Cheeky Butterfly Fish

Cuttlefish Komodo National ParkIf you’ve spent any reasonable amount of time underwater in the tropics, whether it be diving or snorkeling, you’ve most likely encountered the alien like cuttlefish. Komodo fore example, has many different species of cuttlefish, from the infamous flamboyant to the larger reef and broad club cuttlefish. This is the time of year where the common reef cuttlefish come up from the depths and lay their eggs within the intricate structures of the coral as a means of protecting the soft eggs from predators. During this process the cuttlefish are completely non bothered by divers so you can get a front row seat this this fascinating maternal behavior.Cuttlefish Komodo National Park

After all the eggs have been gently tucked within the coral heads and the cuttlefish have moved aside, a new type of behavior begins to unfold from another reef inhabitant and this one is not as lovely and tender as the previous behavior. Threadfin butterfly fish who have been watching eagerly as the cuttlefish set their eggs inside the coral move in in small groups to survey the scene. With their small size and pointed mouths they go straight for the outer eggs and pull them out from their coral nursery where they lift the soft shells into the blue water where the small fish begin to devour the eggs right in front of the parents to be. Fortunately it’s only a couple of unlucky eggs and the cuttlefish have planned for this sort of event and laid hundreds. While this may seem like distasteful behavior from such a ‘pretty’ little fish, the circle of life can be a beautiful thing to witness as well as a bit unpleasant as well and that’s just nature.

Mermaid II Bali-Komodo-Bali Cruise
Aug 27-Sep 3, 2016

Alex Lindbloom