WPY 2017

Photograph Details

Finalist 2017

Under Water

Edwar Herreno, Colombia/Costa Rica

Rough love

Edwar first spotted this female guineafowl puffer cowering in a crevice, surrounded by a gang of amorous males. Intent on fertilising her eggs, they soon tugged her into the open water, where they used their powerful jaws to nip her skin. Exhausted and exposed, she eventually succumbed to their advances.

The ‘love-bites’ captured by Edwar are part of the fish’s complex mating ritual. They use their parrot-like beaks to bite their mate, usually causing superficial wounds that will heal within a few days. On rare occasions males will sink their jaws into a female’s flesh causing more significant damage.

Technical specification

Nikon D300; Tokina 10–17mm f3.5–4.5 lens at 17mm; 1/125 sec at f8; ISO 200; Sea & Sea housing; two Sea & Sea strobes.


Gulf of Papagayo, Costa Rica: latitude 10.557695, longitude -85.70129 Gulf of Papagayo, Costa Rica: latitude 10.557695, longitude -85.70129

Gulf of Papagayo, Costa Rica

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Edwar Herreno

Edwar Herreno, Colombia/Costa Rica

Edwar's love for the sea led him to become a marine biologist. For many years he has worked around the world as a photographer, videographer, recreational scuba instructor, technical diving instructor and yacht captain. He has also worked on film productions for CNN, BBC and National Geographic.