Oscars Journal


Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 20, 2002
Meet Oscar...He arrived by Fedex about 2 hours ago as a replacement from saltwaterfish.com. I acclimated, but secured the top after Ickily's journey around my room, 1/2 hour went by, went to check on him so I cut the wire tie, opened the bag and here's this octopus intent on climbing out of the bag. He would have no part of going back in so I ended up picking him up by hand and putting him in the tank. He sat for a while in the open, and now is sitting under a piece of rock eating a crab. They said he's a Caribbean Reef octopus, whatever that means. I'm thinking he may be a dwarf but Mercatis? Seems to be doing very well so far, so keeping fingers crossed!
Oscar has eye spots so I don't think Vulgaris. We just returned home and he was plastered on the front of the critter keeper that has crabs in it. Then crawled back to his den trying to disguise himself I think as a snail. He's very cute and only as big as a golf ball curled up. The pictures are not as clear as I'd like as I do not want to freak him with the flash. Isn't he adorable? I'm so happy!!! I've been octoless for too long. And he's acting very normal for a healthy octo so I really have hope!
Ah, sorry... didn't see those in the first pics. Did you mean to say "I'm thinking he may be a dwarf but not Mercatoris?" How many dwarfs are there from the Caribbean besides mercatoris and joubini?
Beautiful! I would be interested to hear what your new octo turns out to be - how big is he currently? - Oops just seen your reference to size!

Good luck with the new octo, hope to hear more soon
Welcome to Oscar!

A Caribbean Reef Octopus is another name for O. briareus. But, of course, it could be just any species.

Looking forward to more photos!

When Ickily died within 24 hours I emailed them asking if there were chemicals used in collection. They replied an owner was going overseas to check out the facility? But Oscar was identified as a Caribbean two spot octopus, so I'm not sure.
:welcome: Oscar. Hummelincki is usually the only species named as 2-spot in the Western North Atlantic, but he looks different :hmm:
monty;121838 said:
:welcome: Oscar. Hummelincki is usually the only species named as 2-spot in the Western North Atlantic, but he looks different :hmm:

Ah, but looking different doesn't mean much when you're talking about octopuses.

Considering the supplier and the origin... I say hummelincki.
He's very curious. We just got home and he was positioned under the critter pen eating a hermit crab. Did some tank pacing/swimming and now is perched on the red piece of lava rock. And we think we are observing him....how silly are we? So I agree with hummelincki also called the bumblebee two spot carabbean octopus. Is this a dwarf species?
Today, I had not seen Oscar since last night. Looked all over the tank with a flashlight, no sign, so I checked for wet trails outside of the tank, nothing. Went to work, upon arriving back home first thing I checked is Oscars tank. There he is perched on the giant green mega block. At first I thought nothing of it, but he came off and right over to the front of the tank, by the water line and sat there looking at me. I went and got a crab, which he took from my hand and then proceeded to climb down the front glass, over to my fake plant, scaled the plant and went back inside the green lego. He’s now inside with the crab dangling out, eating the crab. This is a first. In all the octopuses I have had the pleasure to experience in my home, none of them has ever thought to make this lego a den! Funny thing is with the weight of the crab, he does not float at the surface like he did. And he's discovered the baby keys work very well as a door.
Sorry so late in posting but the first picture pretty well IDed him as Hummelincki. One of the traits that is obvious and more consistent than the eyespot (you will see it a lot though and in different hues) is that set of brown stripes that run most of the actual head and through the eye and is visible in your second photo (actually visible most of the time but not always solid and not always dark). All the other photos show phases I have often seen and are in Octane's journal. Unfortunatley, that purple spikey look that makes him look small and cute (shown at the beginning of Octane's journal and left side post #4) is rarely seen now. I have no idea why, I still see minute by minute color changes just not the purple spikey.

When he swims, Tane's body size is as big as a large briareus but the arms are only about 1.5 times the mantle (he seems to be the largest of this species posted). He can stretch out an arm to about 18" (judging from my 2' deep tank). I have my fingers crossed for Oscar as I worry, based solely on the death rate from that supplier, that they may be using something like dish soap (not illegal) to catch them. Judging from the way Octane was caught and the way the one I saw in the wild reacted after it became accustom to me, it is not necessary to use anything to sedate them.

As for the possible propensity to escape, I am more inclined to think it is curiosity or a need for swimming space. Octane only seems interested in the top of the tank when he is getting human attention, particularly MY attention. After his two journies to the tile floor, he seems to be more inclined to see if I will catch him trying than actually wanting out. We have agreed that he can venture out of the water at the back of the tank without restraint (the top is split 2/3 - 1/3 and the back stays closed so there is no chance of leaving the tank). He will put up an arm over the tank on the restricted side but immediately withdraw it if I just touch the top of his arm (unlike previously where he would really try to escape and keep trying with multiple arms). Once "caught in the act" he will often go to the back and climb "out" of the water but not leave the area where we are "playing". The back has a pipe that he can crawl on (DIY overflow) and that seems to satisfy him (at least for the time being) for his short foray out of the water. So, I guess my answer to your thought is that yes they have to be watched very carefully with the tank lid open but no, I do not worry about Octane trying to squeeze through a tiny opening or even if the cover is down but not latched. I have not seen him squeeze through any particularly small places at all. He will slide behind things that require him to flatten a bit but he does not seem to ooze anywhere. I have wondered if he is as malable as some of the others.

Good thinking on the camera flash. Octane does not like the camera and I have stopped taking most flash pictures of him to try to make him more comfortable when it is present. I am almost sure it is the flash that makes him unhappy (sometimes he will sit still and stop playing or go behind his live rock when he sees the camera). Octane is definitely diurnal but I notice that his eyes are usually barely visible with my current lighting. It is rare that I see them as open as in your first picture so I suspect they are (or at least Octane is) light sensitive.

The more time I take with Octane, the more he seems to want attention. I always "play" with him after supper until he decides to stop and he expects this contact time nightly. My son said he was flashing behind my back tonight just as supper was finished but when I turned around to look at him, he stopped flashing and came to the front corner of the tank. If someone comes over at a different time, he will put on a petting show with little encouragement. Strangely enough, I generally do not feed him so food is not a factor. He is so used to me now that he will come up and squeeze (not a tight squeeze, just a gentle full touch) through my hand and allow touching the tops of his arms (strangely touching the mantle was the first thing that was accepted, the arms the last) as well as tickling his suction cups.

Sorry for the long post :rainbow: Can you tell I am enthusiastic? :wink: