After a quite noisy night due to a huge storm that blew over Lembeh Straits last night ( the thunder was so loud it rattled the bungalows!!) everyone got onto the dive boat looking a little bit sleepy this morning!! As we headed away from the resort, the sun started to peek out from behind the clouds and as we arrived at the dive site we were greeted with crystal clear water ( well very clear for Lembeh!!) so we kitted up quickly and back-rolled in!
As we descended down we came across a Gorgonian fan with 6 little pygmy seahorses on it! I was already pretty impressed with the dive! As we continued descending down to around 22m we met Peacock Mantis Shrimps, pipefish, beautiful nudibranchs and a pair of Robust Ghost Pipefish but as we were watching them Opo and Man ( our Two Guides for the morning) shook their rattles to get our attention and after a minute of staring at this tiny frogfish I realized the significance of the find!! We had come across a Randall’s Frogfish, one of the rarest critters we can find here on the Lembeh Strait!
Antennarius randalli are found on sandy or rubble bottoms and maybe hiding in a soft drinks can or beer bottle! They tend to be found alone and their color can vary immensely from white to yellow to brown or black in order to match their surroundings. It can be distinguished from other frogfish species by a series of small white spots on its body and pectoral fins as you can see from the picture on the right.
Thanks so much to Liz Ward for these great photos that really show off the spots and capturing one of the best and most special finds I’ve experienced!!
That got your attention didn’t it??!! We regularly enjoy dives out the front of the resort on our house reef and it is nice that on every dive we see something new that we haven’t seen out there before. On one dive recently we encountered a few lovely Nudibranchs that inhabit The Lembeh Strait and thought you may want to know a little more about them! Gizmo was happy to try out his new camera on these willing models – with some great results!
The Glossodoris cinta is a fairly common nudibranch but it differs in its coloration depending on where it is found. The Indonesian variation has a brownish body, gills and rhinophores whitely dotted, with double yellow and blue rim around the outer edge of the mantle – just like to one here!! If you look closely you can see a small Emperor Shrimp taking a ride on its back. We found him at appoximately 22m on coral rubble patch.
Chelidonura amoena are a type of "headshield slug", that come from the Aglajida family. They are found in Indo-Pacific region. We found this one in the shallows along with another pair, from we have read about these Nudis, by finding them in a group it was obviously coming into mating time!!!
It always pays to look at everything you see when diving carefully . On close inspection of this photo of a Hypselodoris bullockii, you can see a tiny gobie hanging onto its side. It is usual for these Nudibranch to have yellow gills and rhinophores but its main body can vary from white to pink to this lovely purple shade.
We’ll keep posting updates on the critters on our house reef and also the progress with the artificial reef! Thanks for reading!
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
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!!
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.