Everything Halimeda is impressing Two Fish divers in Lembeh this week! If you are not already familiar with the small green leaves of Halimeda Algae, there’s good reason to become acquainted on your next visit to Lembeh. Halimeda Ghostpipefish are just one example of the rare and beautiful creatures that hang out in beds of Halimeda. Called Ghostpipefish because of their uncanny ability to disappear and reappear like an apparition, the Halimeda Ghostpipefish does a perfect impersonation of the algae that it camouflages against.
Watching behavior is a favorite pastime of many Lembeh divers. Animals feed on other animals, fish spawn with one another, and of course there is plenty of egg laying going on. This week in Lembeh, Two Fish Divers guests were shocked to see a Shaggy Scorpionfish gobble down a Wonderpus! For a moment it looked like the Wonderpus had a fighting chance as its tentacles braced against the face of the Scorpionfish, but in the end the Scorpionfish won the fight. And this isn’t the first time a Wonderpus has seen the inside of a fish’s mouth. A few months back Two Fish divers saw a Wonderpus eaten by a flounder. However, the dive-guide’s gentle tap on the flounders nose made it spit the dazed Wonderpus back onto the sand! For now it remains 1:1 for Wonderpus against predatory fish…
Who knew there was beautiful reef diving in Lembeh? Often overlooked because of all the world-class muck diving sites, there are also some amazing reef dives in Lembeh. Angel’s Window is a regularly requested site amongst return guests because of all the incredible animals encountered there. Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorses are easily located at a few sites, but the Denise Pygmy Seahorse is a rare sight in Lembeh Strait these days. The Denise is differentiated from the Bargibanti by its smoother look: while the Bagibanti has many tubercles to match its host Gorgonean fan, the Denise has fewer tubercles, giving it a smoother appearance. And while the Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorse is usually found living on pinkish colored fans, the Denise is assumed to more often reside on orange fans (though not always).
A few of our guests were lucky enough to witness baby Flamboyant Cuttlefish hatching in Lembeh this week! Their eggs were first discovered a week prior and a few dedicated guests and guides returned time and again before finally witnessing the big event! As if it’s not incredible enough to watch the juveniles squirm about inside their eggs, to see them shift color just moments before pushing through the egg must be truly incredible! Once out of the egg, the teeny-tiny Flamboyant Cuttlefish remained brightly colored as it sought out its first meal on the reef…
All good stories have an end and this end was a struggle with theory! So you have this smart people who tell you ‘at the start of the course go through the book and do the exams immediately so you have that out of the way’ Perfect idea no?
To the surprise and delight of our divers, one of the rarest octopus in the Strait, the Hairy Octopus, graced us with his delightfully-playful presence this week. There also continues to be an excess of Juvenile Frogfish on the reef, in all colors, species and sizes. Everyone from super macro photographers to compact shooters will be taking home an incredible selection of Frogfish photos! Add the Halemeida Ghostpipefish sighting to the mix, and it was quite the eventful week of diving!
Divemaster in Training Lily was fascinated by the Shrimpgobys and their Snapping Shrimp counterparts in Lembeh this week. The Shrimpgoby lives alongside a nearly blind Snapping Shrimp in a burrow and provides the vulnerable shrimp with the protection of “eyesight”. The bull-dozing shrimp provides the Shrimpgoby with a clean burrow as it spends its days cleaning out their home. Any time it leaves the burrow the Shrimp maintains physical contact with its watchful Shrimpgoby. At the first sign of danger, a single flick of the Shrimpgoby’s tail sends them both diving for safety back into their manicured burrow.
It’s not often that a guest is able to show an experienced dive guide something new in Lembeh, but leave it to John Hoover to take on that challenge! Hoover, the authoritative word on Hawaiian fish and critter life, brought Flasher Wrasse Fever to Lembeh this week as he shared his excitement for this beautiful animal at meals, on the boat, and underwater. Who knew that Nudi Falls is teeming with one of the most beautiful fish in the sea? Not a single one of us at Two Fish Lembeh! We were too busy scanning the weeds and rubble for hidden wonders such as Rhinopias, cryptic Frogfish and tiny Nudibranch to notice the plethora of Flashers chasing about.