Effeminate fish score?

25 Jan

Seems that if you are a a Cuttlefish you can score by being the Cuttlefish equivalent of a cross-dresser:

Diminutive Giant Australian Cuttlefish males have taken to pretending to be female to elbow out larger love rivals, science magazine Nature has revealed.

With males outnumbering females four to one, smaller cuttlefish stand little chance of getting close to a mate.

But they have been spotted changing colour to mimic females and hiding their masculine fourth arms.

Scientists say they were then able to trick their way past male consorts to make their move, often successfully.

Researchers led by Dr Roger Hanlon from the Marine Resources Centre in Massachusetts watched smaller male cuttlefish adopt the females' mottled skin pattern.

'Meeting under rocks'

"We found that female mimickers could successfully deceive the consort male and that they were able to position themselves near the female in 30 out of 62 attempts," he said.

Of the five males that tried to mate, one was rejected, one was unmasked by the "consort male", and three were successful.

Two of the three successfully fathered offspring with the female.

But there were risks attached. Some of the larger males got a little confused – researchers saw 41 attempts to mate with the fake females.

Link: BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Cuttlefish wimps 'dress as girls'

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