Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre’s clownfish eggs met an untimely end after being consumed by their parents.
The centre had been preparing for the clownfish hatchlings after discovering the small clutch of eggs on Monday, February, 5.
However, centre manager Kerryn Wood reported that she discovered that the eggs had been eaten when she checked the on Thursday morning.
“They have most likely been consumed overnight,” she said.
Ms Wood is presently researching this incident to ascertain if it is common clownfish behaviour, Ms Wood and staff at the centre had been actively and excitedly preparing for the new arrivals before making the sad discovery.
“We had purchased plankton in preparation for the babies but we will keep it in the event that there are more eggs, and perhaps babies in the future,” Ms Wood said.
The centre has never had fish eggs before but is home to other infant marine species including some very cute rock pool sea stars.
Ms Wood also reported that, in the led up to Valentine’s Day, the marine environment has been alive with amorous fish and other marine species.
On a recent dive she observed the mating behaviours of rock pool star fish and two sand blenny’s getting up close and personal.
“One sand blenny had it’s tail up over the other’s head. It was like they were having a cuddle,” she said.
Ms Wood was also fortunate to see two stingrays swimming together in what was either a show of affection or a gentle tussle.
“They were both swimming toward us flapping their flaps over each other,” she said.
Tussle or cuddle? There must be something in the water.