[Featured]: Octopus living in groups and more stuff


O. vulgaris
Apr 13, 2005
Hi guys

i havent posted in a while , last time i posted i shared an amazing experience i had with group mating squid .

my latest experience which happened today was at a local dive site with some octopus .

this site is in about 15/16m depth with a fine sandy ,silty bottom , i was exploring this awesome muck diving location when i started coming upon groups of Juvenile Port Jackson Sharks , then i came upon an area at least 3meters across that was thick with empty scallop shells and Balin shells (like conch shells) in this area there was about 8 ockys living in individual holes tunneled into the shells , with one big ocky living in the centre with a rock as his house cover , ,

i spent some time with these guys and after a while they started coming out of their holes and checking me out , the big guy reached his arm right out and approached me , they were not shy after a while ,

im pretty sure they would VERY rarely see divers at this location .
also ther were a number 10-15 of juvenile port jackson sharks living in the area , resting upon the ockys holes , one guy was poking his head into the dominant big ockys hole , this did not seem agresive or threatening, quite unusuual .

i took photos will post shortly ,

wondering has any else seen this group living /nest building type of behavior before ,

is it unusual for ockys to live in such close proximity to juvenile port jackson sharks .

Please post pics soon - amazing! Any idea what kind of octopuses these were?

List of publications resulting from @jugglematt 's find

2016 Signal Use by Octopuses in Agonistic Interactions
David Scheel, Peter Godfrey-Smith (pgs), Matthew Lawrence (jugglematt)

2014 A new octopus paper, describing fieldwork in Australia at the 'Octopolis' site:
"Octopus tetricus (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) as an ecosystem engineer"
by David Scheel, Peter Godfrey-Smith, and Matthew Lawrence
Scientia Marina, December 2014 issue.

2012 Long-term high-density occupation of a site by Octopus tetricus and possible site modification due to foraging behavior Peter Godfrey-Smith and Matthew Lawrence ( @jugglematt )
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Hi Guys
finally did a quick sort through the photos ,

no photoshop , just resized , vis was quite poor on the day and water was green so sorry for the pic quality , but it shows the Occys and the baby port jacksons

also gives you an idea of the amount of empty Scallop shells in the area , plus Big Balin shells , on the video i have you can see the sides of the occy holes lined with Scallop shells also .
the general area has prolific growth of small sponge trees that are also covered with Scallops , i have also seen live Balin shells Laying eggs and travelling in the area.





:roflmao:Part of my interest in this hobby is to learn to look for clues on octopuses ID's from photos and this fella looked so much like Situ and Situ Two (the bright white eye, bright orange under side and coloring around the eyes at rest as well as body and web thickness) that I looked up the little shark after I wrote to see where you were because of the extreme similarities in the octos. I started to post that you needed to look at the link but I see you found Haggs' current little buddy that I believe is the same species and seems to have the same lack of fear.

If this location is close and you can visit regularly, I would invite you to journal your visits and interactions so we can all enjoy your dives :biggrin2: and have another recording of in situ interaction.
thanks for the information

i can probally get to this site once or twice a week ,
im thinking i might spend some time recording the occos and perhaps see how friendly they will become ,

i just love how curious they are

i went out again on the weekend

visibaility was poor but due to the low light the occys were out and about

the main guy in the middle was right out in the open on top of his rock , i also counted 18 baby port jackson sharks very close and on top of the Midden

there was also another occy right out and had his arms spread out , he was doing this for a while and then kinda wiggled all of his arms and went on the march looking for another hole , which he found , then threw a few shells out of and settled into ,

i got some video but its too big to add to flickr , ill look into hosting it somewhere else ..

reall enjoying visiting these guys


one photo of one occy with a baby PJ close


so here is a video i took on the weekend .

sorry for the quality , it wa a very chunky day..

strange behavior ,

of note, you can see the other occy behind the main one flaring up , also the way the baby port jackson tried to swim away , got caught then was let go .

I am one that tries to compare what I see in the aquarium with what I see in films in the wild. I am not a well trained observer so take this thought with a grain of salt but ...

In the aquarium I have had all but my pygmy octos give what I have come to call a warning touch when I clean the aquarium. When this happens (and I don't say if because three different species have done it) I feel that they have accepted the aquarium as their new territory and are marking it. The touch is neither a grab nor a push and the suckers are not used to hold onto my arm. I take it to mean, "this is my environment and I don't want you mucking with it" or "this space is taken - no vacancy". One of the things I find a little peculiar is that the octos have done it in their shy stage where they don't come out and are normally skittish except at cleaning time. From my biased point of view, I would swear that is what I am seeing in the video with the octos and the little sharks.
thanks for the info


i went out this evening after work and it was all happening

one dominant Occy was muscelling it over the other guys , he was all puffed up and out of his hole ,
he would swim over to the other occys holes cover them with his body , fight and then evict them from there hole then chase them off ,
i saw this happen at least 3 times to 3 different Occys ,
then i saw the evicted occy go and harras another occy and chase them out of their hole.

the dominant occy was watching out and when the evicted occys tried to return he would take off after them

brown mottly meant he was on top of another occy and fighting , , he also went orange and puffed right up , i gues thats telling me your in my turf buddy.

this is real animal behavior stuff , 60 mins underwater , just went so quick

i feel very privilaged to be able to witness this amazing event !!!

im wondering is this the lead up to occy sex , our water is warming up

i got video of the fights , full on out in the water and on the sea bottom ,,

ive reached my flickr video limit at the moment so ill look at another online video host ..


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