• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

Octo bites

Jan 4, 2006
I had a bimac octo a long time ago (15 years) and didn't really give him a chance to bite. I am now almost ready to get my O.Vulgaris and wondering how much I should watch out for bites. I have seen the movie where a members daughter gets bitten (with much laughter) and seen Righty's photo with a good size one on his head. I would imagine a 3 foot octo could take out a nice chunk as a parrot would.

What is the consensus on hand feeding, and hand-on tank maintenance?

I would love to setup a feeding station platform like Shamu has where he comes up to be fed like in the "Squirt" video.

I welcome stories and experiences with octos -especially Vulgaris!
Well, there are different theories. A vulgaris is not a defensive biter. Most likely it will get to know you, and the danger of being bitten is when it's young and might think your hand is something to eat. You can control this by not letting it float down on your hand. Most octo bites (at least from the octopuses we keep as pets) are more like a sting, not huge chunks torn out of your hand. Usually a vulgaris is friendly and you could certainly tell whether it was.

I really recommend using a feeding stick - it's helped me many times and made it possible to offer food to my bimac (with eggs) in her den. She accepted the food.

You can play with your octo's arms, offer toys, and find other ways to make contact. I recently watched someone play with a young GPO by grabbing and wiggling its arms. It seemed to like the attentiion. My bimac liked to be rubbed gently between the eyes. And the owner of Octopets reported that bimacs liked to be petted. So, you may work out one way or another to have physical contact if you like.

Tonmo members have kept O. vulgaris before - you might search on the species name.


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