Eggs upon eggs

Mass of big fin reef squid eggs nearing hatching - mooring line at Sarena Besar, Lembeh, Indonesia. The small white specks in the egg capsules are individual squid hatchlings (called paralarvae). Fingers crossed I get to see them hatch while we are here!
Mass of big fin reef squid eggs nearing hatching – mooring line at Lembeh, Indonesia. The small white specks in the egg capsules are individual squid hatchlings (called paralarvae). Fingers crossed I get to see them hatch while we are here!

We arrived in the wee hours of the morning to Lembeh Resort on Lembeh Island in Sulawesi Utari province after a typically long debacle of delayed flights. Despite the sleepless night, we jumped right in this morning to begin the hunt for spawning big fin reef squid and their eggs. With the help of Dimpy, the resident marine biologist, and the fantastic dive staff at Lembeh Resort, my first day was absolutely full of eggs! All in all, 82 egg capsules containing ~ 420 eggs at different stages of development were collected from 12 separate egg masses on the mooring lines, and that doesn’t even comprise 5% of the egg masses that were there! On a very interesting note, while squid are known to spawn on the mooring lines in Lembeh, they usually prefer to lay their eggs in more protected areas, such as within beds of branching Acropora corals, the undersides of dead corals, reef crevices and in and amongst seagrass beds. Dimpy spotted some a few egg capsules cemented to the tiniest pieces of substrate on the sandy slopes, completely unprotected. It will be interesting to see if these differences in egg laying habitat are correlated with the different species of big fin reef squid!

More updates later! We have 9 more days and lots of more squid and eggs to come.

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