For a couple of weeks already we have been feeling the temperature of the water drop in Lembeh, but don’t panic because cooler waters means lots of cool critters too!
It happens every year between late July and September that the water temperatures are slightly cooler than normal in Lembeh. We’re not talking as crazy as the thermoclines of Nusa Lembongan, but we see our average water temperature go from 28 or 29 degrees, down to 25 or 26 degrees! So, grab an extra layer and get diving because we are well rewarded for being a bit chilly on the dives by lots of special sightings!
The hairy Frogfish has returned with a vengeance after a slight hiatus for about a month, we have now seen them on three sites and counting! All of them are fairly small but very hairy! Maybe they disappeared for while to grow their hair filaments to make sure that they would be warm enough for the cooler season? Lots of other smaller Frogfish species have been spotted around our sites too, especially the painted variety with several tiny, fingernail-sized froggies being spotted by the guides this week.
Rhinopias are another species which seem to like the cooler temperatures, and the Paddleflap Scorpionfish is still around too and we have also spotted the Halimeda Ghost Pipefish which is always a treat.
Also at this time of year we also see a sprout of extra algae on a lot of the muck sites, looking like pale green candy floss, and this is a veritable feast for the sea slugs of Lembeh with a great variety of different sea slugs munching on the algae. We have also seen the mass congregation of Sea Hares during the day too which is quite a sight! Extra algae means extra camouflage for some of the critters and we have seen some super hairy Ambon Scorpionfish variations this week.
We have also seen our “regulars” in good numbers with four different pygmy seahorse species, Lembeh Sea Dragons, Mimics and Wunderpus, Blue Ringed and coconut Octopus, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Ornate Ghost Pipefish, Hairy Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp and Tiger Shrimp all being spotted this week. The night dives are still awesome too with Bobbit Worms, Stargazers, Starry Night Octopus and Bobtail Squid all making an appearance
Thanks to Simo for the picture!