Here is a short video of the larva inside of the egg.
Ruby laid her one to two thousand eggs on June 23rd and has been guarding them and blowing water on them to make sure they are well oxygenated since then. Although she came to our aquarium in March, she delayed the fertilization and laying of her eggs until she was secure and comfortable in her tank. Octopus rubescens are notoriusly hard to raise in captivity, but we will try to feed them artemia (brine shrimp) and see if we can be one of the first to raise them! I have to keep reminding myself that the reason many marine animals lay hundreds of eggs is that most of them will not make it to adulthood. Octopus are dedicated mothers and won't even eat while caring for their eggs. After she has witnessed her eggs hatching, Ruby will die.
Here is one of the newly hatched larva. This octopus hatched as I was moving the sample eggs to a petri dish. You can see the round yolk sac near the short tentacles.
We'll be sure to keep you posted on this unfolding drama. If you come by please ask us about these new babies, but remember that Ruby may still be in seclusion.
See you soon!
Chrissy McLean, Marine Program Coordinator