“Camouflage” is a fascinating behavior that many Lembeh animals partake in as they take on the characteristics of an unrelated, inanimate object, simply hoping to go unnoticed by predators. Juvenile Orbicular Batfish are a perfect example of such a critter. Lacking toxins or venomous spines, they spend their juvenile months perfectly camouflaged as fallen leaves as they float about in small schools under the piers and oyster-farms of Lembeh. What would otherwise be a small, tasty morsel for a passing predator is dismissed as an uninteresting, inedible leaf. As the Orbicular Batfish reaches a more formidable size (topping out around 28cm/11in), they no longer depend on camouflage and transform into a completely different looking fish!
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Have you ever marveled at how knowledgeable your Lembeh dive guide is? How do they know the names of individual Nudibranches off the top of their head? How do they know which animals are mating and which animals are fighting? And how do they know where to look for all the camouflaged animals they find? Their knowledge may stem from the many hundreds of dives they’ve done in Lembeh. But it may also be due to some of the wonderful resources at their disposal. For those of you that are interested in learning a bit more about the Lembeh critters yourselves, this blog is for you…
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Due to all the Starry Night Octopus and Starry Blennies in Lembeh this week, an old, classic Holiday tune was re-born. “O Starry Night, your Eyes are Brightly Shining…” I sang to myself as we watched a beautiful Starry Night Octopus dance across the reef during a night dive. Unlike many other varieties of octopus, which slip into the closest hole at the first sign of light, the Starry Night is rather intrigued by dive lights. (Click on the Two Fish website link to read more…)
Have you ever glanced over at your dive buddy, only to notice a Remora stuck to their tank? This week diving in Lembeh, we were accosted by a small “gang” of Remoras who chased about from diver to diver, attempting to attach to fins, knee-pads, bellies and dive tanks! The Remoras would normally attach to larger fish, such as turtles and sharks, latching on for a free ride about the reef and feeding on the food scraps of their hosts. But for lack of larger animals in their immediate vicinity, the Remora’s attention turned to the divers!