Sex, Muck and Rock & Roll – Part II
So what happens after the rock and roll party in Lembeh? In the muck, conspicuous behavior has consequences. All that sex and rock and roll often manifests in the birth of new stars, another generations of exhibitionists to strut the world’s premier critter stage.
Orange banded pipefish (Doryrhamphus pessuliferus) – Photo by Jones/Shimlock – Secret Sea Visions
Orange banded pipefish with eggs: Male pipefish carry the next generation attached to their bellies. Good payback for a night of wild abandon.
Peacock mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus) – Photo by Jones/Shimlock – Secret Sea Visions
Peacock mantis shrimp with eggs: But the female mantis shrimp carries her brood, continues to clean her burrow and does not eat while she’s caring for the eggs.
Flamboyant cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) – Photo by Jones/Shimlock – Secret Sea Visions
Flamboyant cuttlefish in egg: The female Flamboyant cuttlefish cares for her eggs, often aerating and cleaning them, but she is often not present when they hatch. The newly released babies are on their own.
Rudmani’s phyllodesmium (Phyllodesmium rudmani) – Photo by Jones/Shimlock – Secret Sea Visions
Octocoral nudi with eggs: There are many sexual identity crises among Lembeh’s muck stars. Most nudibranchs are simultaneous hermaphrodites, and can both fertilize and lay egg ribbons.
Warty frogfish (Anntenarius maculatus) Left ; Red Bumpy Gymnodoris (Gymnodoris rubropapulosa) Right
Male/female frogfish & clown nudis: Most of the time sex takes place between members of the same species.
Hypselodoris bullocki (Hypselodoris bullocki)
Different nudi species mating: But occasionally muck critters are so desperate for partners, disparate species try hook up.