• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

New favorite species of Octopus


Haliphron Atlanticus
Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Mar 17, 2003
We have kept several species of octopus from O. cyanea to Hapalochlaena, but I think I now have a new favorite. Three months ago we collected a tiny O. rubescens with a mantle length under one cm. I put it in a 10 gal tank with a sand bottom and a small piece of pvc. The entire set-up was in a temperature controlled room kept at 15 C. The animal was very shy at first, but did eat large adult brine shrimp and tiny bits of raw shrimp. It gradually grew to about 2 cm in two months and was feeding on live ghost shrimp when I left for a month in the field. When I returned this weekend, the animal was 4 cm, ravenous, and runs down grass shrimp, crabs, stomatopods and just about any other live food we put in its tank. When I enter the room it displays and paces on the front wall of the aquarium. It was one of the easiest animals to rear we have ever had and looks to have a broad repertoire of displays. If you ever get a chance to rear one and can keep it in a cool tank, I would strongly recommend this species.

Sounds like a fun critter. I saw one at the Seattle Aquarium about a year ago in a small (~5 gallon) acrylic cylinder tank at an outreach table. Obviously wouldn't let you put your hand in but you could look at it up close and they'd drop crabs and things in for it.

Someone posted a couple months ago that they captured two off of Santa Barbara and were keeping them in a 120. They sound like very outgoing octos. They have a nasty bite, though, right? I suppose not compared with your other octos :smile:

Yes, the bite is like a wasp sting and they seem quite prone to using their beak. I've been bitten more times by O. rubescens than by all other species combined and I rarely handle them.

How did you get species like that? you must be working in some sort of research facility or something? That is very cool. You've even worked with O. cyanea ? Thats awsome. do yo uahve any pics?
Roy, speaking of octo bites, what other types have you seen prone to bite (on say a 1-10 scale), especially the more common types, such as bimac, briareus, vulgaris, etc. Thanks!
I have kept a few O. rubescens in line with my research and will be keeping 5-6 more this winter for 3 months. I love these little guys. They have so much personality. For some reason I had a feeling when I saw the title of this thread it would turn out to be a rubescens.
Neogonodactylus said:
As a rule, I try to be careful and not give an octopus the chance to bite. Aside from O. rubescens, I have received the most bits from small O. cyanea.


I've been biten by O. rubescens a couple of times while trying to weight and measure them and did not have any type of reaction but I guess everyone will react slightly different.
I work with quite a few arachnids, and I know at least part of the time when they bite it's a dry bite where no venom is transferred. Cephs are probably the same way, though I don't think I have ever seen how the venom is injected.
I have had my eye on this species for quite a long time now, hoping I could find a source for one.

Any ideas, guys? I am located in Santa Barbara, and I believe they're native to the area. Any places I should check in the Santa Barbara area? UCSB?

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