Cannibalistic Cephalopods can be a real danger to each other. That’s why the common male octopus has a special “arm” for mating called a hectocotylus which is used to maintain a safe breeding distance from his partner.
But there is one species of octopus that mates in a completely different and unusual way.

The Larger Pacific Striped Octopus is the only octopus known to mate ‘beak to beak’ with their ventral, suckered sides touching, which has given this species the name “kissing octopus”.
These octopuses often show a bold black and white patter, in stripes or spots, but can also put on various other displays, for mating or camouflage.

Instead of living a solitary life and coming together briefly for mating like almost all other octopuses, the Larger Pacific Striped Octopus can cohabitate in pairs, sometimes sharing the same den. Groups are reported to live in associations of 40 or more animals.

Also extraordinary about this cephalopod species is that it is iteroparous, which means the female can brood and hatch multiple clutches of offspring over her lifetime instead of dying after her first and only clutch.
In fact there is only one other known iteroparous octopus: the Lesser Pacific Striped Octopus.

« »