Best Wildlife Photos of the Week

White storks at sunset near Philippsburg, Germany.
Photograph: Ronald Wittek/EPA

The beauty of gender-bending, by Alexander Mustard. ‘This is a moment of ecstasy, seconds before spawning, in the extraordinary mating ritual of shy hamlets. The male is calling out as he caresses the female, who is curved around him, head-down, about to extrude her eggs. He is fanning his pectoral fins to create a current, which will draw the eggs towards him as he releases his sperm. This coral-reef fish, possibly the most beautiful of the 13 Caribbean species of hamlets, spawns at dusk – a dangerous time, when the most predators are about.’
Photograph: Alexander Mustard/Unforgettable Underwater Photography/NHM

A manta ray swims in the waters of Raja Ampat in eastern Indonesia’s remote Papua province. The area has become home to the world’s biggest manta ray sanctuary as it seeks to protect the huge winged fish and draw more tourists to the sprawling archipelago.
Photograph: Shawn Heinrichs/Conservation international/AFP/Getty Images

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