The growth of Octopus cyanea was followed from 67 to 6500 g in captivity on an ad libitum diet of live crabs. Females spawning in captivity always die after the eggs hatch. Males may mate many times with several different females but do not appear to outlive females. The species spawns throughout the year; the time of spawning is probably determined by the age of the female. Males stop growing after suckers at the edge of the web enlarge and gradually lose weight until their death, about two or three months after maximum sucker enlargement. The life‐span of O. cyanea appears to be between 12 and 15 months from settlement. A growth curve is presented for the species from settling to maximum size and compared with experimental data on captive and marked, free‐living animals. Free octopuses grew at rates similar to captives fed ad libitum, indicating that food was not limiting to growth in the field, and that a reasonable estimate of age could be obtained from the weight at capture. A method of marking animals by branding is described which gives lifetime scars making it possible to study the growth of individual animals released in the field.
Journal of Zoology – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1973
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