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My Octopus Thinks I’m a Tease

Jun 27, 2020
San Diego
Have to say: I’m a little afraid of my octopus.

(It’s my first octopus: a bimac I’ve had a little over a week.)

He’s grabbed my fingers several times… but when he starts pulling my hand towards his mouth, and his little eye looks like it’s bugging-out: I can’t help but lock my arm/wrist. He keeps pulling until he breaks suction, then he goes directly to his cave like, “whatever, then.”

I just keep thinking he’s a wild animal (who also happens to look like an alien monster)… and my big pale fingers might look like the big frozen shrimp I’ve been feeding him.
He’s gonna bite my knuckle off, I know it! jk
I’m not THAT worried about the pain… I’m more worried that I’m gonna jerk my hand away and scare the ink out of him.

How hard and how common are bites?

…and how difficult is dealing with an inking?

Also: are there any specific colorations/etc. that can let me know what he’s thinking (curious/stressed/attack-mode)?

I’m sure once it happens I won’t worry about it anymore… I’d just like to have a clearer idea of what to expect. and all my fingers.
So attached is an image of a bimac. This pattern is what they do when there is a perceived threat.
Keep that in mind. They go lighter in color and the yellow/orange spots seem more pronounced in my opinion.

The other photo is of Jolene, one of my babies, that is a nother coloration I have noticed, usually when she was exploring on the glass.

I have personally seen a behavior in which they keep everything close and move in a jerking like manner as if to mimic something.


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As to the behavior of pulling that is pretty normal in my experience with bimacs. They get pretty strong too. Whenever you get tangled up try to peel your trapped appendages away from the suction cups, like your are trying to break off contact at a 90° angle. Instead of just pulling. How big is your bimac?
Thank you. She has been cool. She is brooding right now and I have some babies on the way. She still eats too.


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Update: for new/future owners.

He bit me.
I finally let him get my fingers over by his mouth… and it didn’t take long before I felt some scratching on the side of my fingertip. Light scratching turned into gentle nibbles… before finally ratcheting-up to a sharp stinging pinch. It wasn’t sudden at all (I could’ve stopped it sooner but I think I was as curious as he was).

I was able to pull away from him slowly but firmly… he doesn’t let go of the rock work. His arms reached out after me like “wait, wait, wait, wait!”
We played some more and I didn’t feel his beak again for a few minutes. I would tolerate gentle nibbles… but as soon as I felt him putting some muscle into it: I’d slowly/firmly pull away.

I’m approaching it like teaching a puppy to roughhouse… gentle is acceptable, hard = end of playtime.
…Maybe I shouldn’t let him bite at all, Idk

Getting bit was definitely a paper tiger… and I got our best/longest play session yet, as my reward.
I felt the same way after my first bite! Mine was a briareus, still just as you describe- like a puppy! They “mouth” things with their beak just like my kids did when they were toddlers. 🤣

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