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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS - Vol. 371 - Feature article
Octopus pallidus, a holobenthic species found in south-east Australia Photo: Stephen Leporati

Doubleday ZA, Pecl GT, Semmens JM, Danyushevsky L


Stylet elemental signatures indicate population structure in a holobenthic octopus species, Octopus pallidus


Targeted elemental analysis of stylets (an internal remnant ‘shell’) was used to investigate the population structure and dispersal patterns of Octopus pallidus, a commercial octopus species found in south-east Australia. Using laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA ICPMS) the pre-hatch or embryonic region of the stylet was targeted and analysed for 12 elements. Based on multi-elemental signatures, the population was highly structured with all sample populations appearing discrete. This is the first known study to use stylet elemental signatures to examine the population structure of a holobenthic octopus species (i.e. having benthic hatchlings); it will not only have important implications for the O. pallidus fishery, but will have beneficial applications to other commercial species around the world.


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