Marine Biology

, Volume 155, Issue 4, pp 375–385 | Cite as

Reproductive status of Octopus pallidus, and its relationship to age and size

  • Stephen C. LeporatiEmail author
  • Gretta T. Pecl
  • Jayson M. Semmens
Original Paper


Age-specific information on individual octopus reproductive development and investment from wild populations has until recently been unobtainable. Using daily-formed increments within stylets (internal shells) the individual ages of 503 wild Octopus pallidus were determined. In addition, detailed reproductive information was collected for each of the aged octopus, along with reproductive data for an additional 925 octopus. All of the octopus were collected from Bass Strait waters in south-eastern Australia from November 2004 to November 2006. This information was used to investigate seasonal trends in reproductive scheduling and investment, fecundity and egg size. Maturation in O. pallidus primarily depends on size with little relationship to age and is highly variable between genders, with females >350 days still maturing in comparison to all males >142 days being mature. Size at 50% maturity for females was approximately 473 g, which is considerably larger than male 100% maturity at <250 g. This indicates that for females at least, maturity does not necessarily come with age. Seasonal scheduling in reproductive investment between genders revealed an optimal spawning period between late summer and early autumn. These results reinforce the view that individual growth and maturity is highly variable in cephalopods.


Reproductive Development Accessory Gland Fishing Pressure Reproductive Investment Brooding Female 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the Hardy family, the captains and crews of the William L and the Seafarer, Z.A. Doubleday, T. Hibbered, F·I. Trinnie and D. Young and all the workers at T.O·P Fish Pty Ltd who assisted in sample collection. This study was supported with funding from The Department of Primary Industries and Water. This experiment complied with current Tasmanian and Australian laws and was approved by the Animal Ethics Committee of the University of Tasmania under project No. A0008130.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen C. Leporati
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gretta T. Pecl
    • 1
  • Jayson M. Semmens
    • 1
  1. 1.Tasmanian Aquaculture Fisheries Institute, Marine Research LaboratoriesUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

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