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Flamboyant Cuttlefish ménage à trois

By Leonard Ho - Posted Feb 16, 2016 09:00 AM
We share an oldie (well, 2012) but goodie video of three curious flamboyant cuttlefishes. When you've got a lifespan of just one year, you've got to make the most of your time on Earth.

Ignore the captions in the video.  Steinhart biologist, MASNA Aquarist of the Year and cephalopod guru, Richard Ross, explains (in the video's comment section) what the three cuttlefish are actually doing:

What is going on in the vid is breeding competition and actual breeding. The largest animal is the female (often donning 'drab' colors) and the other two are males. The larger male is trying to stop the smaller male from mating with the female, and being gentle about it. There is often a more spectacular color show with males doing this, with a lot of white coloration, and perhaps it does not occur in your video because the smaller male is so much smaller. The part that you questioned as being 'regurgitating' was the actual mating - the female rolling her arms back is a known mating position. It looks like both males deposit spermataphores.

Read Richard Ross' Advanced Aquarist article, "Metasepia pfefferi – the aptly named Flamboyant Cuttlefish," to learn more about these incredible animals.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com.

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