[Octopus]: Octane - O. Hummelincki (filosus)


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Sep 4, 2006
Cape Coral, FL
As you can tell from the title (thanks Simple for a quick cut and paste :wink2:), I have decided that Octane is a mature adult, likely female and possibly after egg hatching :cry:. I am afraid I am joining AM and BigPapa (and others) with this one as it is immediately receptive to attention and will come up to a finger slowly stroked on the glass as if to have her mantle rubbed, eats directly from my hand, shows a wide variety of patterning and color variation and is adorable. The rest, unfortunately, is sooo sad. She has the tip of an arm recently missing (I fear she removed it), she is showing serious corkscrew on the arms and is wandering to and fro on the glass. I fell in love opening the box so I already know the heartache that will follow shortly.

Here are some of her first day pictures with some of the identifing features. I was hoping vulgaris (and trying to ignore the corkscrew) most of the day until I offered her food on a stick and her eye spot literally glowed. Later, when I reviewed the pictures, I saw it clearly and you should see it in the first of the pictures that follow:


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Yup, she certainly looks like other pics of hummelincki-- sorry to hear about the corkscrew :sad: but it sounds like she's happy to join you for a brief time, at least...
Hopefully she is able to continue for a while longer, and give you more time with her. Just wondering, do O. Hummelincki produce large eggs or small eggs?
Unfortunately, they are a small egg species. They are so terrific at this stage that it is a real shame as I think they would be popular pets if they could be tank bred.
Observation on corkscrew arms

We elected to put a red night light on Octane's tank (I really need to post about this night light on the tank forum if I can find another like it - totally forgot that it will do a full red set of LED's if you make that selection and it was not overly expensive) and almost immediately noticed something odd, her arms were stretched completely out straight. Later, I turned on the lights over the shrimp tank (near Octane's tank, but under a stairwell) and she came over to the light and curled the arm tips again. Lights off, arms straight. The reaction was almost immediate. I have no clue what this means.

On a less surprising note, Octane's eyes were fully open with the lights off (red light on) but are only open as slits during daylight.
Congratulations and welcome to Octane!

About the curled or corkscrew legs - there seem to be times when an octopus will curl its legs when it doesn't mean the end of life. So there's hope.

Octane sounds like a real winner. It must be nice to have a slightly larger octopus for a change!

shipposhack;108996 said:
Sounds like dialysis from being in the dark..

Er, I think you mean dilation... octos (and probably other cephs) are interesting in that they have two independent ways to accommodate to low light levels: expanding the pupil, and also moving pigment from the back to the front of the photoreceptive cells. I've got a paper around somewhere describing how they use pupil size for quick adjustments and pigment movement for slow ones, so often the pupil will change dramatically when the light first goes up or down, but then it will go back a bit. Of course, in the darkest conditions, they probably want to move the pigment forward and open the pupil as much as possible... in medium light, I wonder if this is a mechanism to keep the pupils small for camouflage, since the pupils are pretty much the only part of the octo that stands out...
Can you explain a bit about octo eyes. To the observer, they appear to have an upper and lower eyelid that opens and closes from top to bottom but I think I saw somewhere that this is not really the case. We have also noticed that Octane's "lids" can change color, at least from white to orangeish.

I am not sure if it is so much the size (Neal has been pushing for a larger one for a while now) or just the way this species interacts immediately (Neal is going to be disappointed when we have a different kind I think). Unfortunately, it may well be that they are only this interactive when they are aged and not as "friendly" as juveniles. I have not seen old posts on these, do you recall if anyone has had a juvenile?

Neal keeps trying to make the arms not be cork screwing and only curled. We have agreed to just enjoy her while we can (Neal also insists on "him" and says a female bit off the end of the missing arm while he was trying to mate - Lorena Bobbitt octo syndrome. It doesn't matter that it is the 1st arm and not the third). Part of his insistence probably comes from the fact that our male Mercs have been far more interactive than our females. I did notice that Octane seemed to curl one arm more than the others for a short time tonight but later the curled up arm (not the tip) switched so I am still watching to see if I can detect a difference in a tip that I may have missed. The arms themselves are interesting as the web and arms at the base are very very thick. So thick that the web looks more like a body part (I saw her spread out the web tonight but failed to grab the camera - really neat). The arms taper very quickly and appear short, compared to the mantle but I think the thick webbing exagerates the short arm look.

We did see a lot of sucker shedding in the bag and for the first 24 hours. I would be overjoyed to think this was the cause of the arm behavior but Octane's mantle is between 2 and 2.5 inches and she stays on the wall rather than climbing about on the LR so, sadly, I feel comfortable with saying she is a full grown adult.

She has chosen an end section of the tank that is her home (at least for now) and wanders about 6 inches on the black, back wall (rarely going behind the live rock) and the full 12" of the side wall but will not turn the corner to walk on the front of the tank. I don't think it is the lighting since she will come out to investigate if I turn the shrimp lights on (close to her clear, side wall) but she seems to be uncomfortable with going to the front of the tank. I have tried coaxing her by stroking the glass (she will come to my finger if it is within her territory) and she will touch the front side as if considering it but will not cross the corner.
I'll have to dig up the paper, but I'm pretty sure that the iris does have chromatophores, so it can change colors. I don't remember what the musculature of the pupil is like, though.
High on Octane

I went on an octo-hunt this AM because she was not in her usual quadrant (usual for 2 days :wink2:) and I was paniced! I finally located her suckers showing from behind the live rock. Her arms were fully white on the sucker side and I believe she was sleeping. Normally the underside stays an oranish color, regardless of the rest of her coloring.

Anyone who has seen the Marginaris (Coconut Octopus) film clip where the little guy was walking around with his house, would see the similarity in the way Octane walks across the sand. The movement is very different from the Mercatois. Neal wanted me to get a video of it and, of course, she would not move so he, ummm, encouraged her a little but you can get an idea of what I am trying to describe from the video. She almost looks like a cuttlefish.

Note, the sound is out on my computer so I have no idea what we were saying :oops:

Here are a couple of shots of her posing as a rock and one that does not do justice to her magnificent web flair and purple blue eye spot.


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