Octopus briareus OCTBRI-030400-SZETRA-001

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 4th, 2000 and is filed under Octopuses, Spawning Reports.

The Breeder’s Registry©Information contained in this report is taken from submitted observations from aquarist unless noted otherwise (see comments). Information may be reproduced providing the Breeder’s Registry is cited.


Breeder ID: OCTBRI-030400-SZETRA-001

Date: 3/4/00

Identification: Octopus briareus Robson, 1929

Geographic origin: Caribbean, Florida Keys


Taxonomy: (after I.C.Z.N.)

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Cephalopoda

Order: Octopoda

Family: Octopodidae

Genus: Octopus

Subgenus: Octopus

Species: briareus


Description: Brown to iridescent green to red in color. Arms are long and thin in relation to body, second and third pair of arms are longer than others. Reaches a length up to 54 cm.


Length of time in captivity: Female, 4 months

Size: 43 cm (17 in) grew to 63 cm (25 in)

Physical differences: Female only

Adult diet: green crab, Carcinus maenas, 3 in.+, goldfish, Carassius auratus, 1-2.5 in. Fed once per day.

Pre-spawning activity: The octopus became more lethargic, stopped eating, and became more territorial right before she started to lay eggs. She also would kill food prey when it was put in the tank, but not eat it.

Time spawning began: not indicated

Area spawning occurred: Eggs were “glued” to the side of the tank, on the glass.

Frequency of spawning: n/a female dies after spawn hatches.

Egg description: Milky colored eggs laid in strands of various lengths and numbers of eggs. The eggs were attached to the side of the tank by a green mucous-like “glue”.

Approximate quantity: 600

Size: ~12 mm (~1/2 in.) long

Egg changes / development: You could see the development of the octopus through the eggs. First, eyespots could be seen, then slowly a little octopus formed. At first, the tentacles were disproportional to the adults\F0 then the tentacles grew. You could see chromatophores and skin color changes. They reacted to movement around them by darkening in color. About \F0 of the way through development, the octopus flipped inside the eggs, they were now facing the opposite direction.Metamorphosis occured within egg after 39 days.

Incubation period: From time 1st egg laid to time first baby hatched = 43 days

Time hatching occurred: hatched over a 14 day period, day and night

Newly hatched appearance: Miniature benthic octopi, capable of adult behaviors; fully functioning and self-sufficient When the babies hatched, the first group did not have a yolk sac attached to them. The next groups, however, did keep their yolk sac for a period of not more than 30 minutes after hatching. Immediately after hatching, the little octopi inked, and changed colors just like adults. The color change was not as diverse as in the adults, yet very impressive. They also showed territoriality with a few disputes between siblings ending up in an ink spurt and one jetting away.

Size at hatching: ~ 9 mm

Yolk sac present? yes

Transfer / removal method: not removed

Fry development / changes: Arms appear to grow faster than mantle. Mantle is ~ 30 – 40% of total length (TL) at hatching. No visible changes after hatched, they did not survive very long, therefore not allowing and physical changes.

First food offered: Various planktonic organisms. 2x + daily

Second food offered: Brine shrimp, Artemia 4 days after first hatching, once daily

Survival: ~43/50 first week. ~12/100 second week. Long term survival- All hatchlings died within 23 days


Spawning tank size (liter): 134 (33 gallons -24 in x 12 in x 12 in)

Sides of tank covered? Yes, blue

Lighting & photo-period: Actinic blue fluorescent, 20 on 5 \F0 hours, off 18 \F0 hours. ~ 12 cm (4 in) from surface. Bulb changed every 6 months.

Filtration: Aquaclear 300, Powerhead 402 with quick filter attached, CPR Bakpak protein skimmer. ASW.

Additives and dosages: none, replacement water, filtered tap water plus artificial salt

Water temperature: 76º ±2ºF

Specific gravity: 1.022

pH: ~8

Nitrate: 5 – 20 ppm

Nitrite: 0.1-0.4 ppm

Dissolved oxygen: 11-13 ppm

Word origin: Octopus is from the Latin root oct, -i, -o, meaning eight (8) and -pus from the Greek root meaning foot. The genus briareus has no Latin or Greek word or root origins and may be named for an individual.

Vernacular name: Reef Octopus, Briar Octopus

About this report: Information contained in this report is taken from submitted observations. Taxonomy, Synonomy, Original description , Word origin and Suggested reading are provided by member(s) of The Breeder’s Registry staff. Information is presented under the belief that it is accurate. If you have information in addition to, or contrary to that presented you are encouraged to contact the Breeder’s Registry. Permission is granted for “one-time” personal use. Reproduction as distributed or accessible media is prohibited without prior written permission. All rights reserved. 2000

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