Posted by: Kaj Maney
Well the Blue Rings just keep on coming.. We started to realise that they were in their mating season about two months ago. I was at Serena Besar, a dive site close by, when a diver from another resort found two Blue Rings mating. Pretty cool but as another resort found them I didn’t try to get very close and soon left them alone.
After that we started to see Blue Rings on a regular basis, which has been fantastic for our guests, for our guides (who love seeing them) and, of course, for me. Lots of sighting, but unfortunately, no more actual mating.
So I’ve been thinking that two months is a long time for a mating season, and I’ve been expecting to see the sightings drop off…..
….however, we were at Pintu Colada this week, a lovely dive site and it has been good for fairly consistent Blue Rings sightings. Even though there may be a few around, they are still very tricky things to find, as they are small and camouflaged. They only display their distinctive rings when agitated or excited. We were cruising around in the sand and rubble, around 22m and I was again thinking how great the guides are to find these elusive cephalopods on a regular basis. Suddenly, almost as I was thinking those thoughts, I saw in front of me two Blue Rings!!! and they were mating!!! Ah ha, I thought, not bad for an old guy!!
So finally I got to see the Blue Rings mating, two months after seeing my first couple. Everyone was very good and we didn’t get too close or make any sudden movements. This allowed the Blue Rings to get on with their ‘business’. It was fascinating to watch. The male is the blue Ring on the back. At first, as you can see in the video below, he has his tentacles extended around the female’s body and the female seems to be dragging him around.
After a few minutes the female stopped moving and the male then enveloped the female’s body completely. She seem to get quite agitated for a moment, wrapping her tentacles around her eyes, then the male suddenly jetted off and it was all over.
I kept an eye on both of them after they had separated and unfortunately they displayed some pretty human behaviour, or at least the male did. The female wandered off, holding herself upright and looking like she had things to do….the male jetted off, found a small rock, perched on top of it and seemed to promptly fall asleep!!!! Poor fellow must have been rather tired from all his hard work….and I do hope it was safe sex, as the alternative really is lethal with Blue Rings
The rest of the week has, as ever, been wonderful. Other octopus seen have included Mimics, Wonderpus, Giant Reef and Coconuts. We’ve also seen Giant Cuttlefish, Pygmy Cuttlefish, Broadclub Cuttlefish and Flamboyant Cuttlefish. Crustaceans, as ever, have been great, with more Hairy Shrimp, Bumblebee Shrimp, Mantis Shrimps, Coleman Shrimp, Emperor Shrimp, Xeno Crabs, Sponge Arm Crabs, Decorator Crabs, Porcelain Crabs, Saron Shrimp, Orangutan Crabs, Halimeda Crabs and many types of cleaner shrimp. There have been Pink and Yellow Barganbanti’s, Yellow Denise’s and Pontohi’s pygmies, as well as Thorny and Common Seahorses. There have been more Lembeh Pygmy Seadragons, Bent-Stick Pipefish, Mushroom Coral Pipefish, Pipehorses and many other types. Frogfish have been good, with a rare Randall’s Frogfish, as well as Giant, Hairy and Painted. We have seen Ambon Scorpionfish, Spiny Devilfish, Devil Scorpionfish, Waspfish and Lembeh Velvetfish. We’ve seen many Ribbon Eels, Napoleon Snake Eels, many other eels, and a Banded Sea Krait. Lots of Fingered Dragonets and a few Pegasus Sea Moths. Plenty of nudis and much much more…
So thanks to all are guests this week, from the UK, the States, Sweden, Japan and Spain. It’s been another great week’s diving.
Date Posted: November 30, 2010 @ 3:25 pm Comments Off