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Surprise! It's a Mimic!

Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
276
Hi Dave,
I haven't seen the shell-chewing/dissolving thing you mentioned, sorry. I fed mine mostly live grass shrimp and the occasional hermit crab. They typically went for the grass shrimps immediately by enveloping them in the web. It's beautiful behavior - the whole body goes transparent and the mantle become extremely elongate and narrow, presumably to minimise the shadowing over the prey as the web comes over. As soon as the shrimp would tail-flip into the web the octopus would immediately flash its dark stripes. It was very cool to watch.
The other question you asked was about their vision - is this in relation to your animal's lack of interest in the confined crab? My impression is that their eyesight is comparable to any other species', but I also recall that most successful crab-in-jar trainings involve smearing the entire outer jar surface with fish or shrimp paste, which encourages exploration and often leads to incidental lid opening, and the animal learns the task by continued exploration driven by olfactory and not visual cues. I don't doubt the animal can see into the jar, but I suspect the correct combination of cues to prompt exploration are not there.
Hmmm... I will have to try this with a lid although I'm a bit averse to smearing it with anything that will pollute my already kind of dirty water.

On a side note, did you ever attempt to trigger mimicking behaviors by showing photos of different predators?
 

robyn

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
307
Your biofilter should be easily capable of handling some food smear if it's handling the octopus itself, I would guess.

I did not try to evoke any mimicking behavior, no. I'd be surprised to see much response to still images of predators.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
276
Your biofilter should be easily capable of handling some food smear if it's handling the octopus itself, I would guess.

I did not try to evoke any mimicking behavior, no. I'd be surprised to see much response to still images of predators.
My octo tank is actually hooked up to a shark system so it's already a pretty high nutrient load tank. I can barely keep factors in check but they aren't horrible as I feed my sharks every other or every 3rd day only, they are just really messy. I see a phosphate spike a day or two after I feed but have a ton of GFO on the system to remedy this.

Ever try anything with a mirror in the tank?
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
276
So for the past 2 nights I have let her hunt what is in the tank. She has continued to eat snails at a snails pace (sorry, had to do it, it's now the bad pun that can't be unsaid) and I found a cerith and nassarius in addition to a couple more ninja star astreas in her "den" which I have not seen her in since her second day with me. Tonight I gave her some more crabs and decided to see just how hungry she was as the peppermint shrimp and a single emerald crab I gave her are still there but the crab in the plastic jar is finally, after a week or so, gone (I opened it up and left it in there).

I was a bit shocked to see the behavior I saw tonight as I've never seen this before in my years of octopus keeping. Typically when I have fed it essentially goes like this - put a few crustaceans in or offer a single piece of food and the octopus grabs it and then settles in to eat, ignoring whatever else is around it. Tonight was exactly the opposite with her - I dumped 4 fiddler crabs in at the same time and they landed near or on her. She proceeded to grab 3 of the 4 and wrestle with them, seemingly injecting toxins into them one at a time to subdue them and then ended up grabbing the 4th one about 10 minutes later. The video is not yet uploaded but I took a lot of photos after filming and they are.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
276
Sorry, didn't realize that my phone started filming vertically instead of horizontally. I bet there's an app to turn the video 90° but I also bet that I don't know what it is. Anyone know of one that will turn it without degrading the quality? I wonder if I can even do that in Google itself.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,991
I have had a number of peppermint shrimp do just fine in octo tanks BUT the oddity is, no matter how many I have put in, ONLY one survives and the others are eaten. I am not sure if they kill each other and then the octo eats them or one gets an assigned territory too close to the octopus.
 
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