It always says something about an aquarium keeper who can get fish to spawn in their tank. This especially holds true if the fish aren’t the typical clownfish or other commonly bred aquarium fish. In the video above, courtesy of 21twan21, we get to see just that. A beautiful pair of Comb Wrasses (Coris picta) perform a brief pre-mating dance, then follow up with a quick release of egg and sperm into the water column. After the pair release their gametes, they can be seen hurriedly collecting the reproductive material in their mouths.
Since the Comb Wrasse isn’t a mouth brooder, I presume they are in fact eating their newly released eggs and sperm. Eating of a fish’s own genetic material, or even developing fry, isn’t uncommon. Many fish are simply trying to reclaim valuable nutrition that is lost in the breeding process.