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Raising Octopus Hatchlings Links


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Sep 4, 2006
Cape Coral, FL
I did a non-exhaustive search for journals that contained either extensive reporting or significant references on rearing young.

EDIT: Additional articles included below the initial list.

Performance of raw material thermal treatment on formulated feeds for common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) ongrowing 2015 (science direct subscription)
Here is the food formula
22 % gelatine
10 % egg yolk
10 % Boops boops Species of seabream Boops boops - Wikipedia eat crustaceans
5 % Todarodes sagittatus - Species of squid Ommastrephidae - Wikipedia
5 % Carcinus mediterraneus - Species of crab
2 % fish oil,
3 % glucose
3 % starch
40 % water

Marine gammarids (Crustacea: Amphipoda): a new live prey to culture Octopus maya hatchlings 2012 (PDF)

Basis for Stock Enhancement of Lithodes santolla in Argentina
Gustavo A. Lovrich and Federico Tapella 2006 (PDF)

Decapod crab zoeae as food for rearing cephalopod paralarvae 1994 (pdf). Of interest was the use of hermit crab larvae.

Decapod crab zoeae as food for rearing cephalopod paralarvae
Roger Villanueva 1994 (PDF)

Outside Articles:

The Octopus Project: Raising Octopus bimaculoides Hatchlings in Captivity
Andrew Tran and Alex Duman FishChannel.com February 29, 2016

Drum and Croaker Volume 43 Jan 2012 Raising Baby Octopuses Roland C. Anderson and James B. Wood

Commercial Octopus Farming in Sisal - nontechnical article about farming O. Maya in the Yucatan

Rearing of Octopus vulgaris paralarvae: Present status,
bottlenecks and trends - 2006

Culture of Octopus(Octopus vulgaris, Cuvier)Present knowledge, Problems and Perspecitve

Rearing and Growth of the Octopus Robsonella fontaniana (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae) From Planktonic Hatchlings to Benthic Juveniles Iker Uriarte1,2,*, Jorge Hernández1,2,**, Jessica Dörner1, Kurt Paschke1,2, Ana Farías1,2, Enzo Crovetto3,{dagger} and Carlos Rosas4 - Abstract, paper available for $15 for one day access.

Robsonella fontaniana Larviculture: Ontogenic Changes of the Morphology and Digestive Enzymes. 2009 full PDF comparing different foods for raising pelagic hatchling octopuses.

Amino acid composition of early stages of cephalopods and effect of amino acid dietary treatments on Octopus vulgaris paralarvae R. Villanuevaa,*, J. Ribaa, C. Ruı´z-Capillasb,A.V. Gonza´leza, M. Baetaa - 2004 pdf from www.sciencedirect.com

Biology of the Planktonic Stages of Benthic Octopuses,R. Villanueva and M.D. Norman
Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, Volume 46
- Google Books reference. Abstract and 3 pages of the introduction available

On Aging: Octopuses are intelligent, but not a smart choice for a pet STEVEN AUSTAD 2013 Perhaps a strange title to put here but most of what he mentions is valid and life span is a definite consideration when choosing a pet.

Laboratory Growth, Reproduction and Lifespan of the Pacific Pygmy Octopus, Octopus digueti
Randal H. DeRusha, John W. Forsythe, Roger T. Hanlon - PDF available of 1987 study

Small Egg Octopuses
Posted Links to journals not in Raising Octopus from Eggs:

@-flighty- A. aculeatus - 2010

Sedna - A.aculeatus - 2008

Redoc Aculeatus hatchlings

Octavarium - I'm Loaded with Babies

Redoc - A. Aculeatus Eggs / Babies


Large Egg Octopuses

Post Links not in Raising Octopus from Eggs:

dwhatley - Kooah's Hatchlings - O.briareus - 2010

gholland - O.mercatoris - Tank Bred - 2009

azreefguy - Dwarf hatchings - 2008

dwhatley - O.mercatoris - Tank Bred - 2008

gholland - O.mercatoris - 2008

Joefish - O. Briareus partially success - 2008

ZyanSilver - O.bimaculoides - tank set up description - 2007
Zyan Silver - O.bimaculoides - An Octopus SuccessTropical Fish Magazine 2007

dwhatley - O. mercatoris- 2007

Lev - O. mercatoris - 2007



SkyDiveMcBain - Ceph eggs are hatching that I found Diving!!! - 2007
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You totally rock for organizing these into one place. I have read these before, but later when I try to find the info again I can't remember who posted what. Thanks for cutting down on the goose chase!:rainbow
Research Abstracts

A closed marine culture system for rearing Octopus joubini and other large-egged benthic octopods

Rearing of Octopus vulgaris paralarvae: Present status, bottlenecks and trends Published Feb 2007
Several other research groups have reached the benthic phase (Itami et al., 1963; Villanueva, 1995;Iglesias et al., 2002, 2004; Carrasco et al., 2003, 2005)with very different culture conditions and systems. They had in common the use of live shrimp or crab zoeae (P. serrifer, M. brachydactyla, and P. prideaux) alone, or as a complement food together with Artemia. The biochemical composition of these crustaceans is characterised by a high phospholipid content, lack of
triglycerides and high percentage of PUFA (n-3), specifically DHA (Navarro and Villanueva, 2000)
which may be very important during early development due the high demand for membrane synthesis in rapidly growing larvae (Henderson and Sargent, 1985). These characteristics seem to explain the lipid requirements of octopus, and suggest shrimp and crab zoeas to be very valuable during the first period of paralarval feeding on live feed. Consequently, a diet made up of enriched Artemia and shrimps or selected crabs zoeae is currently the most appropriate to achieve better survival and growth indexes to reach the benthic phase. This methodology enabled the completion of the
octopus life cycle under culture conditions, and yielded juveniles that reached the adult stage and spawned in captivity (Iglesias et al., 2004; Carrasco et al., 2005).

Amino acid composition of early stages of cephalopods and effect of amino acid dietary treatments on Octopus vulgaris paralarvae Published Apr 2004
Present results confirm the positive capacity for amino acid uptake from seawater by early stages of cephalopods. In the three species analysed, radiolabelled phenylalanine was incorporated in inverse relation to body size. After 10 days of culture, O. vulgaris paralarvae showed a tendency to increase the levels of total and free amino acids in the groups receiving a daily amino acids solution. At 20 days of age, the O. vulgaris cultures that received the amino acids solution had survivals that on average were three times that of the control group. However, the supposed beneficial effects of the amino acids solution remained unclear
More Articles and Abstracts

Full Article: 1955 observations of Octopus Maorum laying and brooding eggs at the Portobello Aquarium

Abstract: Respiration rates in late eggs and early hatchlings of the common octopus, Octopus vulgaris.
Note: High oxygen consumption for both the eggs and the hatching young.

Full Article: Breeding season of Octopus vulgaris .
Note: The sperm viability of 104 days.

Note: No help with brood in an aquarium but good article about brooding deep sea females observed from Alvin (SOS is referenced several times).
If these factors interact in the same way at temperatures typical of the deep sea—that is, if no compensating mechanism accelerates development at low temperatures—the 25-mm-long eggs of Graneledone are calculated to require almost 4 years to develop at ambient temperatures of near 2°C

Oceanography and Marine Biology An Annual Review Volume 46 Partial Book contents: http://books.google.com/books?id=h2B...ctopus&f=false
Note: This is one Cuttlegirl found and is part of a google book review so not everything is available but there is a lot of good content about food and hatching under lab conditions of Octopus Vulgaris (small egg). The book is, unfortunately very expensive ($145-$175) and is not dedicated to this topic.

Full PDF: Embryonic development in Octopus aegina Gray, 1849 CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 91, NO. 8, 25 OCTOBER 2006 Boby Ignatius1 and M. Srinivasan2.
Note: Reference found by OB. Nice written description of the daily development of this small egg species along with black and white photographs. No help for raising them though as all hatchling died after 5 days.
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First Food Article Freshwater, Saltwater, Brine shrimp compartive

Marine gammarids (Crustacea: Amphipoda): a new live prey to culture Octopus maya hatchlings 29 APR 2012

Abstract - PDF only by subscription

The effects of feeding two alternative live prey Hyalella azteca (freshwater gammarids) and Hyale media (marine gammarids) to Octopus maya hatchlings were compared with feeding adult Artemia sp., traditionally used during the first weeks of the life cycle. Hatchlings were fed ad libitum these three live preys during the first 15 days, and a paste elaborated with fresh squid and shrimp during the next 15 days when hatchling can be fed prepared diets. Weight (g) and specific growth rates (% day−1) were determined every 15 days. Octopus maya hatchlings fed with marine gammarids grew larger (6.9 ± 0.2% day−1) compared with hatchlings fed Artemia sp. or freshwater gammarids (4.8 ± 0.2% and 5.0 ± 0.3% day−1 respectively). Survival was also higher (92.2 ± 6.8%) for hatchlings fed marine gammarids, than for those fed Artemia sp. (74.5 ± 23.8%) or freshwater gammarids (41.2 ± 21.2%). The content of acylglycerides, cholesterol and proteins in O. maya fed marine gammarids suggested a better nutrient assimilation by the hatchlings. Also, polyunsaturated fatty acids levels (EPA and DHA) were more abundant in marine gammarids, possibly contributing to the higher growth rates observed. This is the first study revealing a successful use of marine gammarids as alternative prey for octopus hatchlings culture.
Older video with good descriptions of the initial stages of O. vulgaris hatchlings. Unfortunately, they promote using brine shrimp but fail to actually mention that none of the paralarvae survived to benthic (benthic images are in the open ocean).

Improving nutrition of brine shrimp - sadly nothing specifically available but noteworthy for the potential

Fixation of bioactive compounds to the cuticle of Artemia
David Talens-Perales, Julia Marín-Navarro, Diego Garrido, Eduardo Almansa, Julio Polain 2017 (ScienceDirect subscription)

Artemia is extensively used in aquaculture to feed early stages of cultured marine species. A problem associated with this practice is that Artemia fails to supply some essential nutrients. As a possible solution, we have devised a procedure to make Artemia a vehicle for exogenous nutrients and other bioactive compounds. It consists of the construction of chimeric proteins composed of a chitin-binding domain, which binds to the cuticle of Artemia, and a carrier domain that conveys a functional property. As confirmatory examples, we describe the successful fixation to Artemia's metanauplii of two hybrid proteins: a β-galactosidase from the thermophilic bacterium Thermotoga maritima and the jellyfish green fluorescent protein (GFP), both linked to the CBM2 chitin-binding domain from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus. Positive results of experiments carried out ex vivo and in vivo show the validity of this approach. The methodology used could become a general procedure for the attachment of different kinds of bioactive compounds, such as enzymes, hormones, antibiotics, etc., to the cuticle of Artemia as well as otherarthropods.
I have joined a Google+ private group, Cephalopod Aquaculture Research Lab, studying growing octopuses for commercial use in Japan. The primary scientist for the project, Drifloon Che has been kind enough to answer some of my inquiries as to success and feeding and I am passing on his summary from last years brood. Note his comments about raising on live vs frozen.

n regards, to live feeds, we're mainly looking at amphipods and mysids, which we recently discovered can be easily shoveled and sieved out of the sands at the local beaches here provided it isn't too cold. The mysids in particular were plentiful at the transition between the sand and a rocky shoreline. Not sure if anything like this exists in the states though (I presume it does somewhere if a related species exists, try genus Archaeomysis). Hand feeding these critters to our babies last year proved successful, although we had already been keeping the babies for a couple weeks on a mix of chopped up dead whelks, mussel, and crab meat prior to the discovery by the Prof. from a local source. The dead feeds kept them alive long enough for us to establish a supply of live animals, but we found none of these feeds could sustain juveniles for sustained periods (probably two months max, with most not getting to that age). As these juveniles had already become acclimated to being fed, we just did as we always did even after switching to live food. Still, the response was definitely much stronger with live prey, and the struggling definitely provoked much more active feeding among juveniles. This year we're thinking about just releasing the 'pods into the enclosures with the octopuses, and putting some sand in to encourage the critters to stay at the bottom. Not sure if the octopuses will like the sand, but there have been reports that juveniles of other species do burrow in the sand, which would allow them to encounter the prey, unlike in the previous cases we had with pelagic mysids. Might also try polychaetes from a local tidal flat since there was a group that had success with O.bimaculoides attacking those. The tidal flat polychaetes are small, so probably suitable.
Just a note on the small egged octopuses, we did make another attempt at culturing them this year, but got nothing useful out of our efforts. I made some attempts hand feeding some juveniles with large mysids, which they accepted on occasion. Problem there is that there was simply no way I could be around enough to feed them effectively, even spending hours with them and trying to feed at least three times a day. Probably really stressed the paralarvae as well. Keeping live mysids with the paralarvae did not help as the paralarvae had extreme difficulty catching them. Also did some work with amphipods, which failed despite a promising start. We observed that some paralarvae were capable of catching and feeding on amphipods, which was confirmed by expansion of stomach and crop, after being initially raised on a very limited crab zoeae supply, but for some reason by the experiment's end the juveniles were refusing to feed on the amphipods. We suspect that bacteria carried in the amphipods may have gotten to the paralarvae. We only got slightly over two weeks this year, despite reducing the paralarvae we included in our experiments to improve the available feed per paralarva. Certainly seems that zoeae are important as the paralarvae were always seemingly full when with the zoeae, but seemed hungry the day they exhausted our stock as judged through stomach content, despite some other foods being available. Still looking into production methods...
My most urgent question is should I move the eggs to a breeding area?
There are 5 other aquarium fish in the tank.

My pigmy octopus, It was sold as a brown pacific octopus.
It is very small, 8 inch arms, the body is the size of half my thumb.
In just hid away for 5 days and we discovered it under a rock with eggs hanging down from the rock.

What should I do?
There are 5 other aquarium fish in the tank.
Should i move the eggs to a separate breeding cage?
How long before the eggs hatch, if they do?
What kind of food?
What preparations should I make?
Is the female still alive? If so keep her with the eggs as she will care for them until they hatch. If you can remove the fish or isolate the mother and eggs in the tank, I would recommend that over trying to move the eggs. If you do move the eggs, use the water from the existing tank and try to minimize any changes to the environment. I would suggest not doing water changes while the eggs are brooding.

Roughly how large are the eggs? Rice or grape seed in size?
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