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

DWhatley

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Every once in awhile I sneak in a shot that actually looks like what my mind sees :rolleyes:
 

DWhatley

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Octane seems to have a "tickle spot". He has started coming up to the top of the tank when I open it and expects to be petted where the web and arms join just below the eyes (the "head"?). Sometimes he seems to almost go to sleep and will sort of relax against the tank wall and close his eyes. He usually makes several passes at my finger, sits to be "tickled", slides away and then returns for more for 4 or 5 passes then he is done and goes about his business. He will make sure I understand by bringing this section of his body up out of the water until I start to pet him. He occassionally will touch, but not grab, my one of my other fingers with an arm while he is getting his massage. If I rub the "wrong" spot, he will send a small jet of water at my hand but not with enough force for the water to leave the tank (he CAN easily hit the lights that are over a foot above the tank) and moves away a bit but then returns.

Neal is pouting though as Octane has only allowed Neal to pet him once. I find this interesting since Neal feeds him during the week and it might suggest that it is the familiarity (ie time spent in front of the tank just watching and touching the tank) rather than food that draws his attention to people. It might also be that when I do feed it is with bare hands and not a feeding stick (Sisturus responded to hand feeding where none of the other Mercs would consistently accept food by hand). Octane takes shrimp more quickly and consistently from a stick and he is fed both ways so I suspect that feeding is not the main difference.
 

Colin

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Definitely a personality showing through there! :smile:

Nancy's Ollie used to also come to the surface to get her share of physical contact and petting just like you are describing
 

DWhatley

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I always did want to go back and find some of Nancy's posts on Ollie since I have seen her reference petting him. I am hoping the book will have a story or two about him.
 

craigl

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i love the video of that! In the wild dont they live solitary lives? By them showing a behavior where they are wanting physical contact seems like it has to be a learned behavior that only would happen in captivity. Very interesting!
 

DWhatley

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craigl;115233 said:
i love the video of that! In the wild dont they live solitary lives? By them showing a behavior where they are wanting physical contact seems like it has to be a learned behavior that only would happen in captivity. Very interesting!

Possibly not. In the German version of Octopus Volcano (I am almost sure the American version did not show this or we missed part of the show entirely), the diver was petting a wild Vulgaris. There are other videos about that show divers interacting with GPO's as well (to see the video go about halfway down this page for the link:

http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/8626/&highlight=WDR
 

DWhatley

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Octane seems to expect petting when I am around the tank. Sometimes he will reach out and touch my other fingers and occassionally will pull. I am careful not to allow him to put my finger under his web when he does this and he will usually swim away rather quickly (not paniced though) when he can't have his way. He usually returns to the top of the tank shortly, however.

Tonight he let me pet the underside of his mantle several times. Lately, he has preferred a massage just below the eyes but tonight he decided his mantle needed attention. There are a number of cubbies in the LR for him but I wonder if his skin might itch and the massage provides soft, safe scratching. It is interesting to note that the skin can be loose and can wrinkle when you rub it. Sometimes he will show a "pig tail" at the top of the mantle that seems to be the excess skin. I wonder if this is true of all octos that can show cryptic patterns. The Merc's skin always seems tight and they show little cryptic patterning where 'tane's will slide and he has a wide variety of three dimentional looks. He never shows much patterning (color or relief) when he comes for attention.

I am also worried that he may be bored and need "enrichment". I never get this impression from the Mercs (HideNSeek and Medusa are now 13 months old). He gets live crabs, shore shrimp, regular large shrimp (brought back from Charleston and still doing well but not immediately eaten) and clams for "excersize" but I feel (I wish I could put my finger on why) that he needs some kind of tank mate or other creature he can watch in a near by tank. My "feeling" may be that I sense the restlessness of sensence or that he really needs a larger tank since this species seems to like to swim. I keep looking at our 140 reef but even if I relocate the corals (all softies so not a major problem), I have a mandarin that I could not catch and a pair of feather stars that I am terrified would not do well in another tank and are too delicate for an octo tank. I keep looking on eBay ... :hmm:
 

DWhatley

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A couple of pictures

'Tane continues to want more attention in the evening and has extended the time he accepts petting. He goes to sleep much later now (after I feed Medusa where before he would beat the lights turning off at 11:00) and seem restless. I looked up his expected max size and his mantle appears to be at max but the arms are shorter (I will get a tape measure and try to verify my guestimate this week). I also noticed that the loose skin I mentioned in my last post can catch the return waterflow and form almost a flapping wing. I don't know if his skin has always been this loose (the pig tail is present in the juveniles) or if this is a sign of aging. He can still color a full range of browns to orange and for very distinct cryptic patterns.

The three color change pictures occurred within a very short interval. #2 and #3 were about 3 seconds apart.
 

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So beautiful. He looks quite a bit bigger than Tuvalu or Polythemus were.

I hope someone comes up with a reliable and steady source for healthy hummelinckis.
 

DWhatley

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Unfortunately, my guestimate on mantle size (the 7 mm max mentioned in Norman) was not the typical :sly:female oversite and from eyes to resting (not extended) mantle tip is 2.5 inches.

I did initiate a game with him tonight with mixed results using a floating plastic "ice cube". We (me, the current and Octane) pushed it in and out of a corner for fifteen or twenty minutes tonight and I will continue experimenting to see if the interaction helps with the restlessness. Additionally, I put a small tank of shore shrimp up against one side of the tank so that he sees motion during the period when no one is around.

The Hummelincki really is much more like a pet, with the needs of attention and activity, than caring for the Mercs. Where the Mercs would act counter to their shy behavior by constantly being exposed to people (assumption on my part why the ones in the heavily trafficed eating area are so much more interactive than the ones in the quieter living room), Octane seems to naturally crave attention (he is also in the eating area) and tries to get himself noticed and then needs even more attention. I hope the other Hummelincki keepers will help confirm or counter this thinking since Octane is my first of this species.
 

MsV

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I think I'd agree. Oliver spends far, far too much time hanging out at the front of the tank, and often chooses to be active (and interactive) when we are around. The tank sits at one end of the six foot long table we use as a dining table, and (right now, for example) as a laptop docking station, and if he notices we're here, he'll often come out and keep a watchful eye on us, wander round, and yes, interact.

These really are not shy octos! I consider myself quite lucky to have had one as my first octopus. Tug of war, hide and seek, and squirt the stupid human when she doesn't give him what he wants...

I like the ice cube idea. Might try that. 'Course, I might wind up getting another eyeful of water if he decides it's just another stupid human trick. :roflmao:
 

DWhatley

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MsV,
This "ice cube" is an artificial one that is made for sprucing up drinks and has a sealed battery and switch and can light up or flash. I have thought about using a real ice cube but he has shyed away from cold things in the past. We played a little with it tonight but he did not push it around as much. He did, however, manipulate it more than yesterday so I will continue to attempt to see if he will teach me the proper way to play ice cube air hockey.
 

DWhatley

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More Colors of Octane

Just some shots of Octane dressed in white. Note that the eyespot is barely visable. If he is upset, it turns very deep blue and holds with the thoughts that the bright color markings have to do with threatening behavior. Again, note that these photos are taken about 4 seconds apart.
 

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DWhatley

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Mimic Hummelincki

OK, so bats are not a natural sea creature but I can't help thinking Octane is mimicing one when he does his flat against the wall trick. He certainly looks as much like a bat as a "Mimic" looks like a sea snake.
 

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DWhatley

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camouflage

Can you tell I am avoiding some techincal reading I need to do tonight? One last set of Octane photos showing more of his camo looks. He is not really making much of an effort to hide here but the colors came out interestingly enough to post the shots.
 

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DWhatley

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Just a couple of pics and some worries.

Octane has not been eating well for a couple of days and is often in drab grey coloration. He will still show color and skin changes but the dull grey is new and worries me. He has also taken to sleeping on the tank wall rather than in a den and it seems I recall this as being observation reported in aging octos not long before the end. Two nights ago he was flashing like a cuttle fish. I went to get the camera but he stopped once I came over to the tank, I hope I am just a paranoid keeper and he was just trying to get my attention.

Two little interesting things this week. There is a live shrimp (we brought back a dozen or so from our Charleston trip) in the tank with Octane and he has ignored it for over a week even though it has touched his arm and he has scared it out of the substrate several times. He does not seem to be afraid of it and has eaten them in the past. I was giving Octane his nightly massage a couple of nights ago and the silly shrimp swam up to my hand to see what was going on :biggrin2: I may just have to do a mantis this year (hands out of the tank though).

Tonight I was doing a water change and stirring up the substate and Octane litterly jumped on my hand. He did not bite and the contact was very brief but he was making a point to tell me he did not like my actions. He has zipped over to my hand before when I was cleaning but never quite like this. Everytime he reacts, I picture Bills hand after Ollie tried to express the same dislike (or I am assuming Nancy's octo was sending the same message) and feel that I am doomed to experience a beak eventually.
 

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