A few week ago i posted about a white Ghost Pipefish, which i believed was a Halimeda Ghost Pipefish. I was already not sure at the time, but when revisiting the spot yesterday, i saw that i was wrong. It turned out, that it is a Velvet Ghost Pipefish – which is also a very rare fish. But even cooler is, that there are now two of them. The bigger one – the one that we have seen previously –was a male before. But when coming back this time it already turned into a female. Probably the arrival of the smaller male made it change sex. Ghost Pipefishes can change sex and turn into females. They can be recognizes by the pouch shaped pectoral fins in which they then keep their eggs. Unlike Seahorses and Pipefishes, where the male incubates the eggs, it is always the female Ghost Pipefish, that takes care of the unhatched eggs.
On yesterdays morning dives i went guiding some of our guests. Due to waves and surge we had to switch divesites and jumped on a protected reef. At around 30 meters i saw a white sponge and i immediately had the feeling that something was “unusual” about it. But i did not expect something that cool: when approaching i saw this white coloured Halimeda Ghost Pipefish hovering in between the branches of the sponge. Halimeda Ghost Pipefishes are usually green like Halimeda Algae – sometimes also with white or brown parts (just like the branches of the algae sometimes take these colours). But this is the second purely white one i have ever seen. A very beautiful animal … let’s hope it stays around for a while.
It’s “Baby Time” in Lembeh … or at least this it how seemes. This morning we bumped into a lot of juvenile critters on both dives. We saw juvenile frogfish (that fit on your thumbnail), various tiny juvenile nudibranchs (that would fit under your thumbnail;) ), several baby cuttlefish (also flamboyant cuttlefish), a tiny juvenile robust ghost pipefish and a baby pinnate batfish. And even besides that … we just kept going from one critter/photo subject to the next for 75 minutes on each dive.
The diving is really good these days and very rich in critters: very uncommon for january … but we will not complain 😉
Even though it’s already November and the Ghost Pipefish Bloom usually is rather from August until October, we still see lots of them around. Many couples and Individuals of Ornate Ghost Pipefish in all colour variations, Halimeda Ghost Pipefish on different locations, many Robust Ghost Pipefish, Thin Ghost Pipefish and several Roughsnout (Hairy) Ghost Pipefish. Besides that we also see lot’s of other Critters like various Octopus, Frogfish, scorpionfish etc. – and also some quite unusual Nudibranch over the last weeks. Seems to be a good year in Lembeh.