Story: Octopus and squid

Octopus tending her eggs

Female octopus lay their eggs in clusters and attach them to rocky overhangs. Unlike many shellfish, octopus give lots of maternal care to their developing embryos. This mother is guarding her eggs, and carefully cleans them with her tentacles. She does not eat until they hatch, by which time she is exhausted. She usually dies soon after her offspring have swum away.

Using this item

Natural History New Zealand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff and Steve O’Shea, 'Octopus and squid - Life history', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 July 2024)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff and Steve O’Shea, published 12 Jun 2006