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Surprise! It's a Mimic!

Dec 6, 2009
Herndon, VA
I have been attempting to get a Wunderpus that was listed as a Mimic but with a photo of a Wunderpus in the stocklist but a photo on FB of what I was guessing was a Mimic... confused yet? :smile: In any case, I reached out to @Thales for confirmation as I have never seen either one in person and he confirmed that it is in fact a Mimic which is what I thought when I saw the FB photo but not when I saw the stock list photo... Confused yet? :smile:

Bottom line is I received a Mimic octopus today and it is currently acclimating in a bucket and I figured now is probably the best time to get photos of it if everything does well. I don't have a whole lot more to add at this point except that I think it's a female as I didn't see a hectocotylus. Only one arm seems to be damaged right now and the octopus seems to be very reactive and behaving normally (take this with a grain of salt as I don't have any experience with Mimics, just other octopuses commonly available in the hobby or grocery stores :wink:).

I welcome any advice you might have and I'll post updates as I progress with her (I think). Hopefully I can document as much as possible as I know the track record with these is not great, hoping I'll have plenty of time to study her and learn more about captive husbandry with these!

Love that you are back into keeping an octopus!

It looks like a couple of arm tips are missing so I would photo as often as I see her to be able to compare still images. After reading so many journals on arm chewing and the few experiences I have had, it is my opinion that it is often caused by irritation from a wound or infection and they are trying to remove dead tissue but the wound doesn't heal and the result is the removal of the whole arm. I have even wondered it they become confused as to which arm is causing irritation and mistakenly cause new damage to another.
So last night she was out quite a bit but still getting comfortable. I am a bit worried as when she relaxed once in the system she exhibited what I believe to be the dreaded corkscrew arms. That said, I did observe from afar for about 40 minutes (was hoping to get some footage of her hunting down a molly which she did slowly move for over the course of 40 minutes but then decided to not eat). I did give her an emerald crab and she gobbled that one up and is in hiding now this morning. When I flipped on room lights I could see where she had hidden herself and she was reactive. Hoping that she is not already senescent and that what I saw with the arms was just a factor of not being happy in the new system and adjusting to a couple of different water swings. Water quality tests are not showing where I want them to (doing a phosphate test today at work) as nitrates are on the high side of around 15 or so on a Hach test and am hopeful that this is not the cause of the issues (could be higher or lower, I'm terrible with the color shades tests). I only have one system running currently and that's my shark system so she is plumbed into that one but cannot see the sharks at all to stress her out. Took a bunch of photos and video but will wait until I get some better ones hopefully tonight to post again as I'm on my way to work now.
I hate this nervous time of acclimation. It doesn’t matter what the size of the octopus is, it’s so tough! You hope for any glimpse of behavior that will help you feel that they are ok, and the tiniest sign that something could possibly be wrong will put you into a sad funk that only healthy octopus behavior can relieve.
You are one lucky guy...She looks perfect! If I had a mimic I would place a smaller tank next to it and introduce all kinds of marine creatures to it and see if it would mimic the movement of any of them

WAIT, where are you working now? :geek:
Ha ha, left the museum so as I attempt to build up funding and support for a public aquarium I am working at a local store with a good friend (he did most of the stuff at MACNA in DC through his service company) and hockey buddy. He has some connections that I'd like to get to know as well, lots of philanthropy driven folks with deep pockets. :smile:
Well, went downstairs and at around 10PM she was out and about. Dropped a crab in there and she grabbed it and ate it, hasn't finished downloading yet but I'll get that up here. Her arms look great tonight so it was just acclimation stress I believe. Took a ton of photos but many were blurry, not so easy to take good photographs with a DSLR through somewhat dirty glass and water filled with microbubbles with an animal that has so many patterns it is impossible to focus in on. Anyway, here's a few photos.
And here's the video of the pounce.

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