[Octopus]: O. briareus or O. vulgaris?

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Ordered an O. vulgaris in yesterday from the Florida Keys as I have been looking for my next octopus adventure and wanted something bigger that would also live longer (I have to admit I also wanted to be able to buy blue crabs at the market as food as that would be a neat way to watch feeding behaviors). While not necessarily unhappy I am a little disappointed that I received a very small octopus which I think may actually an O. briareus. While this species does get to be a good size it is not as big as what I was looking for. Fortunately it is very small right now, resting position is showing a mantle about 2-3" across, so I know it is young and hopefully I will have lots of time with it. This one inked in the bag after unpacking the box so it was speed acclimated (aka moved immediately to new water without any acclimation) and spent the day in a bucket with a chunk of rock until I got it home. Tossed in a few emerald crabs in case it got hungry but it didn't show any interest but I can't blame it for that. I floated it in the tank and poked a few holes to allow it to acclimate and crawl out when it wanted to as I had to go to soccer practice and when I got back a couple of hours later it was still in the bag. No signs of distress or anything concerning so I released it into the tank and it went into hiding but fortunately where I could observe it. ID is not certain so if you think I actually have a different species please chime in. I know for certain it was collected in the Keys and that seems to narrow it down but the general appearance of these two species seems to be similar enough to allow for confusion. Color does appear to be more of a greenish-brown but it has been mostly pale or an angry dark color so far only, no real calm colors yet.
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Couldn't find it today so flipped a rock and there it is. Got one photo before it decided it had enough, turned black in anger, and jetted away under another rock.
 
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Received verification that it is an O. briareus. He said I am probably the first person to purchase from him that actually knows the difference between them. He said they usually just lump them under the same description but will correct that moving forward. He also said he would collect a small vulgaris for me so looks like I might be a two octopus guy again soon. 😁
 
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Signs of life but no sightings of the octopus. Here is the "midden heap" even though those are all just shells that were in the tank, although perhaps the Cerith shells are former hermit crabs.
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Looks like this one likes to be out early in the day, need to find a controller for my light (threw and old Kessil on there for the corals but really hate how these lights require a separate controller to be functional). Startled it but got a few photos before it retreated. I have always noticed that these animals seem to know when you are taking a photo of them, I am guessing their vision allows them to see or at least sense the light that comes from the cell phone camera to identify the object in the photo.
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This is my first sighting of the octopus since before the end of October. I did some rearranging at one point in time and figured that it was under the largest rock and decided not to bother it. I did see some evidence that it was in there as I put a coral banded shrimp into the tank and a day later it was missing a claw. I have seen consistent signs of eating as the fiddler crabs that I have added to the tank have been rapidly disappearing and the same can be said for the emerald crabs. That being said, my morning trips down to look for it have been on eventful until today. I am tentatively going to say that she has grown about 3 times as large as when I last saw her. I did not get a good look at her arm but it did not have the appearance of being rounded at all so I am guessing this is a female. She did not want the piece of shrimp that I offered but fortunately I have a very large supply of crabs to give her. Going to see if she is still out after work today but I doubt it. So far she has been very crepuscular or nocturnal, not sure which of those she is being as I only see her early in the morning when everything is dark in the room.
 
D

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I am not sure of the size but I would be leaning more towards briareus as an ID
 

sedna

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How did I miss this journal??? I need to set up alerts for when there’s action in this forum! I’m so excited about your new baby!
 
D

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It is definitely briareus, confirmed with the vendor.
Okay. Just be careful with vendor ID in the future.
It seems with octopus at least, certain places know bugger all when it comes to Identification.
 
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Okay. Just be careful with vendor ID in the future.
It seems with octopus at least, certain places know bugger all when it comes to Identification.
I spoke to him and he said they only had one designation in their system as most didn't know the difference and they mostly caught vulgaris but they added briareus after I reached out. Good vendor, just figured most did not care either way. The bigger ones all just put in octopus for the most part, though.
 
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Had a little bit of salmon left after feeding the predator tanks and dropped a little bit into the octopus tank which prompted an appearance by her. First time she has come out when I am around so making some progress. She is still super shy and is not sure of what to make of the giant tongs I use in the tank but she didn't completely hide. Here is a video of me trying to tong feed her (ok, grabber feed) and then another of her co.ing out to grab an emerald crabs. She shows very little interest in peppermint shrimp as you can see from the video (same as my mimic) but she can't resist a tasty crab. I might also get a few mollies given her response to the salmon but with the mimic they were biting her and she had no interest so not sure what I want to do. Might possibly throw a couple of damsels in instead but not sure I want that dynamic, either.
 
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I ended up adding another O. briareus to my collection so the original one got moved to my old mimic tank which is attached to the same system and the newer bigger one got out into the larger system. Both appear to be females but since I never get a good look at them since they are still very shy I can't be sure. They definitely like to eat, especially the smaller one whose tank also happened to be where Is kept spare emerald crabs for food. Suffice it to say, there are not many left at this point and it has only been since Tuesday.
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New octopus in the bag
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Old octopus in its new den
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New octopus in its new den although you can't see any of it.l so it's really just a full tank shot of both systems. 😜
 
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