In late September / October we had Bent Christensen come and stay with for the second time this year – a true Lembeh addict!
The reason for his visit was mostly fun – trying to get in as many dives as possible in 14 days but he also wanted to spend more time looking at the tongue-eating parasites that he had found living the mouths of certain types of anemone fish on his first trip to Lembeh in 2010. What he found definitely made it a worthwhile trip.
Bent spent many minutes underwater fending off attacks from crazed Saddleback Anemone fish and saw that as high as 90% of fish on one carpet anemone can have this parasite. They have also been seen in the Spinecheek and Clarks Anemone fish as well. A trip to the local fish market with one of our cooks was also an interesting experience as he had most people in the market looking into fish mouths and managed to find a couple of the isopods still alive in the mouths of a couple of goatfish!
We are really looking forward to hearing more about this from Bent. Bent is quite a talented underwater photographer as you can see from the photo above, if you would like to see more of his photographs from his recent stay, please just follow this link: http://www.pbase.com/borneobent/lembeh
Next time you are diving, if you see an Anemone fish try and get close and see if there is a little isopod staring back at you!! Let us know if you find these crazy critters anywhere else in the world!
It has been a few weeks since letting you all know what’s been happening here at Two Fish Divers Lembeh.
We have continued to enjoy teaching – Lucy completed her Open Water and Advanced Course and Greg, Andrea and Meagan all completing their Advanced Open Water Course with us as well. We enjoyed great night dives and completed the Wreck Adventure Dive on the Kapal Indah wreck which home to some cool pink and purple Pygmy Seahorse, Batfish and a range of lovely Nudibranchs!
We have also been seeing a few critters that haven’t made an appearance for a while and they all seem to be hairy..! One of the coolest things we have seen was the Hairy Octopus which is extremely rare and had Gizmo our resort manager screaming with joy when he surfaced! This little critter is solitary and is usually found on a rubble bottom as he was on the photo here. The colour can range from white to cream to brown to red, either with a pattern of spots or not. From looking at it is easy to see why people mistake them for an Orangutan Crab or sea weed!
Also seen this week as well Hairy Ghost Pipefish and Hairy Frogfish. Non-Hairy critters have included Blue Ringed Octopus, Giant Frogfish, Painted and Warty Frogfish, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Stargrazers and more!
It is going to be a busy time for the rest of October but keep an eye for updates on the critters that we will be seeing!
We are currently enjoying a couple of quiet days before the summer rush and we are making the most of it, getting in as many fun dives as possible. The last few days have really rewarded us with lots of Frogfish and Flamboyant Cuttlefish action and lots, lots more!
We have found a site where there are 3 Hairy Frogfish (Antennarius striatus) now residing and the one that has been living at Jahir 2 for months is still loving his home! Gizmo managed to get a great shot of one of the newly found Hairy’s yawning at us!!
We (the guests as well) have also enjoyed an up close encounter with one of the largest Giant Frogfish (Antennarius commerson) I have ever seen and most impressively we have discovered another Randall’s Frogfish, which is one of the rarest inhabitants of the Lembeh Straits!
Flamboyant Cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) have also been in abundant supply and of many different sizes - ranging from around 8cm down to the a tiny one that was only about 1cm long. We also got this picture of Flamboyant Cuttlefish eggs on the underside of a coconut shell, the female injects them through a hole in the top to protect them from predatory fish! Juvenile Flamboyant’s start to show the normal coloration from birth, so letting any predators know that they are a pretty toxic snack!
Also in the last couple of days other sightings numerous Thorny Seahorses, Zebra crabs, Long Armed Octopus, Wunderpus, Ornate / Robust / Halimeda / Rough Snout Ghost pipefish, Pygmy Seahorses and Pipehorse, Ambon Scorpionfish…I am getting exhausted from just writing the list!!