A Night on the Reef

A Night on the Reef

A Night on the Reef: Like any big city, the reef never sleeps, although its inhabitants do – in shifts. At the first hint of darkness, the daytime crew takes cover and some of the ufabet sleepers are remarkably innovative.

A Night on the Reef

A Night on the Reef

The parrotfish finds a safe crevice and surrounds itself with a sleeping bag of mucus that it exudes from its mouth. This cocoon serves two purposes: as an early warning system and as a containment vessel.

If a moray eel comes calling and touches the mucus, the parrotfish is out of there pronto. The cocoon also prevents its body odour from drifting over the ufabet reef and attracting the attention of the night-hunting alley gangs and solitary killers – the sharks.

Lone tiger sharks come in from the open sea at high tide, orderly schools of grey reef sharks patrol the drop-off into deep water, frenetic mobs of blacktip reef sharks sweep the shallow, sandy reef flats, and in amongst the coral heads are gangs of whitetip reef sharks.

The whitetips target squirrelfish and soldierfish, relatively small silver-orange fish with big eyes, which emerge at night to feed, but there is another night-time predator for which they really must watch out.

The bobbit is a horrific, metre-long iridescent worm. There are records from Japan of these rainbow-coloured monsters of the reef growing to 3 metres long and weighing 4 kilograms. It is said to get its unusual name from Mr J. W. and Mrs L. Bobbit, the former having cheated on the latter and the latter having cut off the penis of the former in revenge.

It draws a parallel with the bobbit’s formidable jaws.

The worm is an ambush predator, living in a mucus-lined burrow in the seabed; where it sits and waits, hidden by sand and gravel with only its five antennae showing. When its senses are triggered, the ufabet worm torpedoes out of its hole and, in a split second, turns its pharynx inside out, exposing a pair of scissor-like jaws and serrated, hook-shaped appendages.

The attack is so fast and fierce a small fish can be sliced in half. Prey is dragged below the sand, preventing its escape, and just to make sure, the worm injects toxins, which kill or paralyse it.

Victims seem helpless when faced by such a ruthless and brutal predator, but there is at least one that fights back. Peters’ monocle bream mobs the bobbit. If the fish finds a bobbit’s lair, it hovers vertically, head down and blows water into the hole, and soon several bream gather to join in the water fight.

The bobbit’s senses become overwhelmed, causing it to retract deep into its tunnel until the fish have gone.