Eye Spy

Drama can sometimes be slow, silent and subdued.

Take this pair of strawberry conch shells (Conomurex luhuanus) for instance:

Here's looking at you (License image)

Camouflaged at a depth of 25m, five or six cm in length each, this pair of molluscs looked like nothing more than lumps. Boring, motionless bumps in the sand. Ho hum.

Closer examination however revealed sea snails in the throes of heated gastropod passion.

The male is in the rear. See the look in his eye? He's saying "Scram, I'm busy!" (Ok, maybe I'm reading too much into it.)

In case it's not obvious, the conchs were copulating, with the male fertilising via the female's siphonal notch while the female was depositing a long, tubular egg mass in the sand.

Don't believe me? Allow me to zoom and enhance:

Conomurex luhuanus strawberry conch eggs
Artistic, hand-drawn, pretty-in-pink pointer to the eggs

I can't claim to have been able to see those teeny-tiny eggs while I was photographing. All I could do was to keep an eye out for motion of the female, pressing the shutter when she moved in a way that suggested deposition of eggs.