In Lembeh Pegasus is alive and well, although not in the form the Greeks imagined. Instead of the beautiful winged horse, which flies through the sky’s, it instead is an odd looking winged fish that waddles the sea floor.The Seamoth or Dragonfish is named after the Greek mythological creature Pegasus, rightly so they are categorized in the family of fish Pegasidae. This bottom dwelling fish lives on sand, coral gravel, and muddy seabeds.
These masters of camouflage blend into the sandy bottom and are even able to change patterns to better match their environment. They have a flat armor plated body with large wings and a long snout, with alll this combined, they look more like a bug than a fish. Unlike most fish, they do not rely on having cleaners look after them. By shedding their exterior armor every few days, they keep themselves parasite free.
Usually seen ‘walking’ along the seafloor, they use their pectoral fins to amble along in search for the next meal. Seamoths feed on worms and small invertebrates which they suck out of the ground with their tube like mouths. If all this isn’t enough to make you love them, they are known to be monogamous and have long term mates in which they follow. Romance is a beautiful and weird looking thing.
Here are some Techniques for Photographing Seamoths
– Watch your fins as not to stir up the seabed, this disturbs the area and causes backscatter.
– Don’t crowd or touch Seamoths
– Approach slowly and avoid spooking them, they will tend to turn their back on you when frightened making a good shot impossible.
– Use a strobe to cast shadows. Because they blend so well with the environment it is often hard to make them stand out, shadows can help with this contrast.
– Use a large aperture, (small F-Stop ie. F1.8/F2) this will blur the background and foreground making the Sea Moth stand out more.
– Shoot from a level position or looking up position to the Seamoth to get more contrast.
Diving with us this week, Amy and Charlie were ecstatic seeing Seamoths for the first time. As well as these crazy creatures, our customers have seen: Black Hairy Frogfish! Blue ring octopus, mandarin fish, mimic octopus, pygmy seahorses, and so much more.