Mating Behavior

Paraphyllina intermedia
E.Widder/Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution *  1999
Another very important characteristic that is enhanced by the luminescent ability of a marine animal is that of mating behavior.  There are some marine species that are sparsely populated, limiting the net reproduction that can occur.  Bioluminescence is one mechanism that would allow these species to increase their "perception distances."  (2)

It has also been observed that some octopods may use bioluminescence in their mating behavior.  It is believed that in at least two species, Japetella diaphana and Eledonella pygmaea, the female emits a light of a specific wavelength to attract its mate, while avoiding the risk of being detected by a predator. (8)



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