Looking to improve your photography skills on your next trip to Lembeh? Divemaster in Training Tristan Stafford took Scott’s Digital Underwater Photography course this week, with amazing results! Here’s a wonderful account of his experience…
“The first time I came to Lembeh was nearly six years ago. I was mind blown even in the early days of my diving experience at the wealth and variety of creatures that inhabit the area. Diving for me has always felt like a journey to another world – Lembeh is another world! Ironically, what appears to be the bleakest dive site is more often than not the most interesting – TK being the perfect example of this. Cruising over the black sand, no reef, no wall, and no coral, the occasional fish, you find yourself questioning why you choose to dive in what appears to be a site devoid of life. Then the little shakes and bangs from the exceptionally talented dive guides begin. It is a prelude to the performance. You know the show is about to begin and your mind is about to blown away by the weird and wonderful.
We have been witness to some very interesting reproductive behavior amongst Cephalopods when diving in Lembeh this week. Both Cuttlefish and Reef Squid have all been putting on quite the show! These two beautiful Crinoid Cuttlefish (distinguished by the spotted pattern on their lower arms) were caught mating beneath the overhangs of a colorful sponge, and were so caught up in the activity at hand that they didn’t seem to notice the gathering crowd of divers.
“Are the Flamboyant Cuttlefish in Lembeh Venomous or Poisonous? What about the Blue Ring Octopus, and the Spiny Devilfish: Venomous or Poisonous?”
These are commonly asked critter-questions at Two Fish Lembeh, especially during weeks like these when all of the above mentioned animals are making a regular appearance. Apparently the Flamboyant Cuttlefish is poisonous, not venomous, and the Blue Ring Octopus and Spiny Devilfish are both venomous. The difference between venomous animals and poisonous animals is how their toxin is delivered.
A variety of Harlequins have made an appearance in Lembeh this week. Harlequin Shrimp, Harlequin Swimming Crabs and Harlequin Ghost Pipefish have been keeping our photographers and recreational divers busily entertained! Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera elegans) are a highly sought-after sight in Lembeh, and are often found near their favorite food source: the blue Linkia Sea Star. Harlequin Shrimp feed on Linkia Star tube feet; they remove each tasty foot with their tweezer-like claws before cutting into the Sea Star and consuming it further. A few lucky Sea Stars are able to shed an arm when the Harlequin Shrimp first begin to feed, but others are not so lucky. Harlequin Shrimp have been known to slowly consume a living Sea Star for many days, sometimes going so far as to feed their Sea Star in order to prolong the life of their food source!