Orange - O. briareus Teacher Kim's New Octopus!

Teacher Kim

GPO
Registered
Joined
Sep 7, 2012
Messages
173
OK, hopefully you are going to see the best pic I have of our new octopus. It is a lot bigger than I expected! Maybe I just don't know what a 1 1/2 inch mantle looks like!! Am really hoping it's not full grown and going to die soon, but we will see! I put it in the 50, but it looks like I may have to move it to a 125 or ???

Am really interested to see what opinions are as to identification and possible age. Diver Tom seemed pretty sure it was an O Briareus (sp).. Thanks!!
 

Teacher Kim

GPO
Registered
Joined
Sep 7, 2012
Messages
173
I thought I clicked on Journals when I wrote the above! Sorry! Will try and put the pic here!CONFIG]16678[/ATTACH
 

Attachments

  • conv_300672.jpg
    conv_300672.jpg
    3.8 MB · Views: 133

robyn

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
307
I am far from an octopus ID expert, but I think I would agree on O. briareus, based on the fairly extensive webbing visible in Pic 1, long arms and that slight greenish tinge around the arms in Pic 2.

On the first picture that mantle looks a bit funny - the constriction and bulge at the base looks abnormal to me - but maybe that's just a momentary thing the camera happened to catch?
 

DWhatley

Kraken
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,990
Definitely O. briareus. That lump look at the back of the mantle is puzzling. A couple of additional pictures would be helpful to see if it is an artifact from camera. The back of the mantle will start swelling when eggs are developing but this looks more like a lump than what I have noticed in my females.

I can't get a clear prospective on size. On my hand the first joint is close to an inch and 2" at the bend for the knuckle. The mantle is measured from just behind the eyes. If the perspective is not off, and your hands are similar to mine then I am guessing 1.75 - 2". A large briareus can have a mantle up to 5" but 3" - 4" is more what we see. Octos vary in size greatly so you can't tell much about age.

She will not grow extremely fast at this point but the never stop growing altogether. The 50 is going to be small for most and this species currently has the highest availability so I would suggest getting the larger tank up and running soon. :wink:
 

Teacher Kim

GPO
Registered
Joined
Sep 7, 2012
Messages
173
She made it through the night (I always worry.) and after slowly increasing light she is now sticking her tenticles out through holes in the pile of live rock she's under! Looks very healthy and active from what I can see. That bulge in the one pic is just something the camera happened to catch! Crazy!! I was trying to coax her out of the plastic bag. I decided to cut bag open and just let her leave it on her own.

Her arms are interesting. One is growing out from her mantle. Really cool for the kids to see! At least 2 others are long with what looks like tiny new growth towards the end. New growth is thin compared to rest of arm and about an inch or so long. At first I thought this meant it was a male, until I saw same thing on arms other than 3rd on right. So.... can we even tell if it's a male or female if that arm is damaged?

The tank I am going to move her to is a 125 that is already up and running. I would just need to relocate a few fish. Am also going to start looking for an even bigger tank. I have been looking at a really cool used 200, but it is taller than it is wide. Am wondering which is more important, height or length? Will put up another pic when I get a good one! Thanks!
 

DWhatley

Kraken
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,990
IMO, DON'T GET THE TALL TANK unless you are a glutton for punishment (not a problem for the octo). I have 3' tall and 4' tall tanks and cleaning them is the pits. When someone is looking at tanks I always recommend checking to see if you can reach the bottom as the tank will be set up (so in some cases this includes a hood height).

I am glad the lump is a camera artifact as it worried me a bit. I am wondering if it caught some of the biologics though. I will be glad when you make a good sex ID to see if there is something to the candling affect. Based on that thought I am guessing female but we have not seen this effect before so that is just an impression. The arm you want to observe is the third arm to the right clockwise as you position your eyes with the octopus'. None of the other arms (in all most all cases, there have been some odd exceptions) are going to tell you anything. Losing an arm does not change the biology and the hectocotylus will have a channel running the length of the arm (more easily seen in photos than with the naked eye). The tip will regrow without suckers and have a different tip but the biggest give away will be that the arm is usually carried rolled up. We named SueNami when she came with the third arm completely missing. As it grew back, it was clear we had a boy named Sue :biggrin2: Initially we conjectured that this arm was the most protected so the octo must be female, later we decided that he may have lost it in a mating attempt. All second guessing of course :roll:.

The regrowth of the arms should be a very good interest point for the kids, especially if you can get her to feed when they first come to class in the AM as you should ultimately be able to get her to reach for the food so you can see the arms thicken and catch up to the others. The octopuses that come from Tom are usually brought in from crabbers and this is stone crab season in the Keys. If you have eaten stone crab claws, you will note that they are quite strong and can intuitively understand why the octos are in arm regeneration all the time. Additionally, when you see this species hunt, it is clear that they lose their arm tips to anything hiding in the rock in addition to natural predation instigated by other animals.

She will take awhile to start coming out but live food will help (in addition to a regular feeding time). If you can get your hands on a live shrimp or two (bait shop is your only bet here I think. They should survive fairly well in the other tank and not be too hard to catch) you will likely get a nice show of the webbing and full body. If you will go to my YouTube channel (dwhatley_GA) and search for: shrimp, there are a couple of videos of this species attempting to or catching their shrimp dinner. This species seems to have very far sighted vision and does not see well close up so the shrimp allows them some hunting time in close quarters.
 

Teacher Kim

GPO
Registered
Joined
Sep 7, 2012
Messages
173
Oh cool! Thanks for comments! "D", you are so right about height of tank!!! I have one tank that is a pain already! Not sure what I was thinking! LOL!! Will keep looking! :smile: Am sure 125 will work at least for a bit! It's a really nice old fashioned long one. It's actually easier to clean than the 50!!

For now I will call it a she! She definitely has a spot she's using as a den. She sticks her arms out of it every once in awhile and feels around all over! So different from Ziggy! She took a thawed fiddler crab this morning, but later I watched her practically throw the whole thing out of her den! Too funny! Happened too fast to get video. About half hour later she took it back inside and I haven't seen it sinse. She is also moving sand out from her spot. She pushes it out through the lower holes in the liverock! The only other thing I saw was, while still in her plastic bag in bucket, she curled up all her arms in the same way and kind of shook them all at the same time. She kind of looked like a wind up toy vibrating up and down! I have no idea what that meant!!

As far as the lump on top of mantle, I haven't seen it since pic was taken. Actually, we never saw it at all until we looked at picture, so it happened pretty fast! No new pics yet, but have camera ready just in case!! :smile: Will check back in tomorrow! Thanks to all!
 

Top