Octopus Mating Games

California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has found out some fascinating things about the mating behaviors of octopuses.

First, some general information:  these particular octopuses are about as big as a human hand, and most of that size is in their sucker-covered tentacles.  Their bodies are just walnut-sized.  To procreate, the males deposit “sperm packets” in the female’s body through a specialized tentacle.

Second:  this particular species (aculeatus octopu) is normally yellow with dapples of brown, tan, and grey.  But when a male sees another octopus, he puts on his fighting and flirting colors (both of which look the same), turning nearly white with dark stripes.  That signals that he’s a male, and is ready to fight OR mate. 

Third:  the females will mate with any male octopus that wanders by.  The males are more selective and are more enthralled with the more voluptuous females – skinny girls need not apply.

Fourth:  the little itty-bitty guys don’t want to fight the regulation-size guys, so they crawl along the ocean floor to one of the voluptuous females in a den guarded by the larger male.  These clever smaller dudes remain brown and yellow (typical female behavior).  By hiding and “cross-dressing,” these little guys often manage to get close enough to the female to mate….and, as I reported, she’ll mate with anybody, anytime, anywhere.

Moral to this story??