Tom & Jerry play leapfrog?


Blue Ring
May 13, 2003
i've been watching the oddest thing for the last hour or so.

tom & jerry, my two bimacs have been playing their version of leapfrog. tom, the bigger of the two zooms across the tank and jumps on jerry's head. the first time i saw this i thought he was going to eat him. but, then he hops off and sits a foot away. then, 5 minutes later, jerry did it to tom! this has happened about a dozen times until something startled them and they ran to their little holes to hide.

has anybody seen this before? they're just babies so i assume this isn't any kind of mating behavior. it doesn't appear to be agression. do they play with each other this way?

its really kinda funny to watch. i wish they were a bit bigger so i could capture it on camera for all of you.
Honestly there probably just sizing each other up. I used to have an anglerfish in the same tank as one of my bimacs for weeks. I thought they were getting along and that when the Bimac would grab the angler by the rear fins and get dragged across the tank by the fish that it was just being cute….. Until one day about six weeks latter it ripped the head off the angler. Now think about this an angler/frog fish is a fairly blocky animal so just how much force did that octo exert on this fish to essentially rip it in half?
Pretty sobering assessment, stits! Maybe they were pals, and then the anglerfish crossed the line at some point... but maybe not...

I do know that octopuses in general have been known to cannibalize, so this is a real possibility... Definitely keep us posted on how they interact -- I'm very interested in following this. Thanks!
i think there's going to be a big difference in behavior toward a fish and toward another octopus.

i've been talking to a friend who's bimac had babies some time ago. he has a very large tank with several babies in it and he told me he's seen similar behavior. even though they had ample space to stay away from each other, several of them would get together on one end of the tank and "play leapfrog" once or twice a week and then go back to their respective caves. he told me this stopped when they were about 8-9 months old, leading us to believe they may actually have been playing.

sadly it appears stits' forecast was correct.

I think last night Tom ate Jerry!

Jerry's missing and Tom has been munching on something under his webbing for about 8-10 hours and I didn't feed them yesterday.

This time I know Jerry can't be hiding since I removed the rocks with the tiny holes and all they have now are big caves so I can always find them when I have to.

I'll let you know if he reappears, but given how large Tom got since yesterday, i'd say this is it.

poor little Jerry.
Ah, that's a shame. Jerry was Bob II, correct?

I'm sorry that happened. At least your tank is now "stable" and you can concentrate on keeping Tom happy.
Sorry that the little guy became a meal. The only successful octo cohabitation that I know about was two different species together.

Tony is right, now you can make a good home for your remaining octo.

actually, jerry was the smaller of the two, he was originally Bob I. I'm going to stick with Bob. Long live Bob II. :smile:

it's official, i found little Bob I 's body tonight. Bob II ate him.
it seems that way. now Bob II spends a lot more time out in the open. This morning when the lights came on he was already on the front glass roaming around.
It seems fairly common that you can't keep octis together. One species that you can is the NZ Midget Octopus (Octopus warringa) we typically keep 2 or 3 to a tank (have had up to 8 ) but they do fight and set up a dominance heirarchy based on size and appear to fight for choice den sites. Perke could tell you heaps more about this as it was the subject of her dissertation last year, she got fantastic video footage on a time lapse camera, BUT the octi's never killed each other.

In comparison the larger Octi (Pinnoctopus cordiformis) always kills a conspecific in the same tank, usually the bigger strangles the smaller.



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