Reproductive Biology

The male-female pair on the sea whip are probably monogamous. About 6-8 in (15-20 cm) in from the tip of the sea whip, the fish clear living tissue from the whip in a narrow band about 0.9 in (23 mm) wide, exposing the underlying skeleton. The eggs are attached in a wide band over this "nest." Individual fish can change sex, apparently either way. The largest female to settle on a whip might become a male and the next largest fish remain a female, thus forming a pair. Fish that lose their mates might revert to a bisexual state, allowing them to mate with any fish of either sex that subsequently settles on the sea whip.

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