I’ve been catching up a (very little) bit with photo editing over the past week or so.
Here are a couple of photos I took back in 2010 of a boy Diodon holocanthus porcupine pufferfish (the one with the crazed look in his eye) pursuing a harried female (the one closer to the camera, trying desperately to get away from the deranged dude Diodon).
"Come hither, my pretty," said the wide-eyed porcupinefish
The “courtship”, as it were, lasted several hours and actually involved many other males hyped-up with hanky-panky hormones, chasing the reluctant object of their mutual desire over vast swaths of the Lembeh Strait.
When all was said and done, the male depicted here was the last man standing, or fish swimming in this instance…clearly chuffed about the prospect of claiming his prize (Note: “chuffed” is British secret code for "to be exceptionally pleased with oneself" often while sporting a smug expression broadcasting said self-satisfaction.)
On this particular occasion, I wasn’t able to stay with the pair long enough to watch them spawn, but I did succeed in doing so once before.
The fish in that case (there was a female and two males) headed out to the middle of the strait, went down to 23m for a while, then shot up and spawned at about 12m.
All-in-all, porcupinefish courtship is quite the prickly affair (groan).
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