Asada, K., Nakajima, R., Nishibayashi, T. et al. 2021. Improving keeping for octopuses by testing different escape-proof designs on tanks for “big blue octopus” (Octopus cyanea). Applied Sciences 11(18), 8547.

Octopus cyanea has a wide range of natural distribution and is interesting for scientific research. However, unlike Octopus vulgaris, the species is poorly studied, and few data exist on best practices for keeping them. One of the most common reasons for losing octopuses in human care is their ability to escape from holding tanks. Adult Octopus cyanea (n = 33) were locally collected in Okinawa throughout the year. All animals were housed at the laboratory facilities at the Marine Station of the Okinawa institute of Science and Technology. Animals were kept in a flow-through saltwater system in three different types of holding tanks ranging from 550 L to 600 L tanks or in 2000 L tanks, all with an environment enriched with clay pots or natural rocks as dens. They were fed a daily diet of dead fish or live or dead crustaceans ad libitum. To characterize the effectiveness of different keeping conditions, we compared escape attempts and non-natural deaths during the animals’ time under human care. We found that two types of tanks, the 600 L transparent acrylic glass tanks with weighted lids and the 2000 L tanks with synthetic grass lined walls, had significantly fewer escapes than the 550 L tanks.

Animal Type