Callistoctopus macropus is more fastidious in its diet than is the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris), a species with which it shares some of its range and which feeds by day. Callistoctopus macropus, by contrast, feeds by night. Its method of feeding is to move from one clump of branching coral to another, often Acropora or Stylophora spp.. The octopus wraps its mantle around a coral head and probes with its arms among the branches, searching for the small fish and invertebrates that seek protection there. It has been found that a number of groupers (family Serranidae) and other predatory fish associate with the octopus when it is feeding, pouncing on small organisms that are flushed from the coral head by the octopus.
For many years, the breeding habits of this octopus were not known. Then a female was observed attaching short-stalked eggs, measuring 4 by 1.2 mm (0.16 by 0.05 in), to a hard surface forming a sheet of eggs. The female then brooded the eggs, caring for them by aerating them and keeping them clean. The female octopus stopped feeding at the time the eggs were laid and died soon after they had hatched, as is common among octopus species. The planktonic larvae which emerged from the eggs were each about 5.5 mm (0.2 in) in length with short, seven-suckered arms. They fed on zooplankton such as crustacean larvae.
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