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Octopus Shedding


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Sep 4, 2006
Cape Coral, FL

You mentioned seeing octopuses rubbing against rock to "shed". Could you provide a little more info? I have seen what I thought was egg casing floating around in the tank (translucent discs) but I now think it may be shed. Do they shed other skin as well of just the (I assume) inside of the suction cups? How often?
They regularly shed their suckers. The circular things you see in the water are the tops of the suckers that come off as they grow. Pretty amazing actually. Have never noticed any other type of shed.
Yeah, I finally figured out what the discs were after Jean mentioned it and I saw a partial shed attached. The fact that I was seeing them when the babies were being born and in a shipping bag with the little guy that only lived a week made me think they were egg casings :oops:

Strange that a brooding octo would continue the process but perhaps the prolonged in activity ages the ends of the suckers.
Octopuses reproduce sexually, so at some point there have to be two octopuses in order to produce offspring. However, mature female animals that are wild-caught have often mated before capture and then lay fertile eggs in captivity (sometimes a surprisingly long time after capture I believe? Not sure how long females can store the sperm but in some species it's probably several months). Females that have not mated but are approaching the end of their lives in captivity may also lay unfertilized eggs that won't hatch.
Hope this helps.

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