Ever wondered how do fish mate? Or how do they have intercourse underwater? Or maybe you’ve tried it already? Yes? No? Ok, not our business.
Our business is to tell you how fish get it on. Actually, our business is to tell you interesting, funny, awesome, unique stuff that you probably haven’t heard before.
In general, fish reproduce in two major ways:
- Internal fertilization
So how do fish mate anyway?
Anyways, let’s see how fish mate. It isn’t a difficult job at all. At least, not as exhausting as our technique is. Most species of fish have a less exciting reproduction process than ours.
The females release eggs into water, males leave their sperm and they somehow meet there and that’s it, no orgasm at all. Such a pity.
But, there are some female fish who prefer a more touch on approach. For example, sharks and rays have claspers which are similar to our reproductive organs, almost.
The fish species Phallostethus is quite a very sexual guy in the fish world, as it has genitals on his head. He is a proud “guy”, apparently.
He uses the priapium, his bony organ, to grasp the female’s urogenital opening which is, as you have probably guessed, on her head. And that’s how dirty minds work.
All in all, fish either have sex through some sort of contact in which case the fertilization of the eggs happen inside, or they do not have any kind of contact, in which case, the fertilization happens outside the body of the female.
The matter of having sex being discussed, the question is, how do female fish give birth? There are some who, surprisingly, give live births, meaning the baby fish is fully formed as a baby when he comes out.
This fish species have a way of fertilizing their eggs inside, through a mating ritual that has some resemblance to the mammals’ mating. Cool stuff, right? Still not convinced?
Here’s a more in depth explanation on the two methods:
Ok, so even inside this method, there are two types, one on one spawning, and group spawning. Different fish type choose a different method. The upside of using the one on one method is that only one fish gets to fertializing the eggs released by the female fish.
Some fish do this in groups, and they just release the eggs into the water in groups, and male fish just release their sperm into the water and the eggs meet the sperm and a fish is spawned.
Some fish type have a more ” human ” like approach in the form of the female fish preparing a nest prior to fertilization and both the female fish and male fish protect the eggs in the next from predators until it spawns.
Group Spawning is probably the most known and popular method for fish to mate though. In this way a large group of female fish will release a large quantity of eggs into the water and the male fish will release their sperm.
The advantage here is that such a large volume of eggs in the water has a better chance of fertilization instead of just one fish couple.
It also helps with predators that feed on eggs as they won’t be able to eat all the eggs in the water which increases the chance of success by a lot.
Some fish types like Cartilaginous type which are sharks and rays prefer to have a more intimate method and they do it a little differently. In this case the male fish will have a pair of claspers next to their pelvic fins and these behave very similar to the human male penis which has a very specific purpose, which is to insert the sperm into the female.
The fish actually have two claspers because they are grown from the inside of the pelvic fins, which comes in pairs.
For sharks to mate, they actually need to make full contact with the female shark and they do this by using their teeth to give the female little bites in the head area. Which gives them enough friction to insert their sperm using their clasper.
Fun fact about shark mating
Female sharks are the only known species of fish that can actually reproduce without a male. Yes, that’s right, this is a process called parthenogenesis, and it is basically the female shark’s ability to fertilize itself and give birth.
The process was believed to be evolved due to lack of male sharks and to have continues of the species. Life, hmm finds a way.
Here is a cool video showing how do fish have sex
Quick Fish Spawn terminology:
Fish species that can experience multiple reproductive cycles throughout their lifetime
When eggs develop inside the female fish body and hatch with a placental connection.
- Sequential hermaphrodites
Fish species that have both male and female reproductive organs
The act of one embryo having to eat the other inside the body of the female fish for food.
The ability to produce a huge amount of offsprings
Having a well defined sex that is separated in the population.
The event where one embryo feeding on an un hatched egg inside the female fish body.
Producing eggs that hatch outside of the female fish body
When eggs grow and develop and hatch within the female fish body without a placental
- Protandrous hermaphrodites
Fish that change sex during their life time. They start as male and later switch to female.
- Protogynous hermaphrodites
Fish that are born females and later change their sex to males.
Fish that only has one reproductive cycle during their lifetime.
Now you know how do fish have sex, so you can go on with your life in peace.