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Free Content Morphology and Biology of Octopus Maorum Hutton 1880 in Northern New Zealand

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Octopus maorum Hutton 1880 is a temperate, shallow water, benthic octopus commonly found in southern Australia and temperate to subantarctic regions of New Zealand. Individuals are found subtidally to depths >50 m, commonly associated with soft-sediment shellfish beds, but may be found less commonly traversing reefal habitats. Clearly a member of the Octopus macropus complex, and possibly the largest member (at 9.2 kg), O. maorum may be distinguished from other species by an orange-brown or purple-gray color with numerous small iridescent white spots on the arms, web and dorsal arm crown, but no spots on the mantle region. Octopus maorum appears to be a spring-summer spawner, at which time females lay thousands (7000) of eggs individually to the substratum. Eggs are 6.5–7.5 mm in size and take approximately 2 mo to hatch (at 18°C). Hatchlings are small-medium in size (total length 5.06 mm), planktonic, and have a unique and conservative founder chromatophore pattern. Octopus maorum is an aggressive species that cannibalizes smaller individuals and eggs, and may also attack and eat co-occurring species (i.e., Octopus tetricus) regardless of size.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 1999

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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