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Octopus pallidus (Pale Octopus) Hoyle, 1885


Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
Reproductive status of Octopus pallidus, and its relationship to age and size
Stephen Leporati, Gretta Pecl. Jayson M Semmens (full pdf)


Age-specific information on individual octopus reproductive development and investment from wild populations has until recently been unobtainable. Using daily-formed increments within stylets (internal shells) the individual ages of 503 wild Octopus pallidus were determined. In addition, detailed reproductive information was collected for each of the aged octopus, along with reproductive data for an additional 925 octopus. All of the octopus were collected from Bass Strait waters in south-eastern Australia from November 2004 to November 2006. This information was used to investigate seasonal trends in reproductive scheduling and investment, fecundity and egg size. Maturation in O. pallidus primarily depends on size with little relationship to age and is highly variable between genders, with females >350days still maturing in comparison to all males >142days being mature. Size at 50% maturity for females was approximately 473g, which is considerably larger than male 100% maturity at <250g. This indicates that for females at least, maturity does not necessarily come with age. Seasonal scheduling in reproductive investment between genders revealed an optimal spawning period between late summer and early autumn. These results reinforce the view that individual growth and maturity is highly variable
in cephalopods.

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