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Alex_Tattersall

Cuttlefish action in Devon, UK

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Each year, cuttlefish arrive on the coast of Devon in the UK for spawning. Many of these are caught in pots laid out in wait for them throughout the bay but this year numerous cuttles have made it to the shallows .
The males fight for several days to find mates and the couple stays together despite the advances of other males. We were lucky enough to witness some of this amazing behaviour last week.
1. The male protectively stroking his girlfriend.
Nikon D7100, Nauticam NA-D7100, Tokina 10-17, 1.4x Kenko
8765089171_bb76c18e05_z.jpg
2. A single male approaches and is warded off by the long tentacle of the protective male
Nikon D7100, Nauticam NA-D7100, Tokina 10-17, 1.4x Kenko
8816104810_6df9f83282_z.jpg
3. If two courting couples approach each other, the tension also mounts.
Nikon D7100, Nauticam NA-D7100, Tokina 10-17, 1.4x Kenko
8800092966_512b1c60f0_z.jpg
4. Here the stressed male demonstrates striped patterns and the eyes dilate.
Nikon D7100, Nauticam NA-D7100, Tokina 10-17, 1.4x Kenko
8789510275_7552fed266_z.jpg
5. More eyes!
Nikon D7100, Nauticam NA-D7100, Tokina 10-17, 1.4x Kenko
8767850488_86d37128c4_z.jpg
6. The black and white stripes intensify as the males approach each other
Olympus OMD, Nauticam NA-EM5, 8mm Fisheye
8800092872_651b573e48_z.jpg
7. Male and female will join to pass the sperm sacks from male to female.
Nikon D7100, Nauticam NA-D7100, Tokina 10-17, 1.4x Kenko
8765089663_7aa426310d_z.jpg
8. Nikon D7100, Nauticam NA-D7100, Tokina 10-17, 1.4x Kenko
8815529854_c252abe9a3_z.jpg
9. The female lays black eggs infused with ink which are attached to the weeds
Olympus OMD, Nauticam NA-EM5, 8mm Fisheye
8815527784_fb222846df_z.jpg
10. Aliens attack!
Nikon D7100, Nauticam NA-D7100, Tokina 10-17, 1/4x Kenko
8845438399_723192501c_z.jpg
Hope you enjoy looking at them half as much as I enjoyed taking them.

 

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An amazing display of stripes, fabulous pictures Alex. :0)

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Lovely sequence of images Alex, you've done well in what was obviously very challenging conditions.

 

Cheers,

Jim.

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Thanks, this shot shows 6 pairs, 12 cuttles and the challenging conditions (and a rather tasty Nauticam NA-D7100 housing and 100mm Zen dome to the right for scale)

 

8867819405_aaca6d9382_z.jpg

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Fantastic behavior series, Alex! You must have been an inch away for some of those shots!

 

Wish I had taken them :P

 

Fletcher

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Thanks for inspiring us!

 

One day I might find the Babbacombe cuttlefish...

 

... it's got to beat spending most of the weekend at work!

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Hello,

 

Wonderful images. I'll have an opportunity to do a bit of diving in Ireland in May 2015. Does anyone know if there are Irish dive spots where you could witness this kind of cuttlefish action in May? How long do these spawning aggregations last?

 

John McCracken

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hi Alex. Old thread I know, but Great shots :-) Could I ask where in devon you captured these?

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