Muck Diving in Lembeh Strait – Flamboyant Cuttlefish Hatching
Flamboyant cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) are one of our favourite critters. They are beautiful to look at with their constantly moving bands of purple, white and black but did you know their flesh is also extremely toxic? Females are larger than males and soon after mating, females will lay eggs individually. Here in Lembeh, they often deposit the eggs on the underside of coconut shell halves. Initially the eggs are an opaque white colour and as they develop, they gradually become more transparent. Gestation takes about a month and when they are ready to hatch, you can clearly see the juveniles moving about and changing colour inside! Our Photo Pro Sascha lucked out, found this clutch of eggs ready to hatch and filmed the birth of several individuals. The newborns are just under 1cm long and are fully-formed predators, ready to start walking around and hunting immediately. They are one of the fastest-growing marine animals and within a few months they will reach adult size (about 8cm mantle length for females, 4-6cm for males) and their life span is approximately one year. Come visit us here for a chance to see these amazing critters!