I'm off again in the morning, offline for the next month.
Before I head to the airport, I thought I'd share a few recent photos of a friendly Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus), also known as humphead wrasse. These charismatic fish are popular with scuba divers, because the fish can be inquisitive, interactive, and insistent.
I spent a bit of time with this mature male, photographing it from a few different angles, given how cameraphilic it was.
Here is it from behind:
And from above:
I've been observing Napoleons for a while now, watching their movements, the relationships among individuals on a reef, and particularly the interactions between mature males and females.
About two years ago, I started to figure out the courtship/ spawning pattern, even seeing spawning a few times last year. And last month, I finally managed to photograph a few spawning sequences.
The following five photos depict one such spawning sequence, with the female closer to the camera, and the large mature male farther away. Males strive to maintain a harem of several females, and when they spawn, they do so repeatedly with multiple females.
Once they make up their minds, the fish swim into the blue and the action is quick. The sequence of images below for example spans less than one second of time.
This is the type of stuff that gets me excited!
A big thank you to Niall McCarty for hanging out with me while I chased fish. I can't think of anyone better to enjoy fish porn with.