Chris Morgan's Wildnotes

A fish that builds a nest? On location in Corsica

Symphodus_ocellatus_24-05-07_(Stefano_Guerrieri)
The oscillated wrasse. There’s more going on here than meets the eye.
corsica underwater
Cameraman Mark Carroll captures the action
buddy
My stunt double. Maybe not.
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Discussing the shoot plan before we dive.
Dr Suzanne Alonzo, Mark Carroll, Chris Morgan
Dr Suzanne Alonzo, Mark Carroll, and me heading into the nest area to film.

This was an incredible ‘ANIMAL HOMES’ (series on PBS Nature April 8, 15, 22, 2015) shoot off the coast of Corsica in the French Mediterranean. A nest-building fish was our target species this time. We joined researcher Dr Suzanne Alonzo who teased apart the underwater soap opera for us :). The male builds a nest to attract females. The more females the better in fact. It seems they all like a good nest made by a decent stay-at-home dad. He even recruits a ‘satellite’ male to help attract even MORE females to lay their eggs in the nest. What’s in it for the satellite? He gets to fertilize a few himself. As if that’s not complicated enough, there’s another male involved too. This one is a little more selfish – the sneaky or sneaker male. He simply sneaks in when the other two males aren’t looking and fertilizes a few eggs as the female is laying them, and then departs extra fast. MUCH more going on down there than meets the eye sometimes. One of my video diaries is here: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/blog/wheres-chris-morgan-wrangling-ocellated-wrasse/ along with lots more to see, read, and hear about the series. I hope you can tune in!

Chris
4.10.15

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