I did one dive on New Years Day, and I found this little guy:
This shrimp was first found by one of my guides in 2011, and amazingly enough it has evaded me until yesterday. Every-time I have dropped in on a site where they had a confirmed sighting, it has moved. Or one time the guides found it when I was on a dive, I had a deco stop and it was too deep :(.
As far as I am aware, this has completed everything i could see here in Lembeh, now I just need to see them all again and get better photos!
A special thanks to our dive-team, I can say without doubt that they are the best in the area. As a team they all help each other and they all have different strengths which complement each other.
Anyway, here is the video, hopefully see you sometime in 2013:
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 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.
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” 😉
Lembeh Strait is famous for rare Critters, Black Sand Muck dives, and the Mekka for divers that want to see rare creatures. But it is also a place that often has very limited visibility. Like for example the last week: After a long period of reasonably good visibility (for Lembeh that means 10+ meters) we started getting water with 5 meters vis and totally green water. But as you are looking at tiny creatures it does not really matter. Actually it even opens new photographic possibilities! This little Frogfish we found on a dive at “Bianca” last week, when visibility was really bad … even though it was a PM dive with good weather, at 15 meters we had the impression, that it was dusk. And the water looked really, really green. So i decided to try something new and do a “Green Water Anbient Light Macro”. With an Aperture of f8 and a shutter speed of 1/6th of a second i achieved this green background – and i must say it fits really well with the red of the Frogfish and the yellow of the sponge. So even if visibility is not always supergood on your Lembeh trip – don’t worry, try to use the water colour for your UW Photography!
We found this Phycocaris species for the first time in October and since then already several times at different dive sites here in the Lembeh Strait. This one is now the 5th specimen we found and we have seen them in between 25 and 10 meters depth. It is always associated with the little green ascidians and is most probably a member of the phycocaris family as it has the same features as the Hairy Shrimp. But it has no hair – that’s why we think it could be either a variation or even a completely new species. It definately has the same body shape, behaviour, ray like eyes, hairy legs and size. All specimens we have seen until now are green – even though we have been also searching on different coloured ascidians. No matter what it is: Our guests love them – even though they are really tiny and hard to see without magnifying glasses.
Previously we discovoered a smooth green phycocaris species that we believe is undescribed and lives in tiny green ascidians. We have already seen it several times (at various divesites) since then. And that was also what we were trying to find yesterday, when we suddenly saw this little green thing on one of the ascidians. It seems to be a tiny kind of flatworm that perfectly matches the ascidian in colour, pattern and shape. And even though it has no eyes and does not move much it is still a beautiful critter. And it proves that if you look for things smaller than an olive grain you keep finding new stuff every day – at least here in Lembeh.
While looking for some Tiger Shrimp, we found this cool little Frogfish in between some sponges and ropes while diving in one of Lembeh’s shallow Back Sand Bays. Even though we see quite some Hairy Frogfish, Hispid Frogfish and other rather special Frogfish, we still fell in love with this one – just because his colour and pattern is so cool and cute. We will visit you again little friend!