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Here is a video of glass dancing. I put my finger up, to give size reference.
You can see what I call "Sticky Walking" - he seems to do this when he is being timid. He is very capable of moving smoothly and quickly when he wants.
And here is a video of him taking the feeding stick from the front glass. This is the first time he has done this. Usually, he has to be holding onto a rock to grab the stick so he can pull it towards him.
This one is a bit blurry, but it's something!
Does Octonaut have a false eyespot near the back of his mantle (both sides)? I looked at the videos several times after noticing what looked like a dark circle and could see it in several of the videos. If it is there and not an artifact of the lighting, then we have not seen this species before.
I have seen the false eyespots on the bimacs - and his are not as round. He does have two dark spots towards the tip of his mantle on both sides. When he is in his most common coloring - they are very obvious. They are more oval than the examples I have seen previously. That is exciting! I will try to focus on getting more photos/video that include the spots. Can you guess sex based on the videos?
I am assuming we can call these eyespots even though they are in a completely different location from the typical ocellus. I scanned my book (Mark Norman's Cephalopods A World Guide) to see if I could find an octopus with this kind of marking noted as an identification trait but did not come up with anything definite. I did bookmark O. variabilis (pg 299) from the photo only. The spots arenot mentioned but can be almost seen in the one photo and it is thought to be in the macropus complex. However, Norman notes that this is an elongated octopus with arms L1 and R1 bring much longer and thicker than the other arms and as much as twice the length of arms 3 and 4. This does not appear to fit with Octonaut. The 4" mantle listed also seems far too large but we have seen so much variation in sizes of all species that the mantle size could be overlooked but probably not the arm differences.
I am searching to see what I can find on O. variabilis and will post a few links for you to review. As you may have found in the past, TONMO is usually the best first source for care and we scan for ceph news daily. Unfortunately, finding official descriptions and well focused photos outside our normally kept animals can be a major challenge.
I am looking forward to what we can find! I love the learning and reading aspect - So very exciting. I have not noticed a significance in any arms (except for the re-growth, of course.)
Here is another photo that shows the spots. Its hard to see the shape/color - but it does show placement.
I also looked at the videos carefully and I think in the last video called "more glass dancing" you get a true image of the spots at about the :41 mark on. That appears most similar to what we typically see in him - size, shape & color.
I noticed the spots yesterday so I reviewed all the other pictures and videos to see if they were actual spots, just temporary coloration or artifacts from the lighting and thought they appeared to be true spots that might help ID the species. I believe we have a key but now hunting up the species is proving difficult. As you will note as you read many of the scientific abstracts, the first thing that is mentioned is how little is known even about common species . So far I have not located any animal that mentions the mantle spots (lots of cuttles though ) but they are not a common coloration so it will be somewhere. I might spend a bit of time next week (busy weekend and won't slow down until Tues) looking for text in the FAO pdf. I am still thinking a Macropus complex animal but that is a really generic term for all kinds of shapes and sizes that are nocturnal and red (red being most of the time, all can turn white). Fun stuff and I really enjoy trying to gain ID info.
If you looked at the NatGeo exploration picture I linked, you can see a very clear mantle eyespot (most ocellus are located below the eyes at the top of the webbing). This is a deep water species though and not likely the same.