This week in Lembongan… After a nice day out diving in Crystal Bay, JP came back and tried to find out what kind of fish he saw. His description was very precise: tail like a sweetlips with a white finishing at the end of the tail, the fish was blueish, swimming off the reef out in the blue, body a bit like a grouper and about 70 cm long. Ok, fish books out and start searching. Even Tina, who was here from Bunaken, was getting involved in solving the mystery. This is what we came up with:
Tuna – no, because the skin was not so shiny and sleak;
Big grouper – no, because they usually don’t hang out in the blue;
Trevally – no, because again wrong skin texture;
Shark – not really
Sweetlips with very strange skin coloration – no, wrong body form…
Everybody was wrecking their brains, until Huibert finally solved the mystery. He had a picture of the mysterious creature. And then it was just easy – blue spotted puffer was the answer to the puzzle. They get up to 80 cm in length and are quite common on our dive sites. Often they float a bit off the reef and seem to just mind their own business as they are watching the divers float by. As they are not really fast swimmers their ultimate defence against predators is puffing up by filling their bellies with water. In this procedure all the internal organs are squeezed to the side and puffing up too often is not the healthiest thing for the fish.
Apart from our mysterious fish we have seen a lot of other creatures during our dives. There was a purple leaf scorpionfish in SD, Flabellina nudibranch, white tip reef shark, turtles and many, many mantas.