Image: Mating Giant Cuttlefish - Neil Vincent

Mating Giant Cuttlefish - Neil Vincent

In May and June each year a spectacular event takes place in the gulf waters near Whyalla in South Australia. Giant Cuttlefish, Sepia apama, aggregate here to mate and to then die. Males seem to out number females about ten to one and it is the males that which are most spectacular. They do not fight for the female’s attention they “display”, stretching to twice their normal length and width, and then radiating coloured patterns across their body, trying to out display or intimidate other suitors. Some males become so engrossed in display that they forget the female, who is then often stolen by smaller immature “sneaker” males. The female wait off to the side, seeking small caves to lay their eggs, seeming more intent on reproduction and continuation of the species that the theatrics

Neil Vincent
© Neil Vincent

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