[Octopus]: This is Fred - A. Aculeatus

Susan Grosskopf

Feb 8, 2014
charlotte nc
My new octopus came today and at first I wondered if O. briareus is found in the Pacific. As I was acclimating him to the tank he was very active. Arm to mantle ratio is about 4:1 or 5:1 and there are no rings around his eyes or suckers. When I let him free he went right for the live rock and after a while attached himself to the glass in the back of the tank just like Gus used to and he was an abdopus. I went and bought some small hermit crabs and let them loose close to him. He did not shy away. I will try to feed him some shrimp tonight.
O. briareus is not found in the Pacific (US West Coast or Indonesia). Most of the animals from LA are from Indonesia but they occasionally have Caribbean animals (Not US West Coast though) and it would not be all that unusual for a mix-up. Abdopus sp are usually quickly distinguishable from O. briareus but the nocturnal Callistoctopus aspilosomatis can sometimes present looks very much like briareus (see this image of Beldar). All three have long arms.

Watch for pronounced horns over the eyes for Abdopus. Typical colors will be a tan and dark brown. Sucker tips will be purple WHEN a color is displayed (sucker tips do not always display a color but it appears that when a color is displayed, it is a single color for the species - albeit many species display the same color, purple-blue is common, orange seems to be common for some cold water animals).

Callistoctopus aspilosomatis will become very nocturnal very quickly. It can display a very, very red with white spots when upset (you might only see this the first week, it is not often displayed) but is more typically a dull reddish brown with smooth skin (See Puddles journal for typical looks).

Octopus briareus will typically display white but can show peach and occasionally dark brown (but not usually the whole body - see my favorite photo of Kalypso). I have never noted a sucker ring color but have not payed close enough attention to make an absolute color call :oops:. You will often seen fluorescent green speckles and dark brown around the eyes when unhappy (see Gallery picture of SueNami)

A couple of photos should help figure out the species.
I am going to call this little guy Fred for friendly. He is very curious about me and the dogs and will wrap his arms about my fingers. He has made a large snail shell his home and his eyes are always popping up to watch me. It is so funny that we prepare these great tanks with dens here and there and they pick a shell to live in! I have not been able to get any great pics because he rarely shows his whole body. Once in a while he will be on the glass and when I get the camera he is gone. When I put my hand in the tank and he meets me with his arms he tries to drag me to him but instead ends up dragging his shell to me. Funny.
I have not witnesses any extreme color changes, light beige to dark beige. Also, no extreme skin texture changes. Once in a while very slight horns over his eyes, nothing more.
I have given up on the dwarf that I got back in July. I don't know what happened but I think I would have seen him by now.

So, now this is Fred's post.
Fred is continuing to do very well. He is a very enthusiastic eater and will come out and grab the shrimp or silversides fish I offer him. I still have not been able to get any good pics of him but I won't give up. I always have a good supply of small hermit crabs for him to snack on and the empty shells litter the bottom of the tank around his snAil shell home.
I still would like to find a O. briareus though.
Thank you DWhatley for posting Fred's video.

Fred did the funniest thing last night when I fed him. He was in his snail shell and kind of not very interested in the silverside fish I was offering until the serpent starfish came over like a bat out of he--. Then Fred grabbed the silverside with a couple of arms and started to throw OUT about 8 hermit crab shells from his snail shell! Sometimes there will be a whole bunch of crab shells surrounding his home and then the next day there won't be any shells outside his homes. Does he decorate?:confused:
Fred has been keeping me guessing a lot lately. He has not eaten anything I have offered him for the last 3-4 days. He has been very active and looks great. The only thing I can think is that he is eating the crabs I keep in the tank. Has this happened before or am I way off?
There is another video on Facebook that is so cool. I tried to feed Fred tonight with a piece of silversides fish but he did not want it so I divided it up and gave it to the 2 serpent starfish. Then, you will see in the video he sneaks up on them and kind of attacks them. It completely surprised me and I am so glad to get it on tape!!
Can you put that video on here please, DWhatley? It is the battle video
Thank you so much DWhatley for importing my videos from Facebook. I owe you. Fred did eat some shrimp tonight! I have offered it in the last few days but he pushed it away. Oh well, picky, picky.
Octopuses can be that way. I try to offer something different at least once a week. I am out of crab claws ATM and Shelby is being finicky about his constant diet of shrimp. I gave him a tiny crawfish last night just to offer something different.

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