Look at what we saw today on our morning dives in the Lembeh Straits!
Opo (our Head Dive Guide) spotted the Harlequin Shrimps and made sure all our guests saw them! The Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera picta or elegans) are often found in pairs, with the female being the larger of the two. They often hide in cracks and crevices and you only tend to see them when they are looking for the next starfish prey. They keep the starfish alive for as long as possible by eating its arms first, leaving the central disk to the end.
Steven (another of our amazing guides) found a tiny pair of Tiger Shrimp (Phyllgnathia ceratophthalmus) hiding in the rubble. Not much is known about this small species as it’s very rarely seen. As you can see their color pattern is unique and distinct. They are really quick to hide and, again, are very rarely seen so the sighting this morning was extremely special!
Thanks again to Gizmo for the great photos.
Since arriving at Two Fish Divers Lembeh in January, we try to go on a house reef dive at least a couple of times a week to see what we have living out there. On one of our first dives with Nigel, he came across a pair of Ornate Ghost Pipefish ( Solenostomus paradoxus) and we are happy to report that we continue to see them on most dives on the house reef.
As you can see from the photos the larger female of the two pipefish is aerating her eggs and on a recent dive ( unfortunately without the camera) we had seen that the eggs have now been released – so lets hope soon we’ll have lots of Ornate Ghost Pipefish living on our house reef!!
The Ornate Ghost Pipefish can be recognized by its distinctive body form – with thin appendages off its body and fins. Its coloration can vary from almost totally black to almost semi-transparent with red, yellow and white scribbling, spots and blotches. They tend to be found in protected areas, in particular hiding in above crinoids, black corals and gorgonian fans and due to their clever camouflage they are often over looked! They feed mostly on mysids and benthic shrimp.
There is evidence to that suggest Ghost Pipefish settle as males and later, dependent on social and environmental conditions, some will change into females. This change starts a growth spurt and the development of brooding pouch which can hold up to 300 eggs and larvae.
Thanks to Gizmo for some great photos!
Helen, Gizmo and everyone at Two Fish Divers would like to congratulate Marta, David & Santiago on passing their PADI Open Water Course!
Helen & Gizmo travelled from the dark side to Bunaken to teach an Open Water Course in Spanish, Gizmo’s home language. The course got off to a great start with them seeing a turtle at The Lagoon, which is very rare as most of the dive guides in Bunaken have not seen one there before! The course continued without the guys having any problems and ended on a high with another Turtle sighting at Lekuan 1! Gizmo worked extra hard translating Helen’s briefings into Spanish but it was clear from looking at the huge smiles on their faces that all 3 thoroughly enjoyed the course!