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Sex on the Reef. Part 24 of my DVD, "Reef Life of the Andaman", available at or view the whole 2-hour video at

In this video we look at how some marine species breed underwater.

First we look at broadcast spawning, whereby marine animals release sperm or eggs, collectively known as "gametes", into the water. Large amounts of spawn are released to maximise the chances of successful fertilisation in the open water.

We see a Graeffe's sea cucumber, Pearsonothuria graeffei, broadcast spawning at Racha Yai near Phuket in Thailand, as well as a pizza anemone, Cryptodendrum adhaesivum, and a cock's comb oyster, Lopha cristagalli, in Burma's Mergui Archipelago.

Pharaoh cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis, are one of the most intelligent marine creatures. They copulate face to face, using their ten tentacles to embrace. The male cuttlefish passes spermatophores into a pouch beneath the female's mouth. He may first use a jet of water to flush out the spermatophores of any previous mates. Scuba divers may approach closely while the couple are engrossed in mating. After copulation the female cuttlefish passes her eggs over the sperm and into a crevice in the rocks. The male is extremely protective over the female and aggressively fends off other male suitors.

Finally, at Shark Cave, we see a male bigfin reef squid, Sepioteuthis lessoniana, escorting a female as she deposits her eggs in the coral reef.

The following closed captions/subtitles are available by clicking the CC button under the video:

- English
- German (Deutscher Kommentar)
- Spanish (Narración en Español)

- Dutch (Nederlandse Namen)
- English
- German (Deutsche Bezeichnungen)
- Thai ( ชื่อภาษาไทย & จุดดำน้ำ )

Please get in touch with me if you would like to help translate the narration or marine life names into other languages.

I have more scuba diving videos and underwater footage on my website at:

I post updates about my videos, and interesting underwater videos from other filmmakers here:

The video was shot by Nick Hope with a Sony VX2000 DV camera in a Gates housing. It was edited in Sony Vegas Pro then deinterlaced with QTGMC and upscaled to 720p HD in AviSynth.

Thanks to Absorb Fish ( for the music track, "Bird's Song (Edit)".

Thanks to Santana Diving of Phuket (, to Elfi and Uli Erfort and Daniel Bruehwiler for help with the German translation, and to Frank Nelissen for the Dutch subtitles.

Full list of marine life and dive sites featured in this video:

00:00 Graeffe's Sea Cucumber, Pearsonothuria graeffei, Koh Ha
00:11 Graeffe's Sea Cucumber, Pearsonothuria graeffei, Staghorn Reef, Racha Yai
00:31 Pizza Anemone, Cryptodendrum adhaesivum, Moving Wall
00:47 Cock's Comb Oyster, Lopha cristagalli, North Twin Plateau
00:58 Oyster, King Cruiser
01:05 Oyster, Moving Wall
01:10 Oyster, King Cruiser
01:15 Oyster, Moving Wall
01:25 Pharaoh Cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis, Black Rock
01:42 Pharaoh Cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis, Shark Cave
01:57 Pharaoh Cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis, Black Rock
02:10 Pharaoh Cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis, Shark Cave
02:18 Pharaoh Cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis, Richelieu Rock
02:54 Pharaoh Cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis, Shark Cave
03:20 Bigfin Reef Squid, Sepioteuthis lessoniana, Shark Cave
03:42 Day Octopus, Octopus cyanea, Western Rocky Island


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