[Coral-List] Re: coral leks for cuttlefish

Charles Birkeland charlesb at hawaii.edu
Tue Jun 22 11:01:23 EDT 2004

Ms. DeBose asked about cephalopod aggregation sites on coral reefs. A 
most interesting arrangement on Guam (at least between January and May 
in the late 1970s) was the apparent use of Lobophyllia hemprichii by 
cuttlefish as leks. Male cuttlefish seem generally solitary but 
aggregate in the reproductive season in areas where Lobophyllia 
hemprichii is prevalent. A lek is a site attractive to females and 
used by males for courtship (although technically defined as away from 
nesting areas). It seems that the males station themselves over the 
dead Lobophyllia hemprichii colonies because females are attracted to 
dead L. hemprichii as sites for egg case deposition. The deep valleys 
between corallites of this species of coral are just the right size 
for the cuttlefish egg sacks. The females may be selecting the sites 
and the lucky males that chose the best dead coral colonies for 
attracting the females may be the ones to pass along their genes.  
This is all described in detail with color photos of the various 
postures and colors used in communication among the cuttlefish (with 
interpretations) in 

Corner, B.D., and H.T. More. 1980. Field observations on the 
reproductive behavior of Sepaia latimanus. Micronesica 16: 235 - 260 


Message: 3
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2004 16:25:24 -0700
From: Jennifer DeBose <jldebose at ucdavis.edu>

Dear Coral-List,

I am a graduate student at the University of California- Davis, in the 
Animal Behavior Group. I study aggregation behavior in cephalopods 
(specifically, squid and cuttlefish). Part of my research focuses on 
the possible association of squid aggregations with coral reefs.

I am currently searching for comparative field research sites.

I would like to ask you all for any information (either published or 
personal) about transient, or short-lived, squid or cuttlefish 
aggregations over coral reefs. Does anyone have any experience with 
this, or know of any sites I might be able to look into?

Please email me directly at jldebose at ucdavis.edu with any guidance you 
might offer.


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