2022 Edition

Nicholas Samaras

Courtship, 2020


Category - Life Under the Surface

Courtship, 2020

Stratoni is a small seaside village in north-eastern Greece. In its small bay is the only known seahorse colony in the area, consisting of short-snouted (Hippocampus hippocampus) and long-snouted (Hippocampus guttulatus) seahorses. They can be found in large numbers during the summer months diving to a depth of 8 to 17 metres. The area in which they live has no seagrass or rock formations. However, for reasons not yet understood, seahorses thrive there. When a female and a male approach each other to breed, they change colour from a dull grey to a glowing yellow. The male circles the female and the pair spirals in an elaborate courtship display that can last up to an hour. Once sealed, the pair will meet regularly, exclusively and faithfully, for life.

100 mm f/2.8 Lens - 1/80 sec at f/10 ISO 125