The potential fecundity (PF) of advanced maturing and mature pre-spawning cuttlefish S. officinalis in the Aegean Sea varies from 3,700 to 8,000 (mean 5,87 1) oocytes, whereas the number of large yolk oocytes increases with mantle length from 130 to 839. Small oocytes predominate at all maturity stages. Spawning animals have a PF of some 1,000-3,000 eggs below that of pre-spawning females. This shows that intermittent spawning, which occurs in captivity, is a normal process in natural habitats. Empty follicular sheaths are resorbed very rapidly, and their number does not represent the number of eggs laid by the female prior to sampling. Regulative oocyte resorption was observed at early maturation in some cuttlefishes.