Due to all the Starry Night Octopus and Starry Blennies in Lembeh this week, an old, classic Holiday tune was re-born. “O Starry Night, your Eyes are Brightly Shining…” I sang to myself as we watched a beautiful Starry Night Octopus dance across the reef during a night dive. Unlike many other varieties of octopus, which slip into the closest hole at the first sign of light, the Starry Night is rather intrigued by dive lights. (Click on the Two Fish website link to read more…)
It dances across the reef, first extending its tentacles in all directions in a beautiful display, then contracting and curling them beneath itself. Named after the white skin flaps that “twinkle” across its body, disappearing and reappearing time and again, the Starry Night Octopus is an animal worth adding to your Lembeh night dive wish list.
While the Starry Octopus kept us entertained at night, the Starry Blenny was one of the many interesting animals we came across during the day. Brown with white “starry” spots, pronounced cirri above the eyes, and bright yellow fins, we only see this elusive animal in the shallows at a few select Lembeh dive sites. It is the perfect critter to observe while your guide is busy seeking out Tiger Shrimps and Pom-Pom Crabs in nearby rubble. This beautiful Blenny puts on quite a show as it jumps about, emphatically pecking at the reef, feeding on algae. But if Blennies bore you, never fear! This week in Lembeh our guides spotted numerous sets of mated Ambon Scorpionfish, two Melibe Colemani, a Black Hairy Frogfish, seven different species of Octopus, countless numbers of Seahorses and Pipefish, and too many other fascinating animals to list. What we didn’t see was the beautiful Starry Nudibranch (Glossodoris stellatus). You might have to visit our sister resort in Bunaken to check that Starry animal off your list!
Bahasa Word of the Week: Bintang = Star
(…which might come in handy when ordering your favorite Indonesian beer!)
Photo Credit: TFD Dive Guide Heskiel