Love is in the air and on the Reef. These marine animals look for love in some interesting ways.
Blue Green Chromis dress up to find love!
Some people like to change their hairstyle, add makeup and alter the way they dress to impress a date. The Blue Green Chromis's efforts are not so different.
As the name suggests, the Blue Green Chromis may appear more blue or green depending on light conditions. However, come spawning time, mature males develop splashes of yellow and black when trying to attract a female.
Blue Green Chromis can be seen on coral rich reefs up to 20 metres in depth on the Great Barrier Reef.
Last year, our Blue Green Chromis were caught in the act. The male was spotted preparing the nest and marking his territory. He returned with a female who deposited eggs into this nest. Once finished the male will guard the nest and ventilate the eggs with his fins, until they hatch. You can view the video by clicking this link to our Facebook page.
The Flashlight Fish doesn't look hard to find love!
Just as the name suggests, the Flashlight Fish has a flashlight at hand, or rather on its head!
Located under its eye, the Flashlight Fish has a special gland that contains a bioluminescent bacteria, which is key to the fish's survival. The bacteria produces a green light. Flashlight Fish use this light to attract prey towards its mouth, dazzle predators, as well as find other Flashlight Fish. A membrane, like an eyelid, allows the Flashlight Fish to signal to each other and turn the light "on" and "off."
Finding love wouldn't be hard when you're looking for another glowing light in a dark ocean. Nearly 90% of organisms use bioluminescence in the oceans at depths below 200 metres. Sightings of Onefin Flashlight Fish are rare on the Great Barrier Reef, as they are nocturnal and spend the day hiding in caves and crevices on outer reefs.
Crustaceans splash on the perfume and shed their inhibitions!
During mating season, adult crustaceans attract a mate with perfume or pheromones. For some species, this perfume is present in the female's urine.
Once releasing the perfume, some crabs will use their body and claws to fan the scent towards their prospective mate. Female crabs have a small window of time in which to mate. They can only mate after they have moulted and before their new exoskeleton (or shell) hardens.
Over 1300 species of crustaceans call the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park home. Our ornate and painted crayfish moult regularly.
Turtles go from nuzzling to nesting!
Male sea turtles show their interest in a female through touch. During the mating season, male turtles will court a female and show their interest by nuzzling or nudging her head, the back of her neck and/or her flippers.
If she doesn't protest or shy away from his nudges and nuzzles, the male turtle will take this as a sign that she is interested.
Turtles that have feeding grounds in Indonesia, Vanuatu and New Guinea, migrate 1000's of kilometres to the northern Great Barrier Reef to find a turtle to nuzzle, ahead of their breeding and nesting season.