Leaf Scorpionfish in Bunaken
In Bunaken the leaf scorpionfish are camouflage experts which makes them very difficult to find – but a treat when you eventually see them! Even when you know it’s a fish, you could still easily believe that it’s a leaf!
Taenianotus triacanthus, which is commonly known as the leaf scorpionfish or sometimes paperfish, is the only member of its genus but is in the same family group as scorpionfish, lionfish and stonefishes. They all share similar characteristics which include being well camouflaged and venomous ambush predators, although the leaf-scorpion fish’s venom is much weaker than its relatives.
We love seeing the leaf scorpionfish here in Bunaken and we usually spot them on the sloping areas, on sand and coral rubble, where they make great use of their camouflage. The leaf scorpionfish can vary from red, green, pink and brown through to ochre and even ghostly white and they molt every 10-14 days, giving them the chance to change their colour. The fish resembles a dying leaf and even sways slowly from side-to-side – just like a leaf would underwater. You will find yourself suspicious of every leaf you see in Bunaken National park but the guides at Two Fish Divers aren’t so easily fooled. This awesome photo is from one of our guests (Mike Toupin) who was thrilled to find such amazing critters with his guide Geraldo, on his short trip to North Sulawesi. Thanks for the great photo Mike!
This week we have welcomed some old faces back to Two Fish Divers Bunaken and some new ones too. Jens, Francine and Alex have come back to enjoy the wonderful walls of Bunaken just 10 minutes from our doorstep. Welcome back guys! Marianne is also here after not diving for a couple of years, she is glad to be back in the water and blowing bubbles again.
Sophie who has just completed her PADI Divemaster training, has been working hard to get as much experience as possible, helping to refresh guests like Summer, that haven’t dived for a while and also practicing guiding divers around some of her favourite dive sites. With students Lachlan and Sonia doing their PADI Open Water course and their friends Tiffany, Caroline and Benedict joining us for fun diving, the boats have been buzzing with all levels of diver enjoying their first, second or even their one-thousandth breath underwater. Jose brought his wife and kids to stay and has been diving every day while his family have been enjoying snorkeling and relaxing in the resort. In few years time the kids can join dad underwater too!
As always the turtles are around in huge numbers, undeterred by divers and bubbles, and entertaining even the most experienced divers on almost every dive. Charly and Claire were extremely happy to see so many big turtles while they took their PADI Advanced Open Water course with us. Well done to them for achieving the next level of diver training while travelling the world.
If you’d like to find out more diving and the marine life in Bunaken, enquire about a PADI course or to make a reservation, fill in the form below and we will get right back to you!
We are looking forward to diving Bunaken, North Sulawesi, with you soon!
Photo: Mike Toupin