Alex Mustard - Mating Dragonets
This is a rare, rather than creative nature photo. It shows a pair of spawning dragonets (Callionymus lyra). These fish usually live on the seabed, but here the larger male is carrying the female up into the water column, balanced on his pectoral fin to spawn. It is much better for them to spawn away from the safety of the seabed so that their eggs are dispersed more widely and egg predation is reduced.
I have read in a reputably source that the males are thought to only breed once in their life time. After mating this chap looked like he had plenty more miles in the tank. This was taken in Loch Carron, Ross and Comarty, Scotland, British Isles.
Location: Scotland, UK
Tags: Alex Mustard, Callionymus lyra, dragonet, reproduction, scotland, underwater, united kingdom