[Octopus]: Steven Hawking - callistoctopus dierythraeus


May 19, 2016
Brisbane, Australia
Hey octo lovers :smile: just dropping a quick intro and letting you see where I'm at!

After a few months of waiting for someone to be able to source me one, I finally got my first octopus!

I've been told he is a callistoctopus dierythraeus.

He has only been in my tank for two days, I didn't see him much yesterday, which really is to be expected, I know where he's hiding, he's apparently trying to blend in with the sand bed, I'm hoping he comes out again soon, the first night I had him after a long acclimation, I'd had the lid on the bucket off just watching him and he had a bit of a freak out (fair enough) the roof lights in my room were pretty bright, and he was under a lot of stress, I've since been told he had been in the bucket for three days prior to delivery, it was a pretty small bucket, I imagine he felt like I did on a long haul flight.

So after acclimation and he had his panic, I got him in the tank and he straight away hid, again, fully expected, happy days.

I scaled my lights off pretty fast (was low power in the first place but wanted them fully off so he could just get used to his surroundings and stretch his legs.

Full black and I was sitting on my bed and he comes out of the rocks and sits in the corner closest to me, against the glass and watches, completely "unprotected" from me. Then he had a swim around a bit, and came back and sat "with me"

We sat like that for around an hour, eventually I got my hand and placed a finger about 20cm away from him and slowly moved it closer so he could see that there was something between us.

I had to get up super early for work the next day so I bid him good night and went to sleep, couldn't see him when I got up, left lights low for the day, really fretted about him while I was at work, got home And set about seeing if I could locate him, it took me a while, thankfully I know my tank rather well so finding things a bit out of place is rather easy for me! So, I found him in the corner behind rocks down the bottom looking like a mix of rock and sand, I say and watched for a good few minutes waiting for confirmation and then he moved an arm and I could see the suckers, good sand blending!

I ended up naming him Steven hawking for obvious reasons! He was hiding in the same spot today when I got up for work, didn't see him last night out in the open again, I'm looking forward to him coming out from time to time in the future!

I added some sand crabs for him to eat, live ones and there is plenty of clean up crew in there for him to eat when he's less stressed.


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:welcome: Pretty little guy. Sadly (hopefully) you won't see his bright red with white dots often as those are, as you mentioned, his freaking out colors.

As you have noticed, this one will be a nocturnal species. If you can acquire a red light, you can leave it on for night viewing without disturbing him (lousy for photography but it can be bright enough to clearly see him).
Ohhh that's good news! I was starting to worry because he was just his nice white color and I was thinking THOSE were his stressed colors :hmm:

He's apparently got his "spot" for now at least, I check on him by peering into the darkness :roll: I do see him breathing and occasionally an arm will move like he's adjusting himself, likely due to my leering!

I'll have to order some reds and hope I can catch him out and about soon :smile:
The white is his natural "sand" camo (they also become a grayish white in senescence but since he colored so strongly in the bucket, I suspect this is not a current worry). He should turn a brown (often a slightly reddish brown vs a dark chocolate color if it is anything like the smaller relatives I have kept) but the color will be hard to qualify because of the lighting (either too dark to see or because of the red I recommend).

If you title search, Callistoctopus aspilosomatis (use macropus for earlier animals), in the Journals you can read a little about our experiences with a related species. The animal you have appears more robust but related (many of the Macropus complex became Callistoctopus). Hopefully, the personality will be similar as I found Puddles and Beldar to be quite human interactive (albeit at 3:00 AM). A note of warning though, I have found that all the octos I have kept appear to be "friendly" for the first month or so, become recluse after they are fully acclimated and then may or may not interact afterward.
Funny timing for a reply as I was driving to work this morning I was thinking I should update!

I'd added some small crabs for him to eat, which are now happy as clams in the tank and alive and well, mr hawking has however developed a penchant for snails, so I'll be doing a bulk order of those so he stays happy!

I've been seeing him a bit more lately which is nice! I take photos for my LFS and they gave me some little red LED lights with a remote, the first night I used them it was something like a kraken, tentacles shot out of the rocks and it was insanely cool to watch!

He then realized that I could see him so he stayed fairly hidden after that and I moved to my chair and he changed vantage points to keep and eye on me

Yesterday when I got home from work he had tentacles wrapped over his eyes and appeared to be sleeping in an extremely visable spot, I stayed quiet incase I woke him and just watched him for ages! Then I went to buy more RAM and he swapped spots entirely, again to somewhere I could still see him, and this morning when I got up for work as I was walking past the tank I got him again!

He did flash some colors this morning which was cool to see too! Hopefully he's warming up to me, ignore my crappy iPhone pics and my dirty glass!


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What a beautiful octopus! The mantle spots are particularly interesting as they seem to be the center of a larger lighter spot. I can see the same on parts of the web but less distinctly. It makes me wonder if they are like Wunderpus photogenicus and Thaumoctopus mimicus (and zebras :biggrin2:) in the aspect that each animal has an individual, fixed pattern that can identify it.

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