Photo copyright Tim Nicholson.
Taken in the Egyptian Red Sea.
The octopus is are solitary. Mating can be risky for the male: he is smaller than the female and risks being attacked and eaten. The female watches his body postures and skin pattern. Once accepted the male stretches out a modified arm towards the female. The arm has grooves along which sperm passes to the female's mantle cavity. This photo was taken before the extension of the arm, which is shown in our second photo of the mating octopus.
by Martin Edge, Paperback, 536 pages (2009)
The Brains and Lives of Cephalopods
by Marion Nixon, John Z. Young, Oxford University Press, Hardback, 480 pages (2003)
Recommended Video: BBC World Of Wildlife 7 - Squid And Octopus
David Attenborough and Mike deGruy