Yeti - O. briareus

DWhatley

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Octopus Spotting 5 days since last seen. Unless Neal comes up with an alternate, I am going with Yeti for this one.

Tonight I noticed a couple of pieces of shell in a hole in one of the larger rocks that sits directly below the red light so I spent some time looking with (shame on me!) a white flashlight. I spotted little arms in another, connected hole and immediately turned off the light but went back to watch and saw a curious little mantle pop out. He is still TINY. This time he did not disappear so I skewered a shore shrimp and offered it on a stick. I was delighted and surprised that he took it and then sat out side his den to eat it. We don't feed the tanks on Saturday and missed tonight as well (this was Octavia's first real "fasting" Saturday as I usually give in to her pacing and offer her something little. She made it quite clear that she was NOT to miss a feeding Sunday so she did get an extra large crab leg tonight) so he may have been very hungry (I did see pods and live shrimp in the tank) if he is eating the bits of shrimp and Cyclop-eeze we feed the tank. He disappeared a couple of times with his prize but came back out and was obviously still working on the shrimp as it was a big as his little mantle. I am encourage with the interaction but concerned about the lack of growth. Hopefully, I can start feeding him directly now as he has been scrounging on his own since he left the breeder net and was not eating very much while in the net.
 

DWhatley

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Successful stick feeding 4 of the last 5 nights and an early arm spotting on the one night he did not come out to eat. Now to get him to come out at 6:00 PM and not 4:00 AM :biggrin2:
 

DWhatley

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Neal finally agreed on Yeti. He wanted to call him figment because, until tonight, he had never seen the little guy. He seems to know where to wait for food now and grabs the shore shrimp from the stick very quickly. He disappears after he has his dinner in hand (arm) though. Every time I see him I still can't believe how tiny he is. They look bigger in a breeder net than in a 65 gallon aquarium :biggrin2:
 

DWhatley

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Just after lights out (about midnight), Yeti can be found sitting just outside his den. I can turn on a hall light next to the tank, catch and skewer a shrimp :yuck:, go to the front of the tank, climb on a stool, open the top and offer the feeding stick without him disappearing. Unlike our original encounter with food, he does not immediately spring on it but waits to see how close I will bring the food. Ultimately, he grabs it off the stick in one, very, very quick motion (you might call it a flash of arms) and then takes it to his den.

As many as I have kept and raised from quite young I feel a bit silly saying this but Yeti is still tiny and does not seem to be growing at a rate I would expect so I have to wonder about something unusual. I really think it is my impatience to have him large enough to be comfortable he will survive but I honestly don't detect growth. Albeit, I only see him a few minutes each night when he comes to the front of his den and waits to be fed but he is sooo tiny. I have offered a second shrimp that was eventually taken but the interest was not strong and I am not sure he ate it so I don't think he would eat more (he may also be hunting on his own though).
 

DWhatley

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Yeti gave me a scare yesterday. Since June 4th he has been taking offered food nightly without fail (not at the same time and sometimes it takes coaxing to get him to show but he has shown up and eaten). Last night was his first no show. I had done my weekly maintenance on the tank earlier in the day and kept telling myself that I had carefully checked the filter sock and was sure he did not get thrown out with the "bath" water but ... Fortunately, he finally showed up in his normal, "waiting for dinner" spot tonight (but not until about 2:30 AM). I gave him one of the larger (but not large) shore shrimp since he did not eat yesterday. It did not take him long to reach for the feeding stick but he did not appear to be starving :wink: (I put all of the "pods" in his tank from the other tanks yesterday so he may have found plenty on his own).
 

DWhatley

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Yeti is getting bolder sooner that I remember Cassy or Tatanka being at this size. I only see him at night but he comes our almost immediatly when the tank lights go out and has no fear of the feeding stick. If he does not like the offering he will either blow or push it away :roll:. I may have a little spoiled octo on my hands :oops:

I am worried Yeti will eat all his food before I can get more. He loves shore shrimp and seems to have caught all but one in the tank in addition to what I feed him (he almost got the last one the other night - made a good swipe at it and missed). The shrimp (by design) were really small and now he eats at least 4 a night. Fortunately, he begrudgingly takes a piece of thawed crawfish but refuses blue crab and regular shrimp. I can't order more shore shrimp this week because of the heat so I have my fingers crossed it will be shipping weather next week or I can coax him to take the crab meat (I have plenty of that).
 

DWhatley

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I have not posted my creeping suspicions but watching Yeti's growth I am beginning to wonder about his species. Her/his growth rate seems slow (he has doubled in size now) but his eyes seem more prominent and the mantle longer and not as robust. He definitely looked exactly like an O. briareus when he came (with the telltale blue around the eyes and arm:mantle proportions) and he does show a mottled coloration some times (color unclear as I am viewing under red light) but mostly he looks brown and almost shiny. It occured to me that I have not seen many species this young and it is possible others look extremely similar. He could easily be the Atlantic long arm (which looks similar O.briareus from the pictures and video I have seen) but, as yet, shows no interest in the sand. Most likely, I just don't remember the details of my hatchlings :old:
 

DWhatley

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I feel I have confirmed the "shell" thing in young octopuses. Yeti has totally refused several offerings of blue crab meat. Tonight I took a knife to an arm section and sliced several, mantle sized pieces (I could not cut them smaller) and offered her/him one on a stick. Unlike other times, he immediately grabbed it, put it under his webbing and was obviously manipulating it to be eaten. Last night I did the same with crawdad tail with similar results.

I wish I had more pictures, Yeti's mantle looks elongated and his eyes more Y shaped than I think O. briareus should show. I do think we are in a growth spurt so maybe he will start coming out in the day a little soon (his mantle is only about the size of a small woman's top pinky finger joint and not as big around(maybe an inch long) but his arms (very slender) might be as long a 7". Arms are always hard to guess, especially when they are wrapped in the LR and may or may not be streched out as they look in the rock for snacks.

Recently there was a study that indicated octopuses pattern after something nearby and not just the general substrate. Yesterday, I witnessed a camouflage behavior that would follow this thinking. Yeti was awake with the lights on (unusual as far as we know and it may have had to do with the fireworks vibrations). I happened to spot him because I saw something bright white where it should not have been at the edge of a cave. It took a few minutes to finally see his mantle (very darkly colored) even knowing something about his orientation but the arms were extremely white. Just above him on the opposite side of the cave was a dying/dead polyp cluster and growing down into the cave was an almost identically configured piece. Unfortunately, once he know I had spotted him, he moved back into his den before I could try for a picture.

edit: I did go back an take a photo of the object I say Yeti emulate. Notice the polyp that could be an octo arm on the right side of the cave. Yeti was on the left where you see two brissle worms. His/her arm matched the bright white of the polyp but the rest of him/her as dark, dark brown.

 

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DWhatley

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I was pleasantly surprised that my night shots captured an image :biggrin2: The pictures are not great but far more than I expected. I changed the color tone so that the pictures were not glaring red :roll:
 

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CaptFish

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I wish I had more pictures, Yeti's mantle looks elongated and his eyes more Y shaped than I think O. briareus should show.


I don't know. i see what you are sayiong about his mantle not seeming very much like Briareus, but i think he is one, I think he is just young and growing.
 
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