During a recent night dive on the Yorke Penins…

During a recent night dive on the Yorke Peninsula we observed this velvetfish hanging out with a striped pajama squid.⁣

Both are ambush predators and come out at night to hunt, using their camouflage and patience to opportunistically pounce at the right moment. ⁣

The Velvetfish use their large trapdoor style mouth (similar to anglerfish) to suck in vulnerable prey passing within reach. ⁣

The pajama squid (which despite its name is actually a cuttlefish) has a different approach will pounce using its specialised feeding tencales.
These cuttlefish are one of just a few cephalopods which are poisonous. Their distinctive outfit probably advertises this fact to predators.⁣

However their distinctive stripey skin may also fluoresce. When switching over to UV during a review video on the @orcatorch #D820V, we observed the pajama squid strongly reflecting UV light (image 3).⁣

Since many shallow dwelling reef fish are able to see UV light, we propose that perhaps the velvetfish is “teaming up” with the fluorescing pajama squid, using the UV emitted by the jetty lights above (which can penetrate deeper than white light) to help spot pray. ⁣

While this is currently a one off observation, we would love to hear from anyone who has also observed or captured this kind of behaviour.⁣

#GreatSouthernReef #PajamaSquid #Velvetfish #YorkePeninsula @southaustralia #ichoosesa #seesouthaustralia #ig_australia #underwater #fishbehaviour #marinescience #oceans ⁣ (at Yorke Peninsula)