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We've got eggs!


Blue Ring
Jan 4, 2003
Penelope, our bimac, has laid eggs.

The first point I should make is that I'm not sure she's really a bimac. We special ordered her from someone who said that they could get the correct species, but she has never had visible eyespots. Her mantle is about 1.5 inches long, and legs stretch 4-5 inches. She's most active morning and evening, but isn't afraid of the light.

We've had her about 2 months. Is there any chance that the eggs are fertile? They hang in chains from the roof of her cave. There are probably 40-50 eggs in each chain, and 10-20 chains of eggs. All are bright white now. The eggs are 1-2mm long each.

When we disturbed her cave, she briefly wandered the tank and actually accepted a piece of shrimp, which she took back to her eggs to eat!
Wow! That's a great picture! Almost looks like something may be forming inside the eggs!! I think I remember Octo's being able to store sperm packets, so maybe they are fertile. I'm sure the experts here will have lots to say!!!

Congratulations! Definitely look forward to learning how this unfolds -- keep us posted!

FYI all, I recently added the webcam for Penelope to the Ceph Web Directory, in the WebCams category.

Penelope is very cute. Although, she seems a bit small to be a bimac if she is mature enough to lay eggs but her legs are only 4-5 inches. Tralfaz (my bimac) now has a tentacle span of around 18".

Considering that and the lack of a visible eyespot maybe she is another species (I'm sure Colin would have a better idea of which species). The pictures from your webcam are GREAT. I like the idea of having a small light on the tank at night, I may have to try that. I'm wondering what type of webcam you have because your pictures seem to be much higher quality then the ones from mine??? (Mine is several years old - I'm jealous :goofysca: )

Anyway, good luck with the eggs and please keep us updated as to their (and Penelope's) progress.

Congrats :thumbsup:
hey nice pic you got.I think carol is right i do see something in the eggs(or could it be reflection).Well if the eggs are fertile.Good luck when they hatch.hopefully you will manage to get a few adults.
I was wondering.Is it possible to keep two tank raised octos from the same batch together?
The webcam pictures are pretty good because I'm not using just a "webcam" camera. It's a high-quality video camera that we don't use all that often for video projects, so we've had it on the tank the last couple of months.

We have a dim red light on the tank from mid-evening through about 1am. That way we can see what she's up to without really disturbing her.

I'll probably give her another week, then lift the rock that makes the top of her cave once more to snap some closeups of the eggs so that I can figure out if they're fertile or not. Reading this week, then worry about procuring larval foods next week if it looks like the eggs are going to make it. It is tempting to try to raise them...

Hi mark

If you can send me some pics of her I'll try to ID her :smile:

However, she definetly isn't a bimac and I can tell from the size of the eggs. They are too small. If they are only 1-2mm long each then they are classed as being a small egg species as opposed to a bimaculoides which is a large egg species.

The large egg species can be raised in captivity and has been done by home aquarists. But small egg species are an entirely different kettle of cephalopod because the when the eggs hatch the paralarvae will be plantonic and very difficult indeed to raise and feed. There's nothing stopping you from having a go at it but it wont be easy. Good luck with it! :smile:

have a look at this thread

TONMO Cephalopod Community


i just seen the pics of her from the webcam link that i missed teh 1st time round :oops: :bugout:

Anyway, she looks like one of the 'horridus' octopuses and there are a few longarms to choose from. Myself and Jason have both had a few between us but positive ID is tricky.
Hello Invazn,

Octopuses need to mate, but the female can store sperm for a long time. So this is why some owners find their octopuses laying eggs, even though another octopus has never been present in the tank.

closer look at the eggs

Yesterday we exposed the eggs again to get a closer look. I'm still not sure if they are fertile or not. The white specs from the first photo I published I'm pretty sure are just reflections of my camera flash, as the eggs are shiny. But some of them now show brown specks, which may be signs of development.


Here's a pic of Penelope below her egg mass. I'd guess that there are about 24 chains of eggs. Each chain hangs about 2 cm, and contains about 100 eggs (16 eggs long and about 6 surrounding the central thread). That makes about 2,400 eggs, each about 1mm long.


The second pic is a closeup of some of the eggs. Here I think it's pretty obvious that the white spots aren't inside the eggs. I'm not certain that the brown spots are, as they could be algae/dirt/muck on the outside. It's not visible on all of the eggs, but where it is visible, is usually towards the center of the egg mass. FYI, the eggs are about 14 days old here.

So I haven't found any useful articles on the net on raising small-egg octopus. Any recommendations on journals/articles to look for when I make it to a university library to do more research?

Week 3

We just checked on the eggs again. It's week 3, approximately 21 days since they were laid.


There are definately eyespots on the eggs. Most of them are fertile. The yolk now takes up only about 1/3 of the egg sac.



Those are some fantastically clear pictures!!!!! Amazing to see the babies!!!

Any idea when they may hatch? Do the babies eat baby brine shrimp? Maybe you could start cultivating some.

feeding octo larvae

So we're considering trying to raise the young. But not by culturing lots of live food. I've got a plan for collecting wild plankton. I live in Boston, on the Atlantic. While we're not actually on the water, I'm a 20 minute drive from the ocean.

My idea is to get some plankton nets that will select the size we need, and visit the beach a couple of times a week. Collect a bucket full of plankton, and bring it home and hopefully keep it alive for 3-4 days until the next collecting trip.

I used to raise brine shrimp outside in the summer, and plan on using a similar setup to keep the plankton alive. A large tub sitting in the sun, with some potting soil on the bottom and mostly filled with saltwater. I'll visit some local fish stores and see if I can get some samples of hair algae (fortunately, none of my tanks are infested these days) to start growing in there too.

I'm thinking that I need to collect food items that are about 1/4 the size of the larvae. Does this make sense? That means I'll start with a 250um net. I'm still figuring this out, though I've got to start assembling the parts, as I've probably got 2 weeks before hatching.


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