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J Aquat Anim Health. 2010 Sep;22(3):152-7. doi: 10.1577/H09-027.1.

Fecal hormones measured within giant Pacific octopuses Enteroctopus dofleini.

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The Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, Washington 98101, USA.


The captive husbandry of giant Pacific octopuses Enteroctopus dofleini is well understood, but their endocrine signatures are not well documented. The major vertebrate reproductive hormones--estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone--and the stress-related hormone corticosterone are relatively well known for many vertebrate species. However, few studies on these hormones within invertebrates have been conducted. Our hypothesis was that endocrine signatures within octopuses are similar to those found within vertebrates in response to reproductive activity and stress. Using standard immunoassay techniques, we measured fecal steroids within fecal samples collected from five female and three male giant Pacific octopuses housed at the Seattle Aquarium. The mean estrogen level ranged from 3.67 to 99.39 ng/g of feces, progesterone ranged from 44.35 to 231.71 ng/g feces, testosterone ranged from 9.30 to 18.18 ng/g feces, and corticosterone ranged from 10.91 to 22.14 ng/g feces. The results suggest that octopus fecal hormones are similar to those in vertebrates and may be useful in measuring ovarian activity and stress within captive female giant Pacific octopuses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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