I was extremely lucky to capture this incredible moment of natural behaviour.
Pygmy Squid are, as the name suggests, very small squid. Not an awful lot is known about them. This one was, perhaps, 1.5cm (0.5″) long and is an adult.
It started off when I saw, from a couple of meters away, a squid mating with a smaller male. I immediately got my camera ready and stared to film her. I did not use any lights, as I did not want to spook her, as they are normally very shy and almost impossible to film.
This one did not seem very shy, probably as she had other things on her mind.
After a minute or so I watched her settle down on a piece of algae sticking out of the sand and with a growing sense of amazement realised that she was about to start laying eggs!!
I watched this astonishing moment, as she brought an egg up to the ends of her tentacles then, as became obvious, started to “pump” up the egg to a much larger size, a size that would have been impossible for her to have inside her body. She then carefully places/sticks the egg onto the algae. You can see the tiny egg nucleus inside the larger case.
After the second egg was in place the male squid then came back to make sure (I presume) that fertilisation had taken place. She, quite calmly, seemed to ignore him and carried on laying away, while he kept trying to do his ‘business’.
I watched this fantastic process for about 12 minutes, while she laid perhaps 30 eggs. The eggs size, when added up, must have been about three times her entire body size!!
It was a fantastic moment of nature, one I will never forget.
Note: The flashing background is caused by the sunlight on the surface of the water. I was only 4m (10ft) deep when filming. It was all filmed in ambient light, no video lights, to reduce any chance of disturbing the squid.