of the tank, Cassy well into the LR and Neal asleep on the couch. I tried to get Cassy to come out but she would have nothing to do with the idea so I scooped Tatanka into the pitcher (easy in but keeping him there just to cross the room was difficult and if the lid had not been open, he would have be on the tank instead of in it). I think I saw a single spemataphore loose in the tank (if it looks like a large version the pictures of we see of sperm, something like a bright white polywog). At the point that Cassy's mantle was almost exposed, I did see (and hopefully photographed) Tank's hectocotylus and the spermataphore channel. I am sure I have Tank in Cassy's aquarium now but oddly, he found her den almost immediately and later came out and "sat" in the same spot she normally uses when not on the front glass. Checking just now on the pair, Cassy does not seem overly happy to be in the new environment. She is high up on the aquarium wall (arms are not cork screw, thankfully). Tatanka is denning behind the LR but not in Cassy's den. Here are some quick pictures. I took way too many and went through two batteries. Once I sort through them, I will post the most significant ones and splice together another video. The parts of Cassy that are visible can be identified by the white color where Tatanka is wearing green.


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Wow.... I am just amazed and overwhelmed following along on this journey. Your commitment, dedication and knowledge is so impressive.... it makes my attempt to keep a few hatchlings alive seem like child's play.

Thank you for the incredible documenting you do.... it will be a valuable resource for others for decades to come. And right now, I HOPE you are getting some sleep!
Sleep? What is that? :biggrin2:

Thanks for the encouragement! I will work on the video later tonight (way too many clips taken, now I must pay) as well as sorting through the stills.

Cassy is still a little nervous with the new surroundings but seems to have taken ownership of the tank. She was out and about most of the day (unusual) and sulked part of the time in the upper corner of her tank (but did happily take a crab). When I put the left side back together she came over and investigated. Wen I readjusted the disturbed rock on the right side she stopped sulking in the corner, turned dark red (an unfriendly color) and approached me. She is never all dark red (she is always white, marbled or dark mantle and white arms). She was bold but did not attack. After I removed my hands, she went to the primary den on that side (where she was hatched) but came back out after inspecting it and was back to one of her normal colorations. Now she is in her den so hopefully she will decide this or the large one on the other side is suitable for brooding. This is likely to be sooner than I was hoping I am afraid as her mantle is very swollen and from past experience, this means she is close to brooding. I am glad I did not insist on waiting the full 10 months I originally planned.
Tatanka initially completely covered Cassy, using his webbing to keep her from grasping anything with her suckers we watched continually to ensure we could see her breathing under the webbing. At no time did we see signs of struggle. We did see rapid breathing a few times and it usually resulted in an opening somewhere along the webbing. She may have been using her funnel to get some "fresh air". If you enlarge the picture (by clicking on the thumbnail) you can see her arms and suckers through the webbing. Over time he would relax his coverage but keep the webbing laced around most of the arms The minute she would move, he would rapidly cover her completely. It was unclear whether this was for self protection or to keep her from escaping At one point during a relaxed coverage state I could see the channel in the hectocotylus. Sadly, the photos did not come out clearly focused


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The last stills I took were at the 4 hour attempted separation. Cassy's coloring is most strange.
Who disturbs my slumber?


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They are so :tentacle: beautiful!

Now I see :shock: detailed photos of your setup. I know just what to do with the 2nd tank now master. :notworth:

Grabs the :popcorn: & waits patiently
Cassy really is an esthectically pleasing representative of her species :biggrin2:. I would love to see a briareus with her webbing floating around in the wild. All briareus are elegant but not all have the full webbing. The difference between these two make me wonder if they are only half sibblings (very possible), I know is it not a male/female difference from other specimens we have had journaled on TONMO (Kalypso in particular was male but also had the fantastic web display).

Video(s) will be awhile yet as I took way too many and have to view and splice them in real time. At 4 hours I wondered if I needed to call the perimedics like they advise on the Viagra commercials :biggrin2: I might be finished by the time the eggs hatch :wink:

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