Yeti - O. briareus

Why tonight's topics had to be escapes and missing arms is beyond me but ... Yeti did not come out for his dinner at normal tank feeding time but he did have a somewhat larger piece of shrimp last night ... No sign at 11:00 PM ... Now I am nervous and uncomfortable with the behavior change and stop posting to go looking yet another time. This time I checked the overflow, nope. Sump? Yikes! and missing arms! Oddly his longest arms are still in one piece but I think all of the other six poked into places in the hardware that were unsafe. Most of the intakes have sponges just to keep out larger things that might end up there but the sump was never intended to be octo safe or octo inhabited.

I have been considering moving him to the 40 ish (I think I determined it was 37 gallons) that was LittleBit's home until she out grew it but he was doing well in the 65 and and moving him would have been difficult unless I moved him in his den. Since I had to fish him out of the sump, I decided to go ahead and move him to the smaller tank. He inked once during the fishing expedition but only because he touched my hand while I was trying to scoot him toward the cup (he climbed over my hand at one point and did not ink), being chased with a cup did not seem to bother him and he sauntered away rather than zipping off. He was afraid to exit the cup though and I decided to try to feed him but he refused the piece of crab that was his planned meal. I tried his second favorite food, fresh shore shrimp, which he decided to take and then exited the cup with his dinner. Hopefully he will settle down and unstress in the darkness.

I took a picture while I was acclimating him to the temperature in the new tank (about 2 degrees difference) in hopes that I could see the damaged arms but he keeps his arms tucked in a spigetti mishmash with not moving about and the photo does not give any hints. The only thing of note in the photo is the presence of fluorescent green spots that I noted as not having seen while trying to ID him.

 

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fluorescent green dots are typical of O. briareus but there are others as well so not in themselves diagnostic. Their absence would mean NOT briareus but presence does not confirm an ID. This is the first time I have seen them on Yeti (they are not always visible but commonly seen on briareus. A flash will usually expose them). The fluorescence is often used to spot briareus diving at night using a bright light. I don't know if they are present on Macrotritopus.
 
My son just walked in the room as I was enlarging Yeti and asked "Is that when you got Squid?" I chuckled....:wink:Yeti is so cute!!
 
LOL, he/she may still turn out to be O. briareus.

Yeti is extremely shy again since his misadventure to the sump and relocation to the smaller tank. He is eating well but not coming out at supper time and waiting for his food but when we locate him and put the feeding stick where he can touch it, the food is taken and appears to be consumed.
 
Changing Species Guess

After 3 months it is clear Yeti is a dwarf and nocturnal. In spite still looking like a baby O. briareus, I THINK I may finally have an O. joubini. However, if this is O. joubini, I do not understand how a cephalopod specialist could have determined that there was only one common dwarf as it looks nothing like O. mercatoris.

 

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Yeti is finally getting stronger and tonight was able to move the LR when he pulled on the stick :biggrin2:. He/she still looks very much like an O. briareus and is still too small to be one. The one behavioral difference I see is his/her crazy arm waving. It often looks like one of the brittle stars hunting techniques and I wonder if it is natural instinct or learned from tank mates. We seem to be back to the pre-sump excursion boldness (finally) and the last two nights Yeti has come out to eat relatively early. Last night he popped out and watched us for awhile when we were sitting in the breakfast room talking.

 
Yeti passing cloud display

I have reclassified Yeti as O. briareus. I am still not sure this is what she is and her arms (at least some of them, she does not show all of herself much yet) are VERY long for her mantle size but her mantle if very small yet.

Video of passing cloud display - she has not done this before. I had given her a crab when she popped out of her den early tonight but I think she was still hungry and was trying to get my attention. You can get a feel for how long at least one pair of arms are in the video, the length is not a faction of angle of the camera.

 
Serpent Star Style Hunting

The video shows a bit of the odd style of hunting Yeti uses but it is not as strange as we see at night. Watching her, it reminds me of the way her "Pesky" hunts. There has been a brittle star in the tank (two in this one) since she arrived and I am wondering if it is a learned behavior.

 
... and he was indeed hungry

I think this is the first video of fully out the den. We see her/him more and more frequently but only the mantle, eyes and whatever arm tips that come out of the LR. Last week he did reach for my finger that I was moving around outside the aquarium and realized how loooong the front arms were. I think the video leave little doubt that she is indeed O. briareus but I expect she will be much smaller than others I have kept.

 
When I look at the videos, I think so too. It will be interesting to see how big Yeti ends up. It would not be a bad thing to find a naturally dwarfed O. briareus (provided this is not a result of lack of food in the wild) but finding more than one or being able to tell is problematic.
 
Remember the tiny one I had that never grew? Lil Pumpkin....Same thought was had she been in the wild, she never would have survived as long as she did with me. I think octopuses are the same as puppies, etc. that have a "runt" of the litter. In the wild I believe they would not survive long but in captivity, they do as the list of predators are non existent.
 
Could be, she is still incredibly small but seems otherwise healthy and cute as a button. We don't see much of her but when she is active she is not afraid of us and seems curious. I think she sleeps a lot.
 
First Clam

I visited a semi-local Asian grocery this week in search of blue crab claws (none available yet) and picked up half a dozen clams. One died in the acclimation bucket (I leave them for a day or so in tank water) but was newly expired so I was going to give it to Octavia. However, she has already discovered one of the live ones in her tank and was feasting so I decided to see what little Yeti would do with it (it was at least 3 times her mantle size). I opened this one fully before putting it in the tank. The live was not moved the next day and also died. I am not sure if its demise was from being kept on ice or if the brissel worms are capable of killing them. I suspect the former as I have kept them for over a year in the past and all my tanks have the more brissels than I would like.

 

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