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Giles

a mimic octopus relative?

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On Blue Planet or Planet Earth Small Seas one of those two .. I saw a octpus they called something else .. but looked just like a mimic to me .. maybe a little bit bigger, do they have other names or a similar looking non imitating relative ?

 

They had this cool footage of it flying around like a saucer .. .which obviously there have been some photos of mimic octopuses doing, and i was wondering if they were the same as they look the same and act the same .. most octopuses i see in the caribbean stay close to the reef or sand and very rarely unless they get chased fly off the reef.

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Yes .. thats it ... they look the same to me ... are they the same creature ?

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I think they're relatives - not the same species. Alex, Luiz, or Leslie might know more...

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Different species, maybe different genera. Wonderpus has been formally described as Wunderpus photogenicus http://www.mapress.com/mr/content/v26/2006f/n3p140.pdf I don't think the mimic has been described yet so I don't know for sure about the genus.

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Oops, it has been described & definitely a different genus - Thaumoctopus mimicus. the link is a paper with pictures reporting on its mimicry

 

http://marinebio.org/upload/files/mimic.pdf

 

The "Mimic Octopus" (Thaumoctopus mimicus n. gen. et sp.), a new octopus from the tropical Indo-West Pacific (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae)

MARK D. NORMAN1 & F. G. HOCHBERG2

Abstract

 

In recent years considerable media attention has been focussed on the "Mimic Octopus", an Indo-West Pacific long-armed species which impersonates numerous poisonous or dangerous animals. This distinctive octopus is here described. A combination of unique morphological characters justify this octopus being placed in a new genus. These characters include: absence of a calamus on the copulatory organ, absence of enlarged suckers in either sex; long narrow arms capable of arm autotomy at a set level near the base; and distinctive base components of colour patterns including a white teardrop ring on the mid-dorsal mantle and a distinct white "U" patch on the posterio-dorsal mantle. Thaumoctopus mimicus n. gen. et sp. is reported primarily from the Indo-Malayan Archipelago from New Caledonia to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Photographic records from the Red Sea extend the distribution to the western Indian Ocean. This octopus occurs in shallow waters (0.5-7 m) on soft sediment substrates where it is day-active, foraging for small fish and crustaceans. It is delineated from other long-armed genera and species complexes within the genus Octopus. Other undescribed species are flagged as potential members of the new genus Thaumoctopus. Links between habitat preference and the origins of this unique mimicry are explored.

 

I know, more information that you really wanted to know, I just can't help it.... :blush:

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Yes, it's a sickness, I really really can't stop.

 

Here's an aquarist article in which it's mentioned that a captive mimic spent some of it's time actively swimming about. Maybe Norman was right when he said the photographed behavior might be jellyfish mimicry.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2007/4/fish

 

Mimics & wonderpussies are already being taken for the aquarium trade, a distressing result of their popularity as photographic subjects. :blush:

This article - co-authored by our own James Wood - is a plea for reefers to leave them alone. Fat chance of that happening.

http://www.thecephalopodpage.org/mimic.php

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Thanks Lesley ... whilst I didn't read it all .. and looked at most the pictures it was kinda interesting.

 

Does the 'Delineated' mean that they tested DNA and it is completely different or that someone said .. thats cool .. lets make something new for it ..?

 

The Wonderpus looks a lot prettier (lack of a better word) to me but I would love to see the mimics behaviour .. I wonder if i was to dive with one enough it would start to imitate me .. maybe there are some that disguise themselves as UW photographers !

 

So the cruising through the water on jet propulsion .. is that just what these unrelated sorts of octopus do ? is it a black and white stripey thing ?

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Giles -- I haven't seen the paper so I don't know if the researchers also used DNA to delineate (= distinguish) the new genus. From the abstract it seems as if they only used morphological characters.

 

If you ever see one why don't you give it your camera so we can test whether it will imitate a UW photographer? They're sure seeing a lot of them these days! :blush:

 

All octopus can jet through the water by spurting water out of their siphons. Some octopus spend their whole lives swimming while the benthic ones use the jet propulsion to get away from predators (& photographers) and to jump on their prey.

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In the Hochberg et al paper they delineate Wonderpus from Octopus spp sensu stricto on morphological grounds. They comment that genus Octopus is polyphyletic (essentially, should be considered more than one genus) based on molecular studies and morphological cladistics, and that morphology and molecular studies seem to be in good agreement.

 

There's no molecular phylogenetics in the Hochberg paper. This seems to be an area that is screaming out for some graduate student attention :blush:

Edited by Craig Ruaux

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:blush:

 

While in Lembeh, I was lucky to see a mimicus going through his ray imitation.

 

here, it is studying US;

 

mimicoctopus.jpg

 

Then it slid off as a ray;

 

Mimictryingtobeaflounder.jpg

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