Wunderpus Photogenicus ?

tonmo

Cthulhu
Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 30, 2000
Messages
10,478
thanks for sharing this! It's a terrible condition by all accounts. I hope your octo finds peace soon.
 

dleo4590

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
89
The Mimic is not dead yet. My boyfriend found him out in the back on the glass wall of the 125 gallon. He has just one arm but has begun to eat that as well. After he started moving around the bottom of the tank we did offer him small hermit crabs, but he was not interested and went under the live rock. I took a pic and short video clip for research purposes as it's not something I like to share especially when an animal does it to itself. Warning: the following images are graphic and disturbing please view at your own discretion.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1164.MOV
    42.6 MB · Views: 5
  • IMG_1163.jpg
    IMG_1163.jpg
    25.5 KB · Views: 11

sedna

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
1,393
I’m sorry for your situation. I’ve just gone through that earlier this month with an octopus who was in senescence. Is there a possibility that is what is going on here? Unfortunately, if that is the case there is no way to stop it...
 

dleo4590

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
89
I’m sorry for your situation. I’ve just gone through that earlier this month with an octopus who was in senescence. Is there a possibility that is what is going on here? Unfortunately, if that is the case there is no way to stop it...
Unfortunately I cannot answer with accuracy but since the day we brought it home it began to do this. I don't know how long it was in the shop before we went and purchased it but they posted about it like the evening before on Facebook and we were there the next morning. I think they had just gotten it in but from what we observed it didn't move around much at the shop and I noticed the tip of one of it's one arms was missing. Didn't think anything of it until later when I noticed another so then I started to panic and it's hard watching an animal do that to itself and I have no way of helping it. One note I do have regarding all of this is during acclimating it we noticed a dramatic difference it was moving around and changing color and pattern. We both thought that was good news but that's where the good news stops. It was interesting to see it move around with only part of one arm though. It has no issues but it's very morbid looking and I feel bad even watching because I feel so helpless.
 

sedna

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
1,393
Unfortunately I cannot answer with accuracy but since the day we brought it home it began to do this. I don't know how long it was in the shop before we went and purchased it but they posted about it like the evening before on Facebook and we were there the next morning. I think they had just gotten it in but from what we observed it didn't move around much and I noticed the tip of one of it's one arms was missing. Didn't think anything of it until later when I noticed another so then I started to panic and it's hard watching an animal do that to itself and I have no way of helping it. One note I do have regarding all of this is during acclimating it we noticed a dramatic difference it was moving around and changing color and pattern. We both thought that was good news but that's where the good news stops. It was interesting to see it move around with only part of one arm though. Has no issues but it's very morbid looking and I feel bad even watching becuase I feel so helpless.
Boy, do I know that feeling of helplessness! It’s excruciating. I wish there were something I could do or say to make it easier for you. Most likely, there is absolutely nothing you did to cause this – it sounds like issues had started before you got it.
 

dleo4590

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
89
Boy, do I know that feeling of helplessness! It’s excruciating. I wish there were something I could do or say to make it easier for you. Most likely, there is absolutely nothing you did to cause this – it sounds like issues had started before you got it.
Thanks for your kind words. We believe so too and I mean they were calling it a Zebra octopus at that. Although this was a different shop than the one I posted about regarding the "Giant Florida Octopus." We don't know what ended up happening to that one. It was there for over a month and I didn't ask the last time we were there, it most likely died and we have not gone back since.

So with this other shop, I don't know if during their ordering they saw it and were like, "hey I think I can make some money of this," and decided to sell it or what because they don't normally have them. In fact it wasn't until after we shared with them about ours that they wanted us to go to Reef-a-palooza with Hank.
 

pkilian

Wonderpus
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
190
EDIT: I realized I am a bit late to this discussion. There's never a bad time to talk about research however! This is in response to @dleo4590 's post of the Bundelmann Autophagy paper earlier in the thread.

This is a pretty cool paper, but I do have some problems with it. Lets go over it together and see what we can learn.

1st: One of the main arguments that Budelmann makes is that (and I paraphrase from page 105) 'because a small, established, and previously healthy population of animals started to eat their arms when a large new population that was experiencing autophagy was added to the system, this shows that autophagy is an infectious agent' I don't agree that he can make this claim, because he never actually identified what the infectious agent actually is.

- Say that the new population that was added to the system was infected with a known octopus disease (lets say some sort of bacteria for sake of argument). This bacteria will infect the water when the new animals are added, and then will infect the older, previously healthy population. These animals which are now infected with some sort of bacteria become stressed out, and begin eating their arms. This form of autophagy is not directly caused by the bacteria, but rather a side-effect of the infection.​
- Additonally, Budelmann notes that the rate of infection of autophagy decreases when enhanced filtration is applied to the system, claiming that increased skimming rate and a quarantine procedure for new animals were most successful (p. 107). It is known that these sorts of preventative measures reduce infection in marine systems. What is not known, is what the specific infectious agent is, and, if the agent directly causes autophagy, or if autophagy is merely the animals response to infection (this is the biggest point that I think Bundelmann missed).​
2nd: The second argument Bundelmann makes is that hunger and stress do not cause autophagy (p. 107). The data he uses to back up this claim is that 1) an octopus ate the day prior to beginning autophagy (p. 103), and 2) that octopuses "often" did not eat arms that were bitten off (p. 103). Unfortunately there is no data regarding the ratio of animals that did and did not eat the parts of the arms they bit off, so we don't know how often "often" really is. Additionally, Bundelmann never withheld food from the animals to see if that does or does not trigger autophagy, which could be a good way to back up his claims.

Ultimately, I think that this paper makes some very broad claims about autophagy when in actuality it is a much more complex response to a multitude of environmental stimuli. We may never know the specific reason for autophagy, and there likely is not a single reason why an octopus starts to eat their own arms. My guess is that it is a symptom, rather than a cause. (For humans, you could say this about coughing. You don't really spread a cough from one person to another, you spread a disease, and one of the symptoms of the disease is a cough.)

Either way, interesting paper and valuable discussion!
 
Top