Long time friend and fan of Two Fish Divers Steve Childs recently enjoyed another 3 week stint here in the Lembeh Strait with us. Even though his primary interest is cataloguing the many weird and wonderful Nudibranchs and Flabellina we have here in the Straits, he still enjoyed encounters with the other critters we have here especially the Octopi!
We have spent many dives searching for the elusive Blue Ringed Octopus (Genus Hapalochlaena) but on this dive at Critter Hunt, we struck gold! Steve enjoyed some time alone with him but kept a safe enough distance to keep away from that highly venomous bite!! It is hard to believe that something so small, is one the of the deadliest things on the planet! Click on this link to view his video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQz62wYzE30
In a previous blog, you may remember the mention about the giant Mimic Octopus(Thaumoctopus mimicus) that was spotted recently. Sem and Steve found this guy in the shallows at Aer Prang. As you can see from the footage – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dvz5rYixLMk – the octopus is constantly changing his shape and colour. What we found most fascinating is the section where the Mimic is swimming towards the surface, these creatures spend most of their time hiding in the sand checking out its surroundings so seeing one displaying this type of behavior would appear very unusual!
Thanks Steve so much for the links! If anyone else has videos they would like to share then please upload them and send me the link or contact me for Two Fish You Tube account details – firstname.lastname@example.org
Thankfully our two Open Water students, Seo from Korea and Gabor from Hungary, both appreciate what lucky people they are to have had such a stunning ‘swimming pool’ skills session today. During confined skills 4 and 5, they encountered no less than 3 seahorses, 3 flounders, 2 puffer fish, a tiny frogfish and a pigmy pipehorse! Now that’s pretty amazing for any dive anywhere…. but for a ‘POOL’?! Sure beats cold chlorinated water and other people’s old elastaplasts!
Recent guests Jim, Soo and Darian couldn’t wait to get back into the water when they arrived at Two Fish Divers Lembeh so after quickly unpacking their bags and eating a quick snack, they headed out onto our House Reef for a night dive!
Unfortunately the guys were unable to get a photo of the cuttlefish but Jim is going to search through his footage to see if he managed to get a good clip of him on film so that we can identify him! Darien managed to get us a nice photo of this Pleurbranchus forskalii.
This large nudibranch can grow to be to 200mm. They tend to mainly come out at night . They tend to be spotted in sandy and rubble areas, hence we can find them in Lembeh!
They enjoyed it so much, the next night they went in again and encountered numerous octopus, scorpionfish and nudibranchs!
Jim also sent us a clip of the video that he made from the dives on the Two Fish Lembeh House Reef. Check it out at:
Thanks again to Darien from Singapore again for this lovely photo and to Jim Wong for the video!!
Our guests have been having a top time this week and seeing a tonne of
weird and wonderfully different fish and critters, big and small.
We had our first day trip of 2010 to Bangka this week, leaving at 7am,
doing 2 morning dives, a tasty lunch on the boat, followed by a great
afternoon dive at Paradise jetty on route home and returning in time
for tea. We saw amongst other things, some giant frog fish and
crocodile fish, clown frog fish, thorny seahorses and many ornate
ghost pipe fish. On the journey home, the boat was given a dolphin
escort for part of the way.
On two amazing dives at Pangalingan and Sachiko, the guests got up
close with no less than nine black tip and white tip sharks, as well
as plenty of giant trevally and barracuda.
Our visit to The Wreck didn’t disappoint either… the schoal of
friendly bat fish came out to play, there were nudibranchs galore and
the slope after the wreck was dotted with mantis shrimps, ribbon and
garden eels, a white mouth moray, a sea snake and a very impressive
octopus. The second dive on the house reef delivered a cute but
camera-shy pigmy seahorse.
Today’s highlights were definitely the HUGE green turtle and the
miniscule hippocampus seahorse at Tanjung.
Who knows what tomorrow may bring but it’s going to have to be
something extra special to top that lot!
A big thank you to our lovely guest Johan from Holland for giving us
these photos to share with you.
As we enter into May the resort has quieted down a little bit, so we are taking advantage of this and going out on some fun dives together! Of course we are also constantly trying spot some cool critters for our guests but our great guides do not need too much help in that department!
As we headed out this morning, it started to drizzle but it didn’t dampen our spirits – we are going to get wet anyway!! We dropped in at Makawide Island and headed off to the dark depths but found some a couple of Thorny Seahorses alongside loads of beautiful nudibranchs. Franz , the guide out diving today spotted a gorgeous Warty Frogfish (Antennarius maculatus) and so the group enjoyed passing the time on their safety stop watching him amble along the rubble!!
After a quick boat ride, we dropped in at our next site – I’m being secretive so the other resorts don’t find out what we found there!! About 15 minutes into our dive, Franz patiently tapped on his tank to get everyone’s attention. I was the first on the scene and was greeted with the amazing sight of this guy!! We see many Hairy Frogfish (Antennarius striatus) here in Lembeh but this was the first time any of us had seen one that was matching the orange sponge that he was sitting next to! He was really acting for us – wriggling his lure like crazy trying to attract some prey!
Frogfish lures their prey actively to where it can strike. Its lure mimics food such as worms or small fish. The prey approaches to catch the lure and then is engulfed by the waiting frogfish. This is known as aggressive mimicry.
Thanks to Gizmo for being on hand with his camera to get a couple of great shots of these amazing fish.