• Welcome to TONMO, the premier cephalopod interest community, and birthplace of #WorldOctopusDay and #CephalopodAwarenessDays. Founded in 2000, we are a large community of experts, hobbyists and enthusiasts, some of whom come together when we host our biennial conference. To join in on the fun, sign up. You can also become a Supporter for just $50/year to remove all ads and enjoy other perks. Follow us on Twitter for more cephy goodness.

[Octopus]: Pablo - O. Hummelincki First time First Octo

DWhatley

Kraken
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,973
Pet sitters are definitely a must with octopuses. Hopefully she will be able to spend 1/2 an hour or so in front of the tank for a couple of those days.
 

KA&KA

Cuttlefish
Registered
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
26
It looks like Pablo has started brooding. I have been on an extended trip to Florida, but Kathy (The other KA), was back last Friday and noted that he behaved fed normally until Wednesday. Wednesday he entered the birdhouse and sat with an eye peering out and one of his arms covering the rest of the opening. 3 days later, today, I get home and this behavior is persisting. I tried presenting him with a piece of shrimp and he almost politely put out an arm and pushed it away both times I tried. There was a good deal of force behind the shove, like he was plenty familiar with what it was and deliberate about refusing it.

Backing up a little, around the 2nd week of November, he did a similar thing, spending all a day in the house peering out with one eye. In the evening he did come out for food and the following days he returned to normal behavior and resting places. The photo I included here is actually from this event. He looks exactly the same today, although his house is turned sideways to give him a little more cover, and so you can't get as good a photo. I was suspicious the first time and after he left the house I did look for eggs, there were not any. I was and am still thinking he grew a little in the time we have had him so I was really hoping he was more or less at the beginning of his adulthood.
upload_2014-12-6_12-28-39.png


Kathy said that sometimes he would pull a shell in front of the opening and he did this for me as well too. He reaches for a rock or a shell and does the best he can to cover up the opening. So I covered up the front of his tank with a towel to give more privacy. As much as he likes the bird box I think he would appreciate more rocks to give it a little more shelter.

How much of a chance is there that Pablo has viable eggs??? I suspect he has been in captivity at least a couple months. There is lots of room inside the house to lay eggs but unless I push him aside I won't be able to see them. I know from D's Maya journal that I may be able to confirm that they had been there at a later time. This story, especially the seasonality, is playing out similarly.

I was disappointed (even though I had been getting updates) not be greeted by Pablo dancing all over the glass. The last part of my trip was the Florida panhandle, St. Marks and Apalachacola and St. Joseph Bay, so I came back with live fiddlers and shrimp and I was really looking forward to giving them to him. Oh well, we can still hope for baby octopi. If this were to happen I would like to offer offspring to anyone within range and is interested in trying to raise some because I am not confident in our experience and resources.

Incidentally, on this trip I visited the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab in Panacea. What a wonderland of touch tanks! In fact everything was touchable if you are discrete. It is the most assessable, non traditional, aquarium I have ever visited. The only thing keeping you from touching pretty much anything were signs giving a green or a red light and I would say a third to half the pools had the green light. There were 3 very friendly O. vulgaris in one tank and and where ever I approached the edge they clamored for attention, sometimes fighting each other off.

Anyhow, the lab is actively collecting both the common and the dwarf species but their clients are limited to research. Still its good to know these species are available here. I may try my own collecting trip next summer. But I will definitely need a larger tank for a vulgaris, I did not realize how big they can be!
 

DWhatley

Kraken
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,973
Estimated time of viable sperm (in general) is somewhere between 3 and 4 months but so many statements are species specific, it is not clear what it would be for O. hummelincki. Sadly, O. hummelincki is a small egg species and there have been VERY few success raising ANY small egg octopuses past more than a couple of weeks. A couple of days post hatch is about all you can expect but we never discourage trying. There is no conventional wisdom except to warn you that they will not survive so enjoy having the opportunity to see what they look like should you have the opportunity to see hatchlings.

Anyone who has kept O. vulgaris will likely call it a favorite. Little Bit (the only one I have been fortunate enough to keep) was feisty and small (for a vulgaris - not all that small for a home tank octopus). It is good to know that O. vulgaris is currently being collected in the FL Gulf. The last reports we have had suggested the oil spill might have either killed them off or forced them to move further south.

Shiitake (O. briareus) has been moving rock work and building a nest. She is still eating a little if I leave a crab claw near her den but is very antisocial. We have had her since she was quite young so her eggs will not be fertile.
 

KA&KA

Cuttlefish
Registered
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
26
We finally lost Pabla this weekend. After sitting tight in her house for about 50 days she came out, very pale in color and weekly moved about the tank. It was very sad to watch and she lasted several hours that way. As soon as she stopped moving I scooped her out and put her in a bag and placed her in the freezer. I seriously considered doing that sooner. It seemed as if she was giving herself up to whatever snapper was hanging out nearby.

I still have the body if anyone is interested, though she is nothing like she was in her prime.

During the month and a half she brooded she did come out occasionally to rearrange rocks. She could almost always see out of her den and would make eye contact with us. Then she would reach an arm out and move some things around and to pull something up closer to the opening. We never saw any evidence of eggs. We could not really see up inside the bird house without complete disturbing her and shining a flashlight up inside.

It was a fantastic experience, however, Everyone in our household was taken with her and we'll miss her.

She won't be our last cephlapod for sure. But I have another project to explore in the meantime. That is indoor shrimp farming. I have been talking to people about it including a guy in Indiana who has been doing it a number of years and I am really fascinated with the closed system and the biofloc process. Not just to have a source of food for cephs but to feed people better quality shrimp that have not been produced in ocean polluting farms.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
Messages
4,936
I'm interested in Pabla - I'll be teaching a marine biology course in February to Kindergarten and preschoolers. I'm in Pennsylvania too - I would pay for shipping, of course.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,973
Saddened to see her go. Do keep us informed on the shrimp project and the viability of raising enough to supplement/supply food for an octopus.
 

KA&KA

Cuttlefish
Registered
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
26
I'm interested in Pabla - I'll be teaching a marine biology course in February to Kindergarten and preschoolers. I'm in Pennsylvania too - I would pay for shipping, of course.
That will really put her to good use! How should I send her? packed with some dry ice or would you want me to use formalin if I can get some?
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
Messages
4,936
NO formalin! I would like the kids to be able to touch her and use some of the octopus ink to write their names. I will find out tomorrow how many kids are signed up for the class.
 

KA&KA

Cuttlefish
Registered
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
26
I figured formalin might be a problem but you can switch it over to alcohol and store it after its fixed but there will always be some formalin in the vapors and in handling. I live in Bellefonte, about 3 hours away. We plan to be in Pittsburg some time later this spring so if you want to save it for a future class then we can plan to deliver it frozen and packed in ice in a few months. I believe I can get dry ice at the PSU Creamery if we mail her.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
20,873
Messages
206,837
Members
8,473
Latest member
Conor Henry

Monty Awards

TONMOCON IV (2011): Terri
TONMOCON V (2013): Jean
TONMOCON VI (2015): Taollan
TONMOCON VII (2018): ekocak


Top