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


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Sep 4, 2006
Cape Coral, FL
OhToo (as in Octane II) came as a bit of a surprise. The diver/collector that found Octane for me heard I lost him and captured OhToo with me in mind because he was pretty sure OhToo was the same species (he does not normally collect octopuses). He was unaware that Ken (sometimes dive partner) had sent Serendipity. Additionally, the next day another octopus presented itself so Lynn brought her home as well and contacted me. After much consideration, I took both :oops: ('Tane's old tank was available as well as my living room aquarium).

OhToo is definitely the same species as Octane and there are identifiable differences between Serendipity and OhToo/Octane. I am not sure if I am looking at two different species known as the Caribbean Two Spot octopus or simply a male and a female. In addition to the physical differences Dipity is very feminine, delicate and graceful, OhToo is bulky and tends to swim rather than glide.

OhToo is already a joy. He is coming out for attention and will accept gentle petting to the point of relaxing his arms and sitting longer than my hand wants to stay in the tank :grin:. He sleeps more than Dipity but that may be due to the fact that he is still recovering from the loss of four of his arms. Three of the arms have considerable regrowth, one is a recent amputation and shows about an inch of suckered "string". Three of the regrowing arms look healthy but one of the older injuries has no suckers for about an inch and a half starting at the base and then an other inch of suckered "string". He seems to be able to use the suckered string tip with agility and, in a lab situation, it would be tempting to reamputate the arm to see if it would grow back fully healthy. I will wonder about the success of such an operation until he dies though since I could not bring myself to harm him or break his trust, even for his own good.

OhToo's mantle is about 2/3 the size of Octane's on arrival but I hesitate to claim he is considerably younger because of the amputations. If capturing food was a problem while the arms were truncated, there is the possiblity that OhToo did not grow normally while he was healing. If this is the case, he may stay smaller and be able to live out his life in his current tank. If he out grows it as Octane did, I have two other choices with existing tanks and will keep one available for the purpose.


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Nancy;126205 said:
You have lovely octopuses, D - it's nice that you had room for them!


The two that I can see certainly are terrific! I wonder if they will take note of each other since their tanks are across the same room. I don't know that I will be able to tell if they do though :confused:

The other two, are only maintenance and expense I am afraid. Wiley will be 11 months old this week and I probably have seen him 11 times. I know where he is and I know he is still alive since he takes my nightly food offerings and replaces his shell door if I remove it but otherwise, he is invisible. The second octopus that came with OhToo has not been seen since she entered her tank. I have not noticed a collection of scavengers anywhere and the knobby keeps to the the open but I don't know if she is still alive. We have kept only a red light on the tank with only minimal ambient but have seen absolutely no sign of her. I have not seen any nitrites but the tank is well established ...
dwhatley;126119 said:
I will wonder about the success of such an operation until he dies though since I could not bring myself to harm him or break his trust, even for his own good.

may i ask - not an easy question to answer perhaps - how you experience this "trust"? and why call it so? :confused:
OhToo is not shy when I come up to the tank. If I put my hand in the water he will come up to my hand to be gently petted (Octane acted similarly but it took much more time to discover his willingness to be petted, there are videos on his journal). He knows me from my husband. My husband feeds him (most weekdays) but does not have the interaction (I think it is mostly because he is not as patient and does not stay in front of the tank for long periods of time). It is not unusual for some species of octopus to identify and interact with a human, even in the wild, if there is frequent gentle contact (this is true of many wild creatures, including some species of fish - like the grouper). Jacques Cousteau saw this with his own crew and the Vulgaris as well as with a female diver and the GPO (Giant Pacific Octopus) in the northern Pacific and mentions it in the videoOctopus, Octopus as well as in the book Silent World.
OhToo has a boo-boo and I am not sure how he managed it. At first I thought he got a nick from one of the Koralias because he is often climbing around on one of them and I have seen an arm tip go inside the casing. Now I am not sure. It would seem the Koralia would amputate anything it came in contact with and this started out more like a scratch. After a day or two the arm around the injury started swelling so I am sure I am dealing with an infection. I did notice that it does not look like there are any parts missing so now I don't have a clue what happened. I have started him on an evening "snack" of shore shrimp needle loaded with Tetracycline. I am not sure how much medication I am getting into the shrimp but I have been giving him two a night for three nights and will continue the treatment for 10 days in hopes that it will help. I am fairly comfortable giving him the Tetracycline since I tried it with Trapper as a preventative while she was brooding and she lived 11 weeks post hatching. The extended life likely had nothing to do with the Tetracycline but I know it did not harm her. I don't think the arm has improved much BUT it has gotten no worse. Whether or not the Tetracycline is helping or his bodys immune system has kicked in, I don't know but this is a turn for the better.

Since acquiring his boo boo, he has not come up to my hand and avoids my attempts to lure him over to the corner of the tank. He will come half way to me if I offer a shrimp and takes it with two of his shortened front arms almost like he had fingers. He is amazingly different from Octane in has overall behavior. He has chosen a den underground ('Tane chose a poorly protected cave in back center of the tank), he always dives mantle first (this might have something to do with the arm amputations) and then rights himself just before impact (very graceful and funny). He like to spend a lot of his awake time infront to the Koralia flow to the point where his arms are "flapping in the breeze" where 'Tane would spend a few minutes a day in the current but not much more. I have repositioned and added a second Koralia so the set-up is quite different but it makes me wonder if his skin itches. Octane liked to swim where OhToo sort of hops and crawls. I rarely saw Octane hunt where OhToo can't keep his "fingers" out of the live rock.

OhToo has grown detectably since being introduced to the aquarium and is now about the same size that Octane was when he first came. I have a clear ruler taped to one end of his tank and hope to get a few photos that will show a measurable difference.
OhToo is behaving strangely. Neal thought it was because of Mr. Green Jeans (our oldest critter, a green serpent star that was always loosing its arms. It finally seem to reach good health when placed in an octo tank). Mr. Green Jeans is no longer shy and will come out when he detects food and reaches into OhToo's den. Since Green serpents have a bad reputation as they grow (I think we have had him about 4 years but he is only normal serpent size, much smaller than many I have seen in the pet stores), we decided the green guy should, once again, have a new home. It did not help to move him though, OhToo is being quite a brat and will pat the sand outside his den when he thinks the food delivery people are trying to feed him (and eats anything delivered to his chosen spot). I decided to make him get a little exercise tonight and dropped in a crab (he usually catches them before they hit the substrate). Wouldn't you know it, the crab swam directly into OhToo's DEN! :banghead: where it was immediately consumed.

OhToo is fun to watch since he acts like an octopus and does some neat crawl, camo and pounce moves (the deliberate slow crawl up the live rock is facinating) but I miss the pet qualities of Octane. OhToo seems to match Carol's Oscar's behavior with human interest only at feeding time but has not shown an interest (in fact has avoided all offerings) for floaty things or new tank items. Last night I put a dead urchin skeleton back into the tank (I had given it to Serendipity awhile back since he ignored it) and he has moved it around and chose to use it as a door so I might try adding larger shells to the substrate to see it they take his interest now.
OhToo Transferred to Larger Tank

I officially gave up on Serendipity and her young today and transferred OhToo to the larger tank. I have transferred the mercs before without incident but was nerveous about catching OhToo since he has just started to come up to my hand and show active interest in human attention and is too large for my soft nets. Fortunately, I had purchased an inexpensive fish catcher "thingy" that I felt would be a good thing to have while we kept Lion fish (and it definitely proved it self worth having). The thing looks like something Cheech & Chong would have had a hay day with in the early 70's and I refer to it as my fish bong. I was not sure how I was going to coax him into the thing and envisioned all kinds of inking and a set back in our interaction but, as you will see in the video, the transfer was exceptionally smooth.

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Behavior After Transfer

It is hard to know if an animal likes an environment change (for better or worse) and all you can really do is watch and make notes. OhToo slipped into the back of the aquarium after leaving his transport but almost immediately started exploring. He crossed through the tubes joining the two sections of the tank as if he had been in the tank a long time (we saw Serendipity do this too) and had no problem seeing the difference between the transparent walls and the openings (possibly reflection helps locate the passage or define the walls). All seemed well until he was looking large (like when eating a crab) started acting like he had the hiccups. He eventually swam to the wall and I noticed he had a large snail (one that had survived several octos) under his web. As he moved about, he picked up a smaller snail and carried it around until I put in a fiddler. He ignored the fiddler for a few minutes but it was too much for him eventually and he dropped both snails and caught the crab. The large snail that he had been so actively sucking on showed a brightly cleaned internal shell (the smaller one was untouched) - see photo #1. However, note the second picture, taken about 1/2 hour later :cool2:



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OhToo has started into an "affectionate" stage similar to the behavior we saw in Octane. He had come to my hand several times even before the tank transfer 3 weeks ago but would accept a couple of touches and move on. The seemingly acknowledged sequence goes something like this.

OhToo goes to the petting corner and approaches the surface while I am in the room. If he stays there I open the top and offer my hand. Initially he will slide down the corner (but not leave) then go up the short side of the tank and approach my hand. He may or may not make a few false starts but eventually he touches my fingers and then crawls in the the cup my hand makes on the glass (sometimes coming up from the bottom, sometimes sliding in from the side - often making a circle from approach to exit). I pet his mantle with a few strokes to whatever side he presents (often underneath but sometimes he will place his eyes at my finger tip) then he slides down the glass. Sometimes he will choose to slide between my finger for extra touching. Sometimes he will slide sideways on the long side of the tank rim and seems to want me to follow. He will reach the opposite corner then slide down the wall. I do not put my hand more than 1/3 of the way into the tank so "escaping" is simple. When he has had enough, he will go to the tube connecting the tanks and I close the lid. Sometimes he will pretend he is going to the crossover tube but not put his arms through. If I close the lid, sometimes he hurries back to the initial starting point and at other times he will wander about the live rock and avoid the wall until I leave the room. Up until Sunday night, he would not stay very long for the sessions but on Sunday he must have played for 15 minutes before he went toward the tunnel. I closed the lid, tuned my back and he inked THEN he went back to the starting point and accepted more petting when I offered my hand. Tonight while Neal and I were talking and standing near the tank, he inked again for no apparent reason (he did not flee or show a color change). I offered my hand but he declined until Neal left then once again headed for his play with me corner. I am hoping he is not going to start using the ink to get my attention :hmm:

It is interesting to note that both OhToo and Octane have shown no aggression after reaching this phase in aquarium life. There is no attempt to pull on my hand or fingers (I don't handle his food before we "play") and there is no sucker side exploration even though he often flows between my fingers and could stick to my hand at any time.

It will be interesting now to see if he still approaches my hand to tell me NO when I move something in the tank. Normally he is not fond of cleaning day and does not like me to touch his stuff . If I move something or sometimes when I am cleaning a wall, he will come over and try to move my hand with his arm. It is not a grab and sample (he has done that, as did Octane earlier in the relationship) but it is more of a pushing behavior.

Carol, has Oscar either shown the "keep away from my stuff" or "pet me" attitude? I know Chef_Reef would locked up Little Chef during cleaning because he would make the process almost impossible.
Yeah, I know. I got my Xmas present early but have to wait for my birthday for the remote firing device (finally found a teathered one for the camera after weeks of looking - lots of DIY and messy looking stuff but this one is a fitted clip on - still have to find a long cable but the hard part is accomplished, why they left the wireless remote off the G9 I don't know, saw lots of laments).

OhToo came to the petting zone three different times tonight and, not wanting to tempt an inking episode, the slave offered three backrub sessions. I am definitely getting a case of prune-hand (and loving it). We have changed the rules a little and I will take my hand out of the tank when he goes to the live rock instead of execting him to put his arms in the cross-over tube (I wish I had taken a video of his fakes). I think he decided this was appropriate since he now knows I will not follow him. I wonder what tricks he will teach me next.
First Video with the remote

I tried shooting a some stills and video of OhToo coming to play using my new wired remote (wireless remote not available) . Since the aquarium is in a corner, just setting up the camera on a tripod is a bit daunting but here are my first results.

He is outgrowing his den and seems to be having trouble finding another suitable one. Last night he slept on the wall (Carol has mentioned that Oscar has done this from the beginning but OhToo has always slept in the LR). I scared him when I check the water temp this AM. He went ballistic and ran all over the tank lid as well as spewing a ton of ink. Stroking the glass seemed to get him calmed down enough to come to the side wall. He did not want to play too much tonight but did take his crab quite willingly.


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