Depending on the species, octopodes may lay anywhere between 500 to 500,000 eggs. Females never leave their eggs from the time they are fertilized to the time they hatch. This usually takes around a month (again, this can vary a great deal depending on species (Enteroctopus dofleini brood their young for around six months)), during which the mother won’t even venture out to get food. Some octopodes have been known to eat their own arms for sustenance rather than leave their den and their eggs open to danger.
The mother will clean each of the eggs individually with her tentacles, and blow air currents over them to ensure that they get enough oxygen.
After hatching, the larval octopodes will spend their time near the surface of the water -feeding on plankton and other small organisms until they are strong enough to survive on the ocean floor.