Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Mate Beak To Beak

A 1982 paper describing the species was scoffed at by scientists, but that paper proved true.

Larger Pacific striped octopuses uncouple after mating. Photo by Roy L. Caldwell
Larger Pacific striped octopuses uncouple after mating. Photo by Roy L. Caldwell

The larger Pacific striped octopus (Octopus chierchiae) is not a loner who mates once and then dies like other octopus species. In fact, this particular octopus may be the most social of the octopi as researchers have discovered that the octopus lives in dens with many others, they mate almost daily, and beak to beak (or face to face), and ink during mating. In a paper published in the PLOS One journal, researchers found that the behaviors of the larger Pacific striped octopus, first detailed in a 1982 paper by Arcadio Rodaniche but dismissed by scientists at the time, are indeed unique amongst octopuses. The cephalopod actually does all the things mentioned above plus more.

The females brood their eggs for six months, and the species is very social. Roy Caldwell, a University of California, Berkeley researcher of invertebrate studies says that the octopuses in the study, 24 in all, were separated into groups of eight and placed into separate tanks. Not only did the octopuses not kill and eat each other, but they shared hiding spots for three days at a time. The researchers also found that the octopuses also stalked their prey using what Caldwell called a slow bounce when hunting. This involved flattening its body and with its arms reaching forward, the octopus then glides and hops until it grabs its prey.

The full paper can be read on the PLOS One Journal website.

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Fish · Lifestyle

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