[Octopus]: Margay - O. Burryi

DWhatley

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Some animals notice the camera and reach but others ignore it completely. It seems to be an individual rather than species difference.

I have had more opportunity to attempt photos of Miss Margay but have not yet dumped the camera to see if they are worth posting :roll:
 

DWhatley

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Ask and I will try to provide :wink:

Margay is just beginning (for maybe 2 weeks now) to reach out to fingers placed on the outer glass (today I got her to reach out to my face :roll:) but she will immediately go to her den if the top is opened and wants nothing to do with fingers inside the tank. I can get her to take a shrimp from my hand if I touch her arm but she will not come out for it unless it is on a stick.


In the video she had come to Neal's hand but once I brought out the camera she stopped following him and became leery of the camera.





The bottom left photo shows her "leopard" spots that resulted in her name.

The last photo (enlarged) shows the spots above the eyes that worried me about parasites. I finally realized that these "swirls" are Margay's eye horns. They are not always visible but often show is just a swirl or light mark.
 

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Teacher Kim

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Wow "D" !!! Great video and pics!! They are so clear! Margay is bigger than I thought! I hope DaVinci comes out like that one day!
 

DWhatley

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Generally speaking :roll: a male hummelincki will be about Margay's current size when fully grown and looks quite similar to the casual observer (the browns are actually different, the underside speckling more peach than the burgundy, the mantle is wider, there are the eye spots ... and a few other things but at a glance, they resemble each other). HOWEVER, O. hummelincki is particularly diverse in sizing and the one study I read that recorded sizes of over 100 mentioned an exceptionally large female, not male, where IME, the males have always been larger than the females.

I am still learning my camera. Some of the colors are darker/greener than with my well loved Canon and I think the focus was a bit better but I need to spend more time with the new one. I have a "tank" setting that I established when I first got the Nikon but need to take the time to experiment more, particularly for close up pictures. I do think the full sized pictures are crisper.
 

sirreal

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Thats what I am talking about LOL thank you A picture is worth a thousand words. Does Margay show this coloring a lot. I mean is this the most common coloring. I dont remember my Vulgaris Being quite that dark but then again it was so long ago. Like you said this is why posting a journal is best. Does Margay flash diff colors. I remember my vulgaris flashing white, red, dark brown to black with white mixed in. I know Tranny and Octoguard change colors but nothing like the spectacular changes that I remember from my vulgaris. She is beautiful. I cant wait to find one. I cant seem to find the time to go with my crabber buddy and he does not go out on sunday"my only day off" I have A small boat and I scuba dive so I am thinking about diving some traps.
 

DWhatley

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Be sure you get permission to dive the traps! In the old days, people disappeared if they messed with anyones catch. Times are less violent but still very possessive and they are legally protected. It would be unlikely anyone would believe you were only taking a predator.

Both Margay and LittleBit (my two vulgaris wards) definitely show(ed) more and stronger color variation than any of the other animals I have kept (all octopuses can show white as this is an underlying color and means all chromatophores are closed - all color pigment turned OFF). Here is a collection of colors I saw with LittleBit and you will note, none of them look like the recent pictures of Margay. However, if you Google Octopus Vulgaris (use both terms or you will get quite a variety of animals :biggrin2:) you will see Margay's looks are typical. More than the color, the skin papillae show much differently and often.

Vulgaris is a more or less generic name that may or may not be a collection (often sited as a "complex" rather than a species). In Europe, this is almost the only name used and it is unclear how many actual species it incorporates. There have been attempts at classifying quite a number of species that have ultimately been rejected or bundled back into the vulgaris name. With more specific testing these may be once again given their own species as scientists show interest in the arduous process of documenting the internals and collecting enough of a species to qualify it using biologic assements not availble in the the past.

One animal, Octopus filosus, fits this scenario. The current accepted name is now O. hummelincki Adam, W. (1936)but there are many who believe it should have remained O. filosus Howell (1868) because the denial of the name was improper, not the naming and you will still see the original name in a lot of literature.
 

DWhatley

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Do as I say ...

This AM Neal noticed Margay's tank had overflowed about 2 gallons of water. We have trouble with this tank from time to time, especially when the octos block the overflow hunting through the "turrets" with their arms. It is an unusual tank (OK, so most of my tanks are a bit on the unusual side :oops:) and was one of the very first all in ones but with the small built in sump designed as a biological filter system. We tore out all the internals of the self enclosed area (roughly 6" wide) and drilled the side to accomodate flow to a larger sump. I have considered a number of options for this small area but it was simply empty for several years until someone discussed external DSB's and it occurred to me that this might help my nitrate problems so it now has about 6" of miricle mud covered by argonite sand. The tank builder (it was custom made for a friend, over 15 years ago) must not have believed in drilling glass as the outer corners a cut away at an angle for part of the original plumbing. We could reuse the two openings for the returns from the new sump but had to drill for an exit bulkhead. Unfortunately, we only drilled one exit point and had to use a 90 degree bend to get it to fit in the desired location. Between having only one exit, the 90 degree elbow and the cut away corners, any flow disruption (including waves while cleaning) will cause air in the exit tube and an overflow of the main tank. MOST of the time this is not a problem and a quick hand under the sump tube releases the air (required weekly when I clean) but when the octos investigate the weir we have occasional water on the floor. Two exit points would have solved this but we were not sure, given the age of the tank and the cut sides, even one was going to work. This is the tank that makes me always suggest two exits, even in something much smaller.

Sooo, after that rather long winded background, Miss Margay apparently decided to explore sometime early this AM. The sump was down a full 2 gallons and the floor was a major puddle (fortunately I have tile floors and this one has a slight tilt to the outside and an unfinished area underneath). Neal found that one of the return tubes had separated inside the pseudo-sump area and we conjectured that Margay had pulled on it (just last night I noticed how strong she is getting when she kept the feeding stick and then my fingers, a real first for her). After supper, I realized I had not seen her all day. This is very abnormal as she is out much of the time and always around supper time. We don't feed the tanks on Saturday so we still did not put the overflow together with her missing for quite some time. When it dawned on me something was amiss I started searching her tank, then the floor, then all the other open tanks, outside the door, under the refrigerator, furniture, and anywhere else I could imagine she may have ended up. By this time I was totally depressed. I carefully shifted the rocks, looking inside each one (not an easy task), rechecked the sump at least 10 times and composed how I was going to explain losing her with tears in my eyes. After checking the garage (the doors were open) and the porch, I went back over to her tank and just blankly stared for a few minutes. THEN :bugout: the new rock pile on the opposite side from her den started to shift and I saw a brown arm! I don't think I was ever so glad to see an octopus. I made sure the rocks were not trapping her and did a water change. She still has not come out but at least I know she is in the tank and alive. I think she is way too young to worry about brooding yet so I expect her extended interaction (she also chased a net I was using to clean off the algae at the back of the tank) has put her in a temporary shy state. It appears she may have been changing dens as I did notice she had moved the large rocks in her old den further apart but was somewhere on the opposite side of the tank when she "vanished".

The title, is a reminder that most of the things I suggest (in this case wait a day or two before disrupting a tank and be very, very careful with the rock when an octopus can't be found) come from my own missteps :wink:
 

Teacher Kim

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OMG, "D"! I was holding my breath for you! Am soooo glad she's OK!! I know where you're coming from... one time we went out for a couple of hours and when we came back we had several gallons of water flooding onto our floor! Agh! That was my 125 reef tank. It tends to have a mind of it's own!

Am enjoying reading about Margay!
 

DWhatley

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I am still not over the trauma. Margay is likely going to be one of the special animals and losing her to an escape (we have kept numerous species in this tank without issue other than very young animals finding the sump and they survived) was unthinkable. She has come out a little today, less than normal but did show up for dinner (she did need a little coaxing but Neal did not have to touch her arm with the food). She is back to denning against the back wall instead of in the rocks but my rearrangement may be the primary reason for this :roll:
 

DWhatley

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Wink

I was sitting with Margay this afternoon for some "face" time and she did a couple of interesting things. The first was to come to the front and "walk" half the length of the aquarium using the tractor tread technique. She was still touching rock and glass but the rolling gate of the walk was very clear. I have seen this a couple of times with other octopuses but have never gotten video and did not have the camera out this time so I missed it once again. The other thing she did was to contract her right eye, giving the appearance of a wink. She remained active so I set up the camera and started shooting video. There was too much glare from my porch door windows so I threw towels over the glass (I DID at least have a brilliant idea for future problems with the glass doors). Started the videoing again and then got a dead battery message. Fortunately, I had a charged spare but all the fussing with the camera took away time from observation.

Apparently she enjoyed my frustration as she was quite content to stay out and watch me. She did not come back over to the front again but patience has its virtue. I sat and made as many eye movement faces as normal humans can make and eventually was rewarded with catching the "wink" on film. Unfortunately, the camera angle was not the best but if you view it in HD and full screen, the eye contraction is clear. I have no idea if my face contortions (Neal thinks someone should have videoed that :roll:) brought about the desired action but here is a clip from the video.

 
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DWhatley

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Dogs

At supper time, Margay performed another first. She is very shy with a hand in the tank and reluctant to take food by hand. With some effort I can get her to accept a shrimp but she has ducked down into the LR and I have to touch the shrimp to her suckers. She has no problem with a feeding stick and quickly captures her prey. Neal tried to hand feed tonight and she ducked down behind the rock as usual but quickly popped back up along the back wall so he "threw" it too her. She caught it! :biggrin2:

Our dogs know that when I am at the aquarium with the camera, they have a captive audience (or they are jealous of the attention the fish tank gets). We have seen other octopuses pay close attention when we pet the dogs (but not when the dogs are simply in view and very little attention - but usually a color change - when they are just passing through). Tonight, not once but twice Margay was curious enough to come to the front to check out Bailey (Irish wolfhound) being petted.

 
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DWhatley

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The second time, started more in the guise of a hunting venture but you will note she ends up in the same observation corner.

 
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sirreal

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Great Videos!!! Irish wolfhound!!! I love those dogs. They are massive but so sweat. Glad to see Margay has become so social. Spectacular colors. Since you got her so young you should will have her for a long time.
 

sirreal

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Can I ask you what program you are using to edit videos. I have a couple more of Tranny but some are 5 mins of waiting and no one wants to see him sit there with no movement for 5 min of the video to see him pounce his food for 15 seconds
 
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