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[Octopus]: Maya - O. hummelincki

DWhatley

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Acclimation time: 2 hours Arrival packaging Temp: 75.5 PH: 8.4-8.6 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 20 ppm Specific Gravity: 1.0225 GHolland posted a link to Live Aquaria's Diver's Den after sighting the availability of O. maya. This is the first time I have ever seen one offered and have wondered about its suitability for the aquarium. The adult size listed in Norman is out of range but I have seen other sizing that would be more plausable and I looked around a bit for more sizing information. Neal and I discussed what to do if it got too large and decided to give this one a shot (pushed a bit by the fact that we knew SueNami's time was up). My FedEx driver brought her down with a hand truck and I was worried that the 8" sizing was the mantle size and not general length as assumed.:shock:. It looked like we might have to go to plan B sooner than expeced! Once I got the box and bags opened, however, I had to hunt to find her and was delighted with her petite size. She was glued frozen to the edge of the bag and I could not see breathing but could see that her little eyes were open and bright. When I put the hydrometer in the bag to check the salt content, she came to life. At two points during her acclimation, she climbed up the bag. I had to stop filming the second time to chase her back into the water.:smile: You will unlikely find anyone who packs an animal the way Live Aquaria does. She came in a huge box with roughly two gallons of water, bagged in 6 (yes 6) individually sealed bags, cradled in lots of peanuts. She was shipped very late in the day and her water tested so well, acclimation was almost un necessary. I took 2 hours to acclimate her anyway. She did not seem overly stress so I took my time getting her prepared for the tank. The normal recommendation is not to feed new critters but I take exception to that rule. If an animal is not stressed when it is acclimating I prefer to feed in the acclimation bucket. Her water was excellent so I added a small fiddler. I thought she ignored it since she did not color and did not move from the upper section of the bucket wall. I exchanged some water and she slowly slid down (as she had been doing) to the bottom of the bucket. It took me 10 minutes to realize that I could no longer see the crab :razz:. She was ready to go into the tank but I let her eat before trying to coax her into the critter keeper. Normally, I would put the whole bag in the critter keeper but the bag was so large that I opted to try to coax her in and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get her fully contained. Once I put on the top though she started looking for a way out and octo arms investigated all the holes.
 

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DWhatley

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As you may have noted, her name IS Maya but her species is not. The WYSIWYG picture certainly looks like O. maya and her coloration during acclimation did not suggest otherwise, however, the minute she hit the tank, I knew she was misidentified. Not only did her color change but the eyespots turned from pale greenish brown (as they might show up for Maya) to blue with an orange ring. In acclimation, the sucker tips were orangish, now they showed purple blue. Initially, her underside was white so I was still unsure if she was bimac or hummelincki but during the course of the day, the typical peachy orange spots appeared. As with most introduced octopuses, she left the Critter Keeper and headed for the LR. I expected that this would be the last I would see of her for at least a week.
 

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DWhatley

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I was mistaken. She never fully disappeared and came back out into the open to explore and hunt for more food. I saw her deploy her webbing and hug a crater in the LR then remembered seeing one of my mithrax sitting in just about that spot earlier ... oh well (I don't like to use mithrax for food as they are such passive and delightful cleanup crew). When she moved to the back wall, I thought I was mistaken about the crab as she had something bulky up under her webbing that I could identify as a shell. Continued observation saw crab parts being expelled while the two snail shells were kept in check. Later I saw her drop one of the shells and my favorite hermit (one I had intended to remove when the tank was octo occupied) was fully centered at her beak. I don't believe she ever ate the snail in the other shell but she collected a second snail and hauled both around for quite some time. When Neal came home, he offered yet another small fiddler that was swooped up immediately. It takes her a long time to eat and we figured she must be full but later in the evening she discovered the clam at the front of the tank and decided to have a go at it. The clam is as big as she is but she hauled it up two sets of rocks before attempting to open it. See the for details :razz:
 

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DWhatley

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Maya is very inquisitive and comes out if she is not already when you stand at the tank. She is responding to fingers in and on the tank and has already come over to touch and allowed a little mantle petting. Neal offered frozen shrimp on a stick tonight and she readily took it. My only fear is that her over friendliness and hunger could be signs of a female about to brood. From my very limited experience with young octos, it seems that they are very shy and not interactive until they are well into the young adult stage. Maya is very small but is twice the size of Serendipity (I have reviewed photos of both in the same critter keeper) who brooded without young only a few weeks after entering the aquarium. I still think there are two versions of the hummelincki and one of them fits the original dwarf classification and the bumble bee name where the other is a medium sized animal. If this thought holds water I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that Maya is a very young version of the larger animal. In either case, though, she's a keeper!
 

Tommycs

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That's great D, That you finally found a juvenile Hummelincki. Also great how already it has came out and been friendly. Mine tried climbing out about three times during acclimation, and it was a struggle trying to keep it in. Let's pray it's a Hummelincki and not what Serendipity was.
 
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:welcome: Maya!

When i got my aculeatus from them it took a good 10 mins just to get the 5-6 bags off and it had a good 3 gallons of water. Live Aquaria=good shipping.

What kind of filtration do you have on the tank. Also maybe a full pic of the tank?
 

DWhatley

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She investigated the new clam today and took this one all the way up to the back wall. There must have been a lot of competition on the bottom substrate for food in her originating locale. video Part I and video Part II The one thing I find missing while iding her is the hour glass that was present on both my males. I am hoping this is a male/female distinction or age related and not a distinction between what I suspect is dwarf and medium sized hummelinckis. If she is actually a dwarf version she would be so ideal for a home setting if she could be captive raised. I went downstairs and shot a couple of pictures of her on the wall working on the clam but the sunlight in the room, inspite of my attempts to block it (looking like a towel enshrowded Dracula with one attempt) gives a bad reflection. I will post a better picture of the completed tank on its Tank Talk thread when the sun angle changes. Nine hours and two crabs later, she managed to open and eat the clam - ALL of it.
 

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DWhatley

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She has an attitude for sure. Tonight she was partially in her den and I was looking at her and stroking the glass so she made me disappear by closing her iris. I need to go see what I can find on their eyes as it appears that their iris are like our eyelids and can be volentarily controled but I don't know if their's only controls light or if it also is the equivalent of squinting to reshape the eye and see more detail in a smaller field.

I am still nervous that she is a tiny adult and not a baby. Her demeanor is more aggressive than my two males and very different from little Serendipity so I am just waiting and watching. When she is out, she is hunting, otherwise she is in her den (this is more like Serendipity and unlike the males) but she is very aggressive and I think she caught a mantis shrimp in the tank last night. I was not sure there was one in there until two nights ago and finally decided to tear up half the tank to try to remove it. With some tips from Muctopus, I put a green net under the rock (after moving half the tank's worth) and lifted the rock and the net. I never saw it move but it was not in the rock or net. In the process of moving the rocks Maya came out so I gave her a crab to keep her occupied but she finished more quickly than normal and was happily hunting as soon as I redid the rocks. It took her about two minutes to find something interesting by her den and dash to the back. She did not come out until the next day (but I could see she was OK) and I have not heard the mantis again. It is really sad because I think the mantis may have been the mate to the one I found when I initially assembled her tank.
 

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