Many of our dive sites here in Gili Air have some sandy sections and this is where we find spotted garden eels dancing about! These shy little guys will dart down into their holes as you approach, but if you observe them from a distance and there is some current, you may be lucky enough to see many of them stretching upwards out of their hole and ‘dancing’ in the water.
Spotted Garden Eels
Spotted garden eels have three large black patches and numerous black spots all over their body, large yellow eyes and an upturned mouth. Males and females look different with the male being larger and its jaw sticks out further. Spotted garden eels grow to 16 inches (40 cm) in length and have a body diameter of 0.5 inch (1.3 cm).
Spotted garden eels burrow into the sandy sea bottom to make their home. They make their bodies rigid by tightening their muscles and then drive their pointy tail deep into the sand. When they get deep enough, they wiggle their dorsal fin which pushes the sand out. Each eel lives in a single burrow, which they rarely leave. They extend out of the burrow to feed and when they are sure there are no signs of danger.
Other news from Gili Air this week, we have been busy! Jake began his dive education by taking the PADI Open Water Course while Ellie completed her PADI Advanced and Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty Courses. These two worked very hard this week in preparation for their next stop: Komodo! Ellie was practicing a lot with her underwater camera so stay tuned for some of her photos in future posts. Ellie and Jake also made their first night dive with us (above).
Thursday evening was our beach cleanup, but with Ellie and Jake out on their first night dive and the island somewhat quiet at the moment, our staff Jen and Adus took on the beach cleanup themselves – well done guys!
Would you like to come and join us for diving in Gili Air? No matter what level of diver you are, the Gili Islands offer fantastic dive sites which are packed with colourful corals and teeming with fish – and turtles!! At Two Fish Divers Gili Air we teach the full range of PADI Courses so you can learn to dive with us or develop your skills while you are here. Want to become a PADI Divemaster? Join us for a PADI Divemaster Internship on Gili Air!
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