The females generally mate with more than one male. Sometimes male cuttlefish may spray water into the female's buccal area to clear out spermatophores from previous mates.
Mating System: polyandrous
Males will put on colorful displays to attract females. Some males may change color to look like a female to avoid a more aggressive male, but gain access to a female.
Sexes are separate. Metasepia pfefferi reproduces by internal fertilization. Males have a specialized, hectocotyl arm that is used for holding and transferring spermatophores (packets of sperm) into the females buccal areas during mating. The female grabs the spermatophores with her arms and wipes them onto her eggs. After fertilization, the female lays her eggs one by one in hard to reach cracks and crevices to hide and provide protection against predators.
Breeding interval: Cuttlefish breed six to eight weeks in the spring.
Key Reproductive Features: seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); oviparous
The females lay eggs in places that hide them from predators, but there is no parental care post-hatching as cuttlefish die after spawning.
Parental Investment: pre-fertilization (Provisioning); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female)