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Sexing Octopus and life span?


Blue Ring
Mar 5, 2004
Newbie here so bare with me on this question?
I have read that once a female octopus lays eggs they seam to give up- correct .
How can you tell a male from a female octopus(I haven't seen info on this yet) ?
When you order one form a breeder can you request ( male or female ? )
I am assuming if you wanted one with a longer life span go with a male?
If I remember correctly form my reading of post their life span can be from 6 months to two years - what is the longest yours have lived?


Staff member
Nov 20, 2002
The life span depends on the species.

Most people here keep O. bimaculoides (bimac). The life span is usually given as 1-1 1/2 years.

We don't know exactly how old the last generation of bimacs was, becasue they were wild caught, but we assume they were between 4 and 6 months when they arrived, and the longest we've been able to keep them is 10 months.

Not a very long life span for any of the species, but the some of the larger octpuses (like the Giant Pacific Octopus) are supposed to live from 3 to 5 years.

Males do not live much longer than females, by the way, and females can live on after egg laying, as we saw with one of our bimacs.



May 15, 2003
But the females in general die after the first eggs start hatching. The males will also die off after a few matings.

You can tell a male octo from a female one by looking at their third right arm. If it has no suckers at the tip, its a male. Its not easy sexing octos while they're moving, so requesting for one of a specific sex is not going to guarantee you'll get what you want.