Molluscan ResearchISSN 1323-5818
 An international journal of the Malacological Society of Australasia published by Magnolia Press

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Molluscan Research 26(3): 169-171; published 20 December 2006
Copyright © The Malacological Society of Australasia

First record of brooding and early life cycle stages in Wunderpus photogenicus Hochberg, Norman and Finn, 2006 (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae)

Zoologisches Institut und Museum, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Str. 11-12, D-17487 Greifswald, Germany; email:
2 Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Karlsruhe, Erbprinzenstr. 13, D-76133 Karlsruhe, Germany; email:


One of the most unusual species within the Octopodidae is Wunderpus photogenicus Hochberg, Norman and Finn, 2006, known from only a few specimens from the tropical Indo West Pacific. A female from the Philippine Islands was observed in captivity for 39 days until the end of its life. The specimen was nearly as often active during full daylight as during twilight. It laid fertilized eggs, which were arranged in about 15 unbranched strings consisting of approximately 30 eggs each. The strings were held within the arm crown by suckers instead of attaching them to the ceiling of a lair or to other hard surfaces. This is a rare brooding strategy in benthic octopuses. During brooding the female continued moving around and feeding. About 23 days after spawning, the first planktonic paralarvae hatched. Two days later the mother died. She was never found to be nocturnally active except during her last night, in which a group hatching occurred. The paralarvae were not observed feeding on the organisms offered and survived for at most five days from first hatching. This study provides the first record of eggs, brooding and paralarvae of W. photogenicus.

Key words: life cycle, reproduction, reproductive biology, eggs, egg carrying, paralarvae, behaviour, Octopoda, Indo Pacific, Philippines

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