Sunday, June 12, 2011

Flamboyant Cuttlefish-Flambo's

Flamboyant cuttlefish-Metasepia pfefferi
The Flamboyant Cuttlefish is a Cephalopod and is considered a “Holly Grail” critter for macro enthusiasts and photographers alike. They get their name from the colors they flash and non-Chelan attitude when approached by divers.
Habitat- They can be found roaming the sandy flats and broken corals in search of crustaceans like mycid shrimp and small fish. I have seen many on open sandy areas and particularly where the reef meets the sand. Falmbo’s are the only cuttlefish that walk, scientist speculate that this fact is due to the small size of the cuttlebone that keeps them from floating like other cuttlefish.

Fauna Range:  Western Australia through the Philippines, Malaysia and Papua. I have seen many on dive sites throughout the Indo-Pacific including Indonesia’s Lembeh Straits, Bali and the Philippines.
Hunting: Using their proboscis extended it is believed to be very sticky and will strike with lightning speeds. The Flambo’s natural color is usually a bit brownish but once its on the hunt it begins to flash and can become quite…well, Flamboyant. It is also believed that this is an aposematic behavior display which shouts, “Hey, I’m poisonous”. That’s right, the outer membrane of the Flambo is swathed in a unique toxin that is compared to the other coveted Cephalopod, The blue ring octopus. 

Head on shot

Cuttlefish Eggs can be found frequently on broken coconut shells, on the inside of discarded jars, soft coral and various other places to protect the larvae from predation. I like to re-visit them in hopes to catch the various states of development.
Its no secret that cephalopods are intelligent, animated and engaging, finding and photographing them are tops on the list for me!

Location: Andoro Triangle, Philippines
Guide: Edgar Etchenza
Camera and Gear- Nikon D300, Sigma 28-80 lens and Nikon 60mm Ys 250 and 110a strobes

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