Threesome? no… Mimicry in cuttlefish

There’s a whole theme of mimicry in cephalopods that seems pretty interesting–and in a recent article from Science, there’s an instance where if you have one female and two male cuttlefish together, sometimes the courting middle male will shift his coloration to look male on one side (to the female) and female on the other (to the male).  Apparently it’s only been observed when such a trio is present, but not if it’s a single female in a larger group of males, or the opposite.  Maybe “deceiving the other male” is a good explanation, but there could be others.

Reminds me of the Mimic Octopus, who is very interesting to watch in a documentary because the scientists are never sure when he’s “not” mimicking another creature’s form.  Is the mimic octopus ever just himself?