Not O.Hummelincki but What Species is It?


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Sep 4, 2006
Cape Coral, FL
I particularily like this forum because it allows us to see different animals and study the various traits. Sometimes we don't come up with a good answer but at least the traits are noted and a second occurance of an unusual animal can be back referenced. At one time I really wanted to put traits into a database and make a multiple choice questionaire that would give a list of possibilities. I found that we really don't have a good collection of diagnostics and that I am way too novice still to establish the criteria but I keep so that one day I will reexamine the idea.

I am getting an octopus from Kara (sealifeInc) in the AM. It is thought to be a dwarf and has a mantle about the size of a womans first joint on the index finger. The animal was discovered in Live Rock collected on a farm off Key West. Two of my octos have come from this farm, Serendipity and Sleazy (at least I think Sleazy came from there, Ken never actually said where she came from and she may have been crab trap bi-catch given the time of year). In any case, this one is coming in the AM and from the photos, it could be either species. There is one hint that really excites me but I want to see if anyone else notices it or if it is just wishful thinking. These are cell phone photos, but more than I usually get when they send one my way.


  • conv_304262.jpg
    2.2 MB · Views: 152
  • conv_304263.jpg
    2.3 MB · Views: 159
If you click on the first photo, the pair of white spots we see on almost all octopuses is visible. If anyone has an idea what these are, please post as I have been trying to find out for a long time and have not been able to even guess what they might be.
Upvote 0
i am gonna agree with sky as well, the eye spot as well as the faint mantle pattern is something i see on edward all the time...very cool and very jealous d
Upvote 0
SQUEAK, SQUEAL - all kinds of girly noises! SO tiny, this one of, if not the smallest - almost sure hummelincki (not merc for sure) - we have seen. Kara has SMALL fingers!

Now I am terrified of being able to raise it LOL. It is past pelagic but probably just settled. It appears healthy.
Upvote 0
I am terrified of making the wrong choices on how to go about raising it (but delighted for the opportunity). Kara included some very small mithrax and I have some very small hermits (a disappointment when they came in yesterday but am glad to have them now). Its mantle is about the size of Tatanka's but with much shorter arms. Since they have to go through a metamorphic pelagic stage and we don't have any that have survived, I can only guess on age but will suggest 3 months (assuming a 1 month pelagic transition).
Upvote 0
Be jealous, VERY jealous (If I don't lose it!). It took a thawed shore shrimp so I will take that as a very good sign. Unlike normal SOP, I always try to get my octos to eat during acclimation. Usually I offer food just before release but I am going very slowly with this one and am not sure when it last ate (I sent a note to Kara's phone inquiring but she has not seen this one yet :oops:). Can you tell I am excited? It is still showing mostly white but when it took the shrimp, I saw color bands in the arms. It is interesting to note the mantle size and was my first determination that it was not merc (larger proportionately to the arm length).

Unfortunately, it did not eat the shrimp. It chased it around and appears to have pooped but the shrimp went uneaten.
Upvote 0
Might I suggest keeping it in a small container with sandy substrate inside the main tank. That's how I kept Bubbles because I was afraig of loosing her in the tank, but reading these other posts I'm second guessing whose animal was smaller. You may try target feeding it with live brine.
Upvote 0
I have raised a couple of generations of mercatoris and am now attempting two briareus so I will pretty much try raising this one in a similar manner. This is the first small egg species I have had this small (I have raised four hummelinckis but they were much, much older) but because it is now benthic, I am hoping it will respond similarly to the large egg animals. Both the mercs and the briareus learned to eat Cyclop-eeze and pipette fed shrimp so this will be my feeding approach with the addition of the small mithrax that Kara included in my goody box.

Brine is a null food. If you feed it at all it needs to be less than 12 hours old so that the animal will have the nutrition from the yolk sack. It is sometimes used to get animals interested in feeding but even that is suspect to being a good idea and attempt after attempt has shown it is inappropriate for hatchlings.

She/he will go in the merc tank for now, I don't like to put them in tiny cages, even the hatchlings utilize the full size of the 60's. At some point, I will likely have to move it (name soon is a must) to the living room tank, assuming both Cassy and Tatanka survive. Otherwise, she will take one of the breakfast room tanks. The living room tank is adequate for the species but is remote to our daily activity and I prefer to use it only for nocturnals but it is really too small for a healthy briareus. I guess I will have to listen to the ball games in that room to ensure enough face time.
Upvote 0
You could always enrich them with other foods before feeding. I hope you'll post some pictures soon. I'm very curious to see if yours is smaller than mine was. When I first got mine I fed her small pieces of frozen krill. She would only eat a portion of these, but she eventually grew large enough to fully consume all of the food I gave her. Now I have her on half and whole shrimp which she eats completely. Here is a picture of Bubbles when I first got her. They look about the same size.


  • conv_296707.jpg
    2.1 MB · Views: 127
Upvote 0
The only thing you can enrich new hatch brine with is a coating as they don't eat while they still have a yolk sack. Selcon/Selco are the most popular. You have no way of knowing how much is (if any) is on the brine and they leave a greasy film on the water surface. I am not sure why you would suggest using brine if you did not feed it successfully yourself. Cyclop-eeze (frozen, no longer available live that I can find but I noted it was offered that way at one time) is an engineered crustacean and leaves no scum. It has several bonuses, one being you can tell that the animal is eating it (or eating something that eats it) by the red color of the elimination. It moves easily in the current and is eaten by corals, fish and the clean up crew.

I am guessing the mantle is roughly 1/2" long by about 3/8" wide.
Upvote 0

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.