Norman et al. (2002) provide a description of reproductive behavior in this species: Mature male T. violaceus develop a large modified reproductive arm (hectocotylus) within a spherical pouch. When males mate, this pouch ruptures, sperm is injected into the tip of the modified arm, and the arm is severed and transferred to the female. The male presumably dies. Regenerating hectocotylised arms have never been found among the many dead males that have been captured in trawls. In benthic arm-dropping octopuses, arm regeneration takes about 6-8 weeks (Ward pers. comm. cited in Norman et al. 2002). If male T. violaceus mated more than once, regenerating males would likely have been encountered. The detached arm remains in the female's mantle cavity until it is used to fertilize her eggs (Thomas 1977).
Potential fecundity of T. violaceus violaceus (the Atlantic subspecies) was estimated by Laptikhovsky and Salman (2003) to be about 100,000-300,000, depending on female size, with eggs released in batches of 10,000-30,000 (first and last batches smaller). Laptikhovsky and Salman report that the spawning period lasts 0.5-1 month, with most eggs produced during the first one to two weeks. They also note that in both mature female T. violaceus they examined, only the left oviduct was found to be functional and to contain ripe eggs.
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