Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011


On Monday, I had the pleasure of working with a famous Hawaiian octopus found in the bay last week. It was picked up in the bay by a local fisherman and was mistaken for an octopus-squid hybrid. However, it was actually a species of blanket octopus, or tremoctopus; a pelagic octopus that is usually found out in the open ocean. They are called blanket octopuses because of the bizarre cape like webbing between their back arms. The male of the species is very small and he detaches his hectocotylus (the arm he uses to deposit his sperm packets in the female) and it wiggles its way up into the female. They are pretty fascinating creatures. So when I found out that we had one in the bay, I called the fisherman and he brought it over to HIMB for me! Here is the octopus as a block of ice before I thawed it out and examined it more closely.

It was slow going getting that girl thawed, but it was quite soothing. Slowly pouring water over her body, gently pulling at skin, careful not to tear it, watching her limbs unfold. I needed to get samples for several people who wanted to do genetic testing and remove the beak for Dick Young. Here you can see the "blanket."

Also, my octopus cyanea laid eggs. So many more babies...