Look at what we saw today on our morning dives in the Lembeh Straits!
Opo (our Head Dive Guide) spotted the Harlequin Shrimps and made sure all our guests saw them! The Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera picta or elegans) are often found in pairs, with the female being the larger of the two. They often hide in cracks and crevices and you only tend to see them when they are looking for the next starfish prey. They keep the starfish alive for as long as possible by eating its arms first, leaving the central disk to the end.
Steven (another of our amazing guides) found a tiny pair of Tiger Shrimp (Phyllgnathia ceratophthalmus) hiding in the rubble. Not much is known about this small species as it’s very rarely seen. As you can see their color pattern is unique and distinct. They are really quick to hide and, again, are very rarely seen so the sighting this morning was extremely special!
Thanks again to Gizmo for the great photos.
Since arriving at Two Fish Divers Lembeh in January, we try to go on a house reef dive at least a couple of times a week to see what we have living out there. On one of our first dives with Nigel, he came across a pair of Ornate Ghost Pipefish ( Solenostomus paradoxus) and we are happy to report that we continue to see them on most dives on the house reef.
As you can see from the photos the larger female of the two pipefish is aerating her eggs and on a recent dive ( unfortunately without the camera) we had seen that the eggs have now been released – so lets hope soon we’ll have lots of Ornate Ghost Pipefish living on our house reef!!
The Ornate Ghost Pipefish can be recognized by its distinctive body form – with thin appendages off its body and fins. Its coloration can vary from almost totally black to almost semi-transparent with red, yellow and white scribbling, spots and blotches. They tend to be found in protected areas, in particular hiding in above crinoids, black corals and gorgonian fans and due to their clever camouflage they are often over looked! They feed mostly on mysids and benthic shrimp.
There is evidence to that suggest Ghost Pipefish settle as males and later, dependent on social and environmental conditions, some will change into females. This change starts a growth spurt and the development of brooding pouch which can hold up to 300 eggs and larvae.
Thanks to Gizmo for some great photos!
Yesterday (08/03/10) Two Fish Lembeh sent Gizmo (our resort manager), Danny (one of our excellent dive guides) along with Andy & Les (two guests who have come to dive Lembeh many times with Two Fish Divers) off to check out some new dive sites. We had heard that at the south of Lembeh Island, there was some areas of spectacular wall diving and so we went to see if the rumours were true! When the boat returned I was very glad to be greeted by 4 happy smiling faces, the morning dives had obviously been a success! White Tip Reef Sharks, Tuna, Giant Trevally joined thousands upon thousands of Half-Moon Triggers, Pyramid Butterflyfish and other reef fish surrounded our divers. Not only all that action but the divers enjoyed at least 20-30m viz! For all you Macro fans, there is still plenty of small things to be found – Orangutan Crabs, Scorpion Fish and Nudi’s to name just a few. We are going to look into running these trips on a regular basis so keep your eyes peeled for an update! Photos to come as well, I just need to get them off Andy & Les’s cameras!!
Nick has taken a break from diving in order to try and get more of his video edited & published, “I’m sitting on a mountain of good footage that hasn’t seen the light of day yet. For example all my underwater HD footage from my last trip to Two Fish, which may well be my best work. Likewise years of Thailand/Myanmar footage and footage from last year’s trip to Fiji and Tonga.”
He has just about finished his videos that he made while diving with us and has posted them onto the web. Check out:
Enjoy! You can see more of Nicks video’s on his Bubblevision web site.
We just received news that one of our guests Mark Thorpe won a first prize at the 34th World Festival of Underwater Images in Antibes. Congratulations Mark!
Mark produced a short underwater film from the video footage he took when he stayed with us in Lembeh in July 2007 (click here to see Marks previous blog). As Mark said in his email to us, “My short film called The Majesty of Muck must have struck a nerve with some of the judges as it was awarded the Prix du Public.”
Mark sent us this picture of him with his award at the prize giving ceremony, standing on the right with overall category Gold Palme winner Danny van Belle.
Mark will be sending us a dvd so guests can see his work when they visit us, and you can see more of his work on his own blog by clicking here.