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Archive for April, 2012

Nice Diving at Pulau Abadi

These days we have been back to Pulau Abadi – a divesite in front of Bitung harbour, that has a nice rubble patch and also a beautiful coral reef. Our guest saw lots of cool things there including frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, ribbon eels and a wonderpus (that disappeared in its hole unfortunately). My personal highlight of that dive were these three though: A Cuttlefish eating a shrimp (he kept hunting it for quite some time while i watched it through the viewfinder), 2 Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorses cuddling and hitting each others heads and an algae with 7 (yes, 7!!) Picachu Nudibranchs in it (see 2 of them on photo). Oh … and there was also a beautiful school of barracuda. And all that just in front of Bitung’s Deep Sea Harbour … typically Lembeh 😉

 

The hidden Lomanotus

Lomanotus on hydroid

As i am always happy to find Nudibranchs, that are different from the ones, that we usually see in Lembeh. So it was quite satisfying to find a bunch of Lomanotus Nudibranchs. The Lomanotus live (like also Doto Nudibranchs) on Hydroids and are very small – they grow to about 1cm in size. The first one i saw some days back on a nightdive at the Waterfall (Nudi Falls 2) and the other ones at Nudi Falls itself. They were completely white … but this one, that i found at Nudi Falls, had bright red and attractive rhinophores.

Bubble Shell out at daytime

Micromelo undata

Some Critters can be seen at daytime but others only at night – like for example the Bubble Shells: They are burried in the Sand during the day and come out at night. But this Wavy Lined Bubble Shell (Micromelo undata) must have been doing overtimes … our guide Paulus found it on yesterdays’s morning dive at Nudi Retreat out on the sand. Even seen at night, Bubble Shells are not very common, but finding one in the daytime is rather special. A cool find for our guests Tyra and Dustin that finished one week of diving with Paulus as their private guide. Have a safe flight home guys and see you again next year!

Tiny baby Frogfishes around …

Juvenile Painted Frogfish

Most fishes look cuter when they are juvenile – and this goes specially for frogfishes. So of course we were quite happy, when we found 2 tiny baby painted frogfishes on a dive this week. When they just hatched, they can be found as tiny little blobs in the sand.  They are about 3-4 mm long. On this picture you can see one of the baby Frogfishes next to the tip of my pointing stick. We hope there are some more of them and that we will find them soon … as long as they are still small and cute 😉

Underwater.kr Lembeh Photo Shootout 2012

Shootout at NAD Lembeh Resort

NAD Lembeh proudly announces, that underwater.kr will be hosting a UW Photography Shoot Out at NAD Lembeh Resort this December.

Date: 8~15th Dec 2012
Location: NAD Lembeh Resort, Lembeh Strait, North sulawesi, Indonesia
Prizes: Over US$35,000 including Cash prizes.
Please note, the list of great prizes will keep growing so please keep visiting Photo Shootout Page to see what’s new!

* 08th : Registration & Orientation, Welcome Function
* 09 ~ 13th : Dive Photo Contest, Photo Seminar
* 14th : Awards Ceremony
* 15th : departure from the resort

Official Underwater.kr Photo Shootout Page: http://www.facebook.com/UnderwaterkrPhotoShootout
More detail will be here: http://underwater.kr/shootout/2012/
Photo Contest Rules: http://underwater.kr/shootout/contest_rules

Judges: Simon Buxton plus other judges TBA

Sponsors:
– NAD Lembeh Resort
– Nauticam International Ltd.
– Maluku Divers
– Cam Square
– GoPro for UnderWater
– FUN-IN Underwater Photo Equipment Co., Ltd.
– Halcyon Korea
– INON
– more TBA.

Media Partner: ScubaNet

Package Price: US$965.00/person (ROH)
Package Inclusions:
* Accommodation (Twin share basis)
* All meals, morning and afternoon snacks
* Guided boat dives x 17 (air)
* unlimited Self-guided House Reef diving
* All tax
* EXCLUDE: Airport Transport: USD$40/car/max 4pax/one way

For book your seat, please contact uwkps@underwater.kr

Creature Feature: Solar Powered Nudibranch

Solar Powered Phyllodensium

The Solar-Powered Nudibranch (Phyllodensium longicirrum, Solar-Powered Phyllodensium, Long-Cirri Phyllodensium) is one of the celebrities among the Lembeh Nudibranchs – everybody knows it and everybody likes to see one. The Solar-Powered Nudibranch (SPN) grows to 15 cm in size and is the biggest member of the phyllodensium nudibranchs. As other members of this group, the SPN farms Zoocanthellae algae in its Cerata (tentacles) to create energy through photosynthesis. The flat Cerata have a big surface an therefore lots of space for the algae patches that are separated into individual “solar panels” (that are visible as little brown spots).

The SPN feeds on leather corals of the type Sarcophyton trocheliophorium and stores their toxins to taste bad for potential predators. It usually hangs out around a leather coral until it has consumed it.

Best place to see SPN in Lembeh: Most coral dive sites like for exemple Makawide, Batu Sandar but also Muckdives like Aer Bajo or TK sometimes have SPN.

Photo Tip: Use a wider lens (60mm or wider) as the SPN is relatively big in size. For a big SPN sometimes even Wide Angle can be a good option. The Cerata swing to side to side with the surge … so a good technique is to position yourself in front of the head, prefocus on the rhinophores and wait for a moment when they are both visible.

The story of the “Little Green Shrimp”

New Phycocaris Species

The Little Green Shrimp (the newly discovered green Phycocaris species) is one of the very hot Critters in the Lembeh Strait at the moment. Several other dive centers already managed to find them and it is becoming a very popular subject with UW (Super-)Macro Photographers – especially with the ones that already have seen ‘everything.’  Even though we have already written several times about the little green shrimp, we now want to officially tell the story about its discovery.
It was first seen in October 2011 by our Dive Guide “Aso”. Aso has been with NAD Lembeh for several years,  starting as a gardener and working his way up.  Aso has a lot of talent and a big passion for the really tiny stuff. Hairy Shrimps, Tiny Nudibranchs, Lembeh Seadragons and all other critters that normal people almost can’t see are his absolute favourite. So obviously he has his nose always close to the reef – like on that one day in October.

Aso Tadete, Dive Guide at NAD Lembeh Resort

Our Dive Guide Aso, who discovered the little green shrimp

Aso was diving with a group of 4 Divers from Taiwan (Nikki, Color, Ariel & Tommy). They had a great week with superb critters like Hairy Octopus and other really rare stuff. On one morning dive at Dante’s Wall on the northern end of the Strait Aso then saw the Little Green Shrimp for the first time. It looks exactly like a “Hairy Shrimp” … only that it is fatter, has no hair and is green. Luckily Aso’s divers all had cameras and brought back some pictures of the shrimp. Back in the resort, Aso came immediately into the office and said that he found a new species. So we all had a look at the pictures and none of us – even not the oldest guides – knew that shrimp. We then posted the pictures on web forums and it did not lead to any positive ID. The opposite was the case: We got contacted by scientists and shrimp specialists who were interested in samples (We didn’t collect any ). They were not sure if it is a variation of phycocaris simulans (Hairy Shrimp) or a new species of phycocaris. So we started to get really excited about our little green shrimp.  Strangely enough, one of our former guides, Jhoe, also found one during a liveaboard charter about a week later – in Alor, which is quite far away from here.

Where to find the Little Green Phycocaris

In these Sea Squirt Clusters you can find the little green shrimp

After this first specimen that we saw at the far northern end of the Lembeh Strait we found the Green Shrimp on several other dive sites all over the strait. They are very small (smaller than a grain of rice) but is is still possible to find them, when you know where to look. They live in the Ascidian Clusters in between the little green-white ascidians that look like Olives. And usually we find them in between 10 and 20 meters.
As there are now already several other dive centers finding this shrimp and everyone starts to use its own name for it, we want to suggest “Phycocaris tadetei” (Aso’s real name is Olbert Tadete) as a future scientific name. For day-to-day use, we will stick to “Little green Shrimp” 😉