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Targeted trace elemental analysis was used to investigate the population structure and dispersal patterns of the holobenthic octopus species Octopus pallidus. Multi-elemental signatures within the pre-hatch region of the stylet (an internal ‘shell’) were used to determine the common origins and levels of connectivity of individuals collected from 5 locations in Tasmania. To determine whether hatchling elemental signatures could be used as tags for natal origin, hatchling stylets from 3 of the 5 locations were also analysed.
A novel method was used to investigate the population structure and dispersal patterns of Octopus maorum, an octopus species with a planktonic larval stage, which forms a distinct and large aggregation in southeast Tasmania. Single and multi-elemental signatures within the ‘early life history’ region of the stylet (an internal ‘shell’) were used to determine levels of connectivity and the common origins of individuals collected from 5 locations across Tasmania, South Australia and New Zealand.