[Octopus]: Puddles - Callistoctopus aspilosomatis ?

DWhatley

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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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DWhatley

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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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corw314

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Awww....This has to be the hardest part of their experience with us for us....How long did you have him Di?
 

DWhatley

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Final Photo

Puddles did not make it through the day. I am not sure when he passed on as Neal saw him still on the glass this AM. I finally found him in the back by the Koralia (and expect that is why the tip of his right front arm is missing but that could be from predation).

When I pulled him he was completely white with a streak of red on the mantle. I have mentioned how hard they are to handle when they die and he slipped through my fingers when I was taking his final photo and dropped about 4 inches, mantle first. The effect was to instantly generate the color as you see it in the photo. Additional manipulation did not change the coloring and I don't know if it will hold through the formalin process.

I am so going to miss this one :cry:
 

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DWhatley

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Puddles Goes To School


Anyone following my journals might have noted that I preserve the octos I keep if they die in good physical condition. All have gone to young students for school or personal projects. My boss's 1st grader enjoys unusual animals (she named the food crickets but not the pet lizard she kept :biggrin2:) so I offered to send Puddles and he and his wife decided Allie might enjoy seeing an octopus even in a preserved state. Puddles toured the first grade and her brother shared him with the second so hopefully Puddles will plant an interest in the ocean somewhere in the mix.

 

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Tintenfisch

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D, nice that Puddles can still interact with (well, sort of) and inspire people even after passing. Just looked back through the whole journal - what a cool octo. Now that we have our own house, I suppose I should stop putting off converting the tank that we bought a few years ago with an eye to eventual octo-keeping... :roll:
 

DWhatley

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Puddles and his alter ego Beldar (female) were a pair of my favorites but now that I work during the day, their 3:00 AM play time is just not viable (I did eye the Live Aquaria offering that looked like it may be the same Macropus species but belayed any button pushing).

I wondered when you bought the house if a SW tank was part of the plan :biggrin2: (as I recall you decided that the mess/damage was not a good idea for an apartment). I wish you would look at the potential for a Gloomy as they seem like an interesting local species (may be too large though).
 

DWhatley

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Puddle Goes to School

Allie's middle school has started a small science lab and Puddles has become one of the first exhibits. Her mother sent the photos along with a note that having an octopus was a big hit.
 

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