[Octopus]: Puddles - Callistoctopus aspilosomatis ?

Puddles has been standoffish this last week and had not wanted to play or eat much. I have left her a couple of crabs that have disappeared and I see her hunting for something in the LR and particularly in the small crevice between the tank and the built-in sump (no used as a sump but part of the design of this tank). Likely she is hunting pods but I see them running around during her hunts and she pays them no attention. Tonight she was hungry for her shrimp and she has a way of telling me that is what she wants. When I put my hand in the tank to see if she wants to play she comes at my fingers in a very different way if she wants to be fed. If she finds no food in my fingers she stops touching and waits for me to go get her something. When I return she touches to check and when she finds the shrimp she will come to get it with her webbing in a cone. She takes the shrimp with her arms and moves it to the cone and then releases my hand. She never tries to grab or hold on to me in any way. She only makes this web cone when she will accept a shrimp. If I am offering food but she wants to play and she will ignore the offering and not come up to me until I take the food out of the tank. She will stay on the front glass, when she does not want to interact or eat, she retreats to the back wall or goes behind the LR. It is really so sad that these won't acclimate to daylight as both I have had in this complex have been delightful.
Puddles shyly touch my fingers tonight and then decided to play awhile. Not as long as before but she came to my hand, left (going almost to the other end of the tank) and then returned a couple of times before going to the LR so I am going to avoid taking photos again for awhile. Initially she did not want me to pet her but did want to touch my fingers then decided a little petting was in order and placed her mantle where I could lightly tickle her. She did not request food but this is her normal fast night (every other night, sometimes every third night) so I had not prepared anything for her. Every time she interacts, I wish there was a way to convert them to a daytime animal. Very few people will have the chance to experience this ever so gentle creature.
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A couple of photos of Puddles being a puddle and reminding me of a frog. Mantle color worries me about aging but he was uniformly brown after he woke up (the flash did that).


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dwhatley;151908 said:
A couple of photos of Puddles being a puddle and reminding me of a frog. Mantle color worries me about aging but he was uniformly brown after he work up (the flash did that).

So much for holding off taking photos :wink: Puddles really does look like a frog. The color you are reffering is that very light grey with a little drker motlling right? With Morpheus it almost looked like if touched the skin would slough off. I think that is in the back of my mind every time I see Ollie.
It it more the lack of color (spotchy look) that concerns me, added to the fact that he has not grown since January, and makes me think we are starting into the final adult phase. Impending death has a very grey look of dying flesh and I am not seeing this. I think Puddles is a male of the same species as Beldar. When I compare photos, This shot of Bel in March of 2009 and this one of Puddles I would not be able to say which is which. However, Bel's mantle was beginning to grow at this point and it noticably larger in both earlier and later pictures. I still have not been able to positively say that one arm has a specialized tip but this species has a habit of keeping their arms in constant motion so even knowing which arm to watch doesn't help much.
Puddles has been acting stand-offish and not showing hunger. I have been putting crabs in the tank and think he (still not sure either way on sex) eats them. For the last week he would play for only a minute or two or not at all. Tonight Neal gave him a crab claw that he had to be coaxed to take but did accept it and eat. We gave a lot of attention to Kooah afterwards. When I went back to Puddles tank and opened the top he started thrashing his arms near the surface and I was not sure what to make of it but as soon as my hand was in the water he was in my hand squiming to play his favorite squish though the hand game. He went into my hand and squished back out for more than 15 minutes. Sometimes he squishes back into my hand and sometimes he just comes to my fingers and I have to surround him and almost hold him (usually some part is still on the glass). Very funny and makes me hope we were going through one of those anti-social spells and not approaching senescence but if his skin is itchy, it could mean Puddles is a she and I will see a growing mantle soon :hmm:. It is the first time he has thrashed at the surface like that.
Puddles Video

Puddles is aging and getting picky about eating (refuses frozen shrimp altogether now and does not show much interest in food but does seem to eventually catch the crabs she ignores when I offer them by hand) but I was still surprised that there was still an octopus on the glass when Neal turned on the overhead light. Puddles was out the night before with the feeder tank lights on and I had set up the camera on a tripod to see if there was enough light but took advantage of the additional overhead light to shoot several minutes of her squeezing through my fingers. Once I turned the light off he (still not sure) was much more interactive but at least I did capture some of it on film.

:gigas:Audio Pulse of Life by Sinister Street from The Eve of Innocence album, Lead singer Olaf Blaauw
That is cool Legs ever squeezed through my hand like that she just holds my hand or crawls on it. Very Cool.

Are you worried puddles was out with the lights on? do you think it id a sign of brooding or just a fluke occurrence. maybe he is not nocturnal.
Puddles has never grown to any detectable extent and the change in behavior (she/he would always go to the dark when the lights came on in the past) suggests age related tolerance. I am leaning toward male in Puddles case even though I cannot detect any overt physical signs. He is smaller than Beldar by half (both would do the hand squeeze thing) and shows no signs of an enlarging mantle. Bel also tollerated light in the end (post brood and did not want to play) and I was able to take a few photos. Fortunately, there is no random motion yet and he did appear to be eating the crab he refused later in the evening so I am hoping for more time.

The upper left corner of the tank is our designated play area and he will curl up and sleep there most nights but by first morning light disappears into the LR. I have no clue where he hides in the daytime.
Puddles is a male

After 3+ months I can finally say Puddles is a male. He does not carry his hectocotylized arm curled but does curl the tip differently than the other arms. Close observation (and finally seeing him in a little bit of white light) shows the modified tip (ligula) of the third arm to the right (which is in itself hard to find because of the constant arm motion of this species). This is one of the short arms of the species and I think it is the shortest of the eight. I am not sure whether this means the species is not particularly cannibalistic or if it guarantees nutrition for the female. Both my female and my male were/are extremely passive animals in the aquarium.

The photos are hand held and the one that would best show the ligula is out of focus but if you look carefully you can see one tip that is held at a bend rather than curled in a loop. The last one shows the difference the best and you can almost tell that the tip is blunt and not a fine point like the other arms.

He was out with the under stair lights on and stayed out when I turned on the overhead lights again tonight but was not happy with the flash (but still did not retreat) and his color is very dull (he has never shown the bright red of Beldar). This combined with his lack of interest in food and lack of growth since arrival make me I think we are entering senescence. Males tend to be more interactive a this time so I am hoping that he will continue to interact and will be with me for a few more months.

He also did an odd thing tonight. There is a cowrie in his tank that has been there for months (I don't remember for sure but I think it was there before he was introduced) and he has never paid any attention to it. Tonight it was on the front glass and Neal noticed he kept going over to it and touching it. I kept an eye on the process for several hours since one member reported that cowries can slim a tank badly if they feel threatened. Eventually the cowrie moved on and once off the front glass, Puddles ignored it but I will check again later tonight.


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Nearing the End

I mentioned that Puddles did not run for cover when Neal turned on the light the other night which suggests he is tollerating light and approaching the end of his life. Today, he stayed out all day in the light and looks very grey and weak. He did go to the back of the tank sometime tonight but I fear he may not be alive in the morning. These are such sweet personalitied octos that it is a shame they are so very nocturnal.

He was out in his normal spot tonight but had no energy to play. He did not leave when I offered my hand but did not want to be petted (covered his mantle when I touched it). He seemed to accept me gentle stroking his suckers (did not recoil and put his arms in the palm of my hand). He has never been this lethargic .


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