New Octo is here!

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Mar 5, 2010
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He is here and he is TINY! About the size of my thumbnail curled up, maybe an inch and a half across the legs. Best I could get from the supplier was "pacific brown" octopus. I'll put up pics later tonight, he's going in a critter keeper inside the 55 gal tank. This is awesome!
 
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Ryan Smith;151936 said:
Is it a young octo, or is it an adult dwarf?

Adult dwarfs are much larger than a thumb nail. I am really excited to see this one. Wow, sounds like a baby, don't loose him. I am going to follow this, can't wait to see a photo.
Congratulations!
 

DWhatley

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Jocephus,
I am afraid you will discover that an octo that small will not stay in a critter keeper long. You will have a slight chance of him staying if you have shells in the critter keeper for him to use as a den but that is not likely to keep him in it long. Don't panic if it has escaped into the tank (unless you have something in there that will eat him - which is just about anything you might have in the tank). If he does (or has) escapted. Try to establish a feeding area and put food there every other day. You won't likely see him but he will see you. I would also recommend feeding Cyclop-eeze and frozen mysis to the tank if he is roaming free.
 
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Thanks, he is still in the critter keeper as of now. If he escapes, he has a 55 to himself, it would be unlikely that I would ever see him though. I can't seem to get a good pic tonight, but will try again tomorrow. He has a piece of live rock in the critter keeper to den in, when I checked on him he was on the bottom of the cage, but climbed into the rock when he saw me. I hope everything is okay. He is soooo small. He has his legs curled (upturned) but not corkscrewy, that is okay, right? I will add some frozen mysis to the tank. I put some tiny hermits in with him in the hopes that he may go for them if hungry.
 

DWhatley

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Upturned arms are a protective pose and not a sign of impending death. Can you describe in more detail (be precise since you can't get a photo) what you mean by "curled up"? Mercatoris has a somewhat diagnostic pose that may fit your description but I have seen other species (particularly small or young ones) also assume the pose. What color is the octo at rest? When brown is it a yellowish or reddish brown? How long are the arms compared to the mantle (mantle length is from the eyes to the back of the body). How wide is the mantle (compare to an object like a pencil, pinking finger, thumb etc.)
 
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I know these are horrible, but it's the best I could do.

JOEsnakesfish029.jpg


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JOEsnakesfish034.jpg


JOEsnakesfish030.jpg
 

DWhatley

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Arms to mantle ratio, coloration and bulging eyes have my vote for mercatoris which is neither Pacific nor brown. Look through the journals of other mercs (Forums->List of Our Octopuses 2010, 2009 and 2008 - the names and species are listed and are linked to the journals). Babies are not easily identified though. If it is merc, it should show a red color with white markings when upset and a little starburst around the eye. You would likely see it with one eye looking out and an arm wrapped around the eye as you will see in several of the photos.

As a point of interest, the dark spots near the back of the mantle are gill hearts and are often easily seen on the mercs.

Unfortunately, you might want to consider an alternate on housing. If I am correct, this one will never get very large and will be lost in a 55. One member kept his (Animal Mother with Einy) in a large Critter Keeper within a larger tank. A 20 gallon tank is a more viewable size for the dwarfs, especially one that is nocturnal. The good news is that it appears to be fairly young so you should have more time with it than most of the WC mercs.
 

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