Life History/Reproduction

Reproduction - In the spring, the adults move closer towards shore to mate.  These dudes are diecious and usually mate a few times with the same partner before moving on to the next one.  Within two months the female will release the 500,000 eggs in shallow water attached to a substrate.  The female cares for the eggs by cleaning them with her sucker and providing them with oxygen by shooting streams of water at them.  After the eggs hatch, the female dies.  The young octopuses then float through the water column as zoo plankton.  The younglings feed on other plankton until the ripe old age of one month at which point they settle on the bottom.  Unfortunately only one of two out of 200,000 hatchlings survive to adulthood.  Adults only live for about one year.  Some other species of larger octopuses live for up to three years.


Growth Conditions - Mating only occurs in the spring.  The eggs must be attached to a substrate.  The temperature of the water and the size of the egg are both factors in the embryo's development.  If the mother is not around to take care of the eggs, they will all die.