Pics and movie of octopus embryo and hatchling!


Dec 2, 2002
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It's an "eggsciting" day in Maryland!!

For those of you keeping score at home, Suzanne and I brought home a new octopus about a month ago, and though it was labeled "Bali Octopus" at the LFS, we were convinced it was a young bimac.

Then it laid eggs.

Small ones.

about 500 of `em.

OK, it's not a bimac.

Upon closer inspection, it ain't a `latus either.

Hmmm. In fact, we're still not sure what it is. Except a Mom.

OK! So, what would any sane couple do in such a situation? We have no idea, because we aren't a sane couple. Laughing in the face of certain failure, we're trying to rear these small eggs! (cue slightly silly but dramatic music)

Longtime fans and cephlist converts may remember my Octopus Egg Journal from 1999. Well, here we go again, only this time, I'm married to a card carrying, cephalopod loving, marine biologist. I carry a card too, but it's the Joker.

Anyhoo, So we started up the food chain in the World Conglomerate Headquarters in Maryland. As of this morning, barring accidents, we've got several gallons of Greenwater and rotifers, with calanoids, harpacticoids and shrimp larvae in production and mysids on the way. All our vessels are already heavily infested with amphipod larvae.

I modified a 20 tall into experimental plankton tank with a swirling current to house the octo babies and their soup of plankton. It may be a clone of a Kreisel design, but I'm not sure. I saw a swirling tank housing comb jellies at the zoo and shamelessly copied it.

Last time I had octo eggs, I didn't own a digital camera, but for this adventure, we have a USB digital microscope to immortalize the adventure with! So here, for your enjoyment, are a couple of the photos we've taken so far.


This one shows two squirts after one week of development. Can't see much yet! At this point, it's just Yolk, Eyespots and some jelly.

A week later though, he's actually starting to look like an octopus! You can see a lot! Eyes, Chromatophores, internal organs, arms, and a much smaller yolk.


For those who aren't familiar with what they're looking at, we had the graphic arts department of our World Conglomerate Headquarters label some of the anatomy in this photo:


Finally, we have two movies- one of the little guy you see above doing cute little octopus-in-an-egg stuff such as pulsing his chromatophores at us, squirming around a little, and you can even make out the teeny-weeny heart beating)

videos of egg and newborn.

The other movie is our first hatchling! He's under two millimeters long and in that movie, he only traveled about 6 inches total. I held the microscope body up to the glass while Suzanne piloted the software and the little squirt cooperated by jetting in a straight line right up against the glass just long enough to get this movie. See the two white things he bangs into along the way? Those are amphipod larvae! He ran right into them and didn't even bother to leave a note! The nerve!

The crusty white streak is a salt stain on the outside of the tank. There's a capillary leak in the plastic rim of the tank that I haven't been able to seal properly yet.

But anyway, there you go, we had to share the eggcitement! I hope you enjoyed the first installment of our little adventure!


Jim and Suzanne

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