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Pygmy Octopus
Oct 15, 2005
I was able to use all of the tips you guys gave me to coax my hitchhiker octopus out of hiding. I used a translucent red drinking glass on top of my Maglite flash light to look into the holes in the liverock. Then I took a cube of frozen food and, using my trusty turkeybaster, put the food near the opening I thought it was hiding in. As soon as I got the food in, I saw that it was already out and on the glass. Very exciting! I was able to get some good pics this time. I am going to try to attatch what I have now. Feel free to let me know what you think it is.


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I am going to go waaaaay out on a limb here (not being professional, I have nothing but pride to loose). Based on the patterning shown in the lower right picture,the center arm positioned up and between the eyes, the lack of webbing, the slenderness of the arms after the mid point, the lack of an enlarged sucker on the first three arms, and the roundness and fullness of the mantle I am going to suggest that she is a Mercatoris and is probably creating eggs. There is a good chance she has mated but either way, if my conclusion is correct, she will be very hungry at this stage. Then she will pick a den (she may try several) and not come out (if she moves, she probably has not yet started releasing the eggs). You are likely to see her start to stack all the small shells in the tank in front of her chosen brooding ground (If you can get your hands on a set of the large purple and white barnacles and place them so you can see the insides, this is ideal). Be sure you provide lots of snail, small conch and/or clam shells (nickel to quarter sized) for her to gather. She will likely use the shells as doors and may pull them into her den as well. Her food demands will start to decline. Trapper ate live initially but once she fertalized her eggs (female octopuses store the sperm after mating and don't fertalize until they release the eggs in their den), would only take freshly killed and blew away anything that might threaten the eggs.

You might review my Journal "Trapper is Finally Here" to see if your octo follows a similar pattern. Please keep posting your/her progress on a single thread so that all of us can follow the adventure and others can use it as a future reference.
It crossed my mind last night the you did not specify WHICH frozen food you had used to coax out your octo and putting thoughts together late at night (well, early AM) it occured to me to be sure you are NOT using brine shrimp. As long as you are using marine food and she is eating it, all is good but please do not try to sustain her on brine. Dwarf seahorses are about the only marine animals that do well with these. Steve O'Shay has found them particularly problematic for squid as has James Wood (www.Cephbase.com) for baby octopuses. There is very little nutrition in them and the enrichments are like trying to live on vitamins. Especially if your little girl is creating eggs, she needs real food to sustain her but even if I am misguessing, brine is not acceptable food.
There are many foods you can use, in addition to small live crabs. Since your octopus has accepted frozen, you could try pieces of thawed frozen shrimp (the same kind we eat) or krill.


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