The researchers discovered that males of this species are picky, preferentially bestowing their conjugal attentions on large females, and will guard a single female for up to 10 days (or more), mating with her frequently and fighting off other beaus that come calling sometimes while still engaged in mating!
(Having eight arms is a boon for multi-taskers.) But even a watchful eye and eight strong arms can't guarantee that an aggressive guard won't be cuckolded especially given the sneaky tactics employed by some smaller males ...
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Apparently not recognizing the sneaker as a rival, the guarding octopus may let him approach without attacking.
The sneaking male hides behind a rock, extends his mating arm to the female, and, if lucky, accomplishes his mission. Don't worry about me I'm just a female octopus passing through") can work a bit too well: the researchers saw a guarding male set his sights on the sneaker male octopus passing though his territory and try to mate with "her." Why would a male change his stripes (literally), sneak around, and risk the unwelcome amorous advances of another male? All this guarding, aggression, repeat mating, and sneaking can be traced to one factor: paternity who gets more genes into the next generation.
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