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the perfect octopus

Apr 20, 2005
Is there any pygmy octopus that isn’t nocturnal and is interactive smart, and colorful? The chances of this are slim but if there are no species like that in pygmy terms what type of octopus would be best and what size tank do they need.

Hapalochlaena lunulata is day active and colorful. I would not consider them "smart" and while they are at times interactive, I doubt that you would want that kind of contact.

Seriously, I've collected probably 15 or so species of pygmy and the only one that completely meets your criteria is Octopus chierchiae from the Pacific coast of Central America and Mexico.

Octopus wolfi is not particularly colorful, although with its stubby arms, mottled brown or cream color and frequent unilateral color displays, I consider it an interesting beast. The sexual dimorphism in sucker morphology (males have fringed distal suckers) is also a curiosity. THey aren't exactly day active, but do forage and certainly mate during the day. I would not consider them very "interactive".

At a slightly larger size, Octopus aculeatus fits your criteria, but this animal is of a size that you would probably want at least a 40-50 gal tank.

If you don’t mind me asking ware can I get a Octopus Chierchiae and more importantly ware can I get some info on them it sounds like something that might be good for me. Also are they poisonous
O. chierchiae

This is a poor image that I took several years ago. The really neat thing about O. chierchiae is that they are iteroparus and do not die after brooding a clutch of eggs. This is a female that I had in the lab. She laid four clutches of eggs over several months. I would love to get them back into culture, so if anyone finds a collector who can provide them, please let me know.

Unfortunately, the last time I tried to collect them in Panama, I didn't find a single one. Hopefully there is some clean water somewhere in the eastern Pacific that still harbors a population of this beast.



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Thanks for the photo - she's a very handsome little octopus. What a plus that they don't die after laying one clutch of eggs. How long did she live in captivity?

I hope you find this species again.

Clownfish, don't think you'll be able to get this one anywhere!

Hi Roy,

I remember when you were on the hunt for them last time, I've certainly been hoping to see them but it hasn't happened.

Are they a large egg species?

I moved this thread to "exotics" because there is recent evidence that while Octopus chierchiae may be "perfect" in some ways, collectors may be devastating what could be a highly endangered wild population, so we don't want to encourage their collection by giving the impression of a major market for them. Of course, the thread is already in google (exotics isn't indexable by google because it's only visible to registered members) so this may be too little, too late.
my lfs says they can get octopus chierchae. i am not sure if it's true but they seem like they know what there talking about. they said they order them occasionally so if they when they get another i will take pics and post to see if it's true. if it is i could possibly ship them out. they said they can get one in this week but i don't know if i can care for it properly. are octopus chierchiae hard to take care of?
i really think they can get octopus chierchiae. i will order one tomorrow! i really do believe it is octopus chierchiae because they have a lot of connections and can get anything else i ask for. they can even get me snowflake clowns for my reef. the octo will most likely be in this week so cross your fingers and hope it's octopus chierchiae! i am going to set up a breeding system if it is octopus chierchiae and who knows maybe i'll be a supplier of them in the near future!!!!!
Try to make sure that it is not a Mimic or Wonderpus. Tell your LFS that they should let their supplier know that if the octopus they are getting is either of these two species they do not want them. A good question they can ask their supplier to have higher chances of not receiving a Mimic or Wonderpus is to confirm the collection area before ordering. O. Chierchiae will be collected in the southern part of Central America (typically Panama). Mimics or Wonderpus will come from the pacific/indo area.

You said in your previous post that you don't know if you can take care of it. If you feel like you are not ready for one it is better to pass a good opportunity than to kill the animal.

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