18

Sep

The boy can dance: ritual courtship of the opal cling goby

The Opal cling goby inhabits streams on islands in the central tropical Pacific including the Australian Wet Tropics. Whilst it is known that these fish move about in the ocean as larvae and live in freshwater streams as juveniles and adults, little is known of their courting. Of special note is that a couple of these gobies have now been filmed in a dazzling courtship, resulting in a brief paper in the journal Pacific Conservation Biology. A quirky video can be downloaded as supplementary material from the journal or can be accessed from the TropWATER Youtube site.

One of the authors of the paper, Dr Darrell Kemp (Macquarie University) contends that β€˜It is not just the intense colour of the male that attracts the female but the way in which the male curves his body to direct the bright colouration.’ His moves are everything. This fascinating fish behaviour occurred in Yirrganydji Country north of Cairns.

For further information, access:

Ebner, B. C. & Kemp, D. (2019). The boy can dance: Ritual courtship of the Opal cling goby. Pacific Conservation Biology (Online early)

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