SueNami - O. briareus

DWhatley

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Then I won't worry about her thinking about brooding (Conanny was much bigger if my memory serves correctly :old:)! I half want her to brood if she has mated but that would mean a max of only 3 months more with her and I would like much more time. If I get more time, though, the eggs won't be fertile. :yinyang:
 

DWhatley

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tsunami

Perhaps her name was not such a good choice :hmm:. I have been lax about keeping the camera at the ready and wish I had had it in the breakfast room when SueNami decided that she wanted the zip tie in addition to her shrimp. We have been lacing the tie through heat vent holes in the top and placing a shrimp at the end to try to coax her out into the open a little more. She has begrudginly been finding the shrimp (she really does not appear to be able to see much at all at close range and flails her arms searching for the hanging shrimp). This week she decided to be insistent about taking the tie as well. There are two large (heavy) pieces of LR that make up the major substrate on this side of the tank and she lifted both of them, completely disrupting the left side of the tank. It took her awhile to decide to go to the other side while I repaired the damage. She did allow me to touch her gently while she was roaming the collapse side. However, she has reverted to being shy again so we have taken a backward half step. We do see her coming to the front of the LR to watch us at supper so I think it is a temporary setback (there was no ink through the tsunami and reconstruction).
 

DWhatley

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SueNami came out tonight around 11:00 PM with the room and tank lights out and stayed out (red lights on one half) for at least half an hour. She explored both sides of her tank like it was a new world (she seemed to know the behind the rocks area well but was exploring curiously the rest of the tank (not in hunting posture) and came to the front to checkout my fingers placed on the outside of the tank. Since she was staying so active (by far the most activity we have seen) I decided to offer my fingers inside the tank. She came over to the corner and would not quite touch but was intrested and did not flee (for anyone who has not read my other journals, my method of learning/teaching petting interaction requires the octopus to come to my hand in a designated area and to develop a signal that says hands out of the tank). She seemed to be able to see my hand and I am thinking that part of her farsightedness may be caused by the room lighting (not particularly bright) or the tank lighting (only 35 watts). We do notice that she does not open her eyes more than a slight slit at feeding time and I will try turning off half the lighting at supper tomorrow. We are once again encouraged that she will become more social!
 

DWhatley

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Octo on Ice

I mentioned in an earlier post that we had been feeding SueNami using a zip tie through a vent hole in the lid and that she decided she wanted the tie badly enough to cause a major rock sift in her tank. Since then we have been feeding by hand. I use a collection of straws in Beldar's tank and attach a feeding stick once Bel decides she wants the shrimp AND the stick (photos on Bel's thread). I decided this might be a good idea for SueNami since a floating object gives her no solid purchase. Neal remembered a plastic ice cube I bought for Trapper (who along with Octane ignored it) so I dug it up and we attached the zip tie and offered her second piece of shrimp on it this evening. She ignored it until we left the room. When I returned I found her on the wall with her web lumped up in a square. It took her over an hour but she eventually removed the zip tie from the cube and then released both of them but the shrimp was gone and the rocks were the way I last placed them :wink:

I have also posted a video of her working on the removing the zip tie.
 

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DWhatley

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Thanks Sharon (glad to see you again - been awhile).
She is a strange one though. Everytime I think we are getting somewhere with socialization, she goes back to being recluse. She played with the cube again today and ignored the shrimp at the other end until Neal poked it at her. She did not manage to get the zip tie off today but did not work on it as long, possibly because I put in an additional distraction. I missed whatever she did with it but I have a floating worm feeder (basically a funnel looking strainer that sits in a floating ring) I tossed in the tank with her second piece of shrimp. She ignored it while I watched her but once I left and returned it was empty.

She was roaming the tank tonight at Bel's play/feeding time (11:30 - 12:30) and thought about coming up front to see me but did not quite get there. I went back to Bel's tank and when I checked in on Sue, she had gone to bed. Maybe tomorrow night ...

There is one thing I wanted to record that is unusual about the briareus or at least different than the hummelincki, macropus and mercs I have kept. She can swivel her head or at least the eye section. We have seen her do this several times and the body stays in place but both eyes rotate together. I don't know if this is a known trait for some octos or unusual to the briareus. Unforunately, I am afraid I will never get it on film.
 

DWhatley

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A boy Named Sue

During the intoduction of SueNami, I mentioned that the third right arm was missing all the way down to the webbing. In subsequent posts, I recorded that the arms are growing back. I would estimate one arm is over 3" but the interesting arm is kept very tightly curled, is not used and looks shorter even though the third and fourth arms were truncated to about the same length. He has been very recluse and until recently, we have not had much chance to see him, let alone view the new arms.

Fortunately, SueNami is FINALLY becoming somewhat social and the progress is coming in leaps with only minor backward steps. He has stayed out and been active for longer periods and we finally got a good look at the new arms and have decided on the new gender reference - YEAH!!! This will mean I don't get to attempt briareus young this time but happily will have more time with SueNami.

I believe the reason SueNami has been extra recluse is associated with the two missing arms more than a shy personality. He still does not come to be touched but is showing interest and seems to understand the signal for "hands out of the tank" (going through the tube to the other side) that we have been using. If he continues the progress of the last few days, he should be coming for octo-pets within the next two weeks (gauging from other species when they start showing an interest in a hand in the tank).

I am uploading a video of our floating shrimp feeder (worm feeding basket glued to the floatation ring). The shrimp have disappeared from this basket since we started using it but, until today, we have not seen him approach it. Unfortunately, I missed the shot of Pesky (the orange brittle) attempting to capture the prize and falling on top of SueNami (who is no longer even a little concerned with the brittles antics). I have to admit that this brittle has added a lot of entertainment to the tank while SueNami has been recluse.
 

DWhatley

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More fun with plastic ice cubes

SueNami still does not come to play but he thinks about it several times a week. He has learned feeding time and has started to come out and cross over to the right side before dinner is served.

We have continued to use the plastic floating "ice cube" with zip tie to feed him shrimp and today he played with the cube again for an hour or so. When I say play, it is more like, "finders keepers" as he covets the thing and sort of floats around on it (without letting go of the rock) for an hour or so and finally tires of it and releases both the cube and the tie (he does eat the shrimp somewhere in there). He does not seem to be interested in it when the cube is not baited.

Video of him "catching" the cube.
 

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DWhatley

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SueNami is staying out more and more (I hope it is not the heat and I am adding iced bottles to his sump during the day). He has been in the habit of making an appearance between 6 and 7 (human and octo supper time) but has been out and somewhat active starting around 5:00 PM for the last two days. He continues to come out at again about 11:30 but now stays up late and I sometimes notice him swimming about at 3:00 AM.

I still believe there is something not right about his sight. He detects movement roughly a foot away but can't find his food when it is closer to his mantle. He chemically detects the shrimp and starts blindly searching with his arms until he makes contact with either the plastic cube, the zip tie or the shrimp. Now, even if he finds the shrimp first, he captures the cube under his webbing and seems to use it like a float. Eventually he follows the tie down to the food and sits with his plastic ice cube while he eats. Once he finishes his meal, he slowly allows the cube to rise to the surface in a controlled release. This has become a nightly behavior and I have never seen the cube simply released and allowed to jet to the surface.

SueNami is still very skiddish but will come to the side I have designated the play area if I put my hand in the tank and wait when I see him out swimming (but not when he is in his den). Usually he comes close, searches in a blind arm waving, touches and then "runs" away to the other half of the tank (no, ink and almost child like). At night (with the lights out in the room as well as in the tank) he is more likely stay on my side for a longer period. Tonight he brushed my hand with his mantle (first time) but did not stay for petting. I am not sure he was aware of the contact until his arms found my finger but he danced around my hand for longer than usual. He is slowly returning more and retreating less but he has been much slower to accept interaction than either hummelincki or the macropus. I am thinking that the missing arms are only part of the shyness and that impaired sight may also be having a major impact.
 

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