Why do male octopuses die after mating?

So I found out that male octopuses (octopie?) die after mating. They have a special "sperm arm" called the hectocotylus, that they use to deposit eggs in the female and then they die within the month. What mechanism causes their death? Does the arm come off like a bee stinger? Is it some sort of organism wide form of apoptosis? I have been unable to locate the answer online. Also, why do you think evolutionarily it would be beneficial for the octopus to die after reproduction once? I know the female octopus dies a few months after the babies are hatched, because of endocrine secretions from optic glands that become activated after breeding. Is there a similar affect from the endocrine system of the male? Thanks for any info or ideas you have!

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Octopuses have a semelparous life history strategy, meaning that they spawn once and die. (Iteroparous is the opposite--multiple spawning events over the organism's life time.) Other organisms are semelparous as well--many salmon, Anguillid eels, many types of plants and insects.

    So why would an animal do this--spawn once and then die? It doesn't make sense right away, but think about it like this: the energy required to reproduce is put into one major effort. Energy is the key here. It is very energetically costly to reproduce--energy put into reproduction is energy that cannot be used for growth and caring for one's self. Reproduction is a "cost" which can mean decreased growth and increased mortality. A semelparous organism spends its life growing (larger size is related to higher fecundity in many organisms) and devoting energy to that before spawning once near the end of its life.

    The other part of your question--what exactly causes an octupus to die after spawning. Death is apparently controlled by an optic gland secretion released after spawning. The second link below contains a citation (Woodinsky 1977) for a study on the topic.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/awqhY

    When octopuses reproduce, males use a specialized arm called a hectocotylus to insert spermatophores (packets of sperm) into the female's mantle cavity. The hectocotylus in benthic octopuses is usually the third right arm. Males die within a few months of mating. In some species, the female octopus can keep the sperm alive inside her for weeks until her eggs are mature. After they have been fertilized, the female lays about 200,000 eggs (this figure dramatically varies between families, genera, species and also individuals). The female hangs these eggs in strings from the ceiling of her lair, or individually attaches them to the substrate depending on the species. The female cares for the eggs, guarding them against predators, and gently blowing currents of water over them so that they get enough oxygen. The female does not hunt during the roughly one-month period spent taking care of the unhatched eggs and may ingest some of her own arms for sustenance. At around the time the eggs hatch, the mother leaves the lair and is too weak to defend herself from predators like cod, often succumbing to their attacks. The young larval octopuses spend a period of time drifting in clouds of plankton, where they feed on copepods, larval crabs and larval starfish until they are ready to descend to the ocean bottom, where the cycle repeats. This is a dangerous time for the larval octopuses; in the plankton cloud they are vulnerable to plankton eaters. In some deeper dwelling species, the young do not go through this period.[citation needed]

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    RE:

    Why do male octopuses die after mating?

    So I found out that male octopuses (octopie?) die after mating. They have a special "sperm arm" called the hectocotylus, that they use to deposit eggs in the female and then they die within the month. What mechanism causes their death? Does the arm come off like a bee stinger? Is it some...

    Source(s): male octopuses die mating: https://trimurl.im/a68/why-do-male-octopuses-die-a...
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Male Octopus Mating

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Their reproductive arm falls off, so they die.

    Also, it's octopuses or octopodes, NOT octopi.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well biologically speaking it makes sense for the parents of a species that hatches fully self sufficient to die after breeding to allow for more enviornmental resources for the young and also their bodies would become food for predators and distract from the eggs of the young

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