On todays second morning dive we went to Jahir Two – one of the popular black sand muck dive sites of Lembeh Strait. Since several weeks there are two Hairy Frogfish (Antennarius striatus) in the shallows of the dive site – a bigger yellow one and a smaller orange one (the smaller one is usually the male). Today it was a specially nice experience to see them, as they were sitting right next to each other, posing nicely for our divers until everyone had taken its pictures.
Hairy Frogfish are seen most frequently between August and Oktober, but – as this picture shows – they are also around during the rest of the year. Right now we are seeing a total of 4 individuals at three different dive sites.
Today Markus and Nicole from Germany left NAD Lembeh Resort after a 20 days stay with us. And during that stay we found out really quickly that they have a strong preference for black sand muck dives and that Markus is absolutely crazy about frogfish. And frogfishes he got. They saw minimum 25 different individual frogfishes while they were staying at NAD Lembeh Resort. Among these frogfishes of various sizes were Painted Frogfish, Hairy Frogfish, Shaggy Frogfish, Warty Frogfish, Giant Frogfish, Scarlet Frogfish and Sargassum Frogfish. They were really happy with Stenley as their Dive Guide and our Chief Dive Guide Paulus replacing him on his days off. This picture shows one of two Painted Frogfish we found at Pulau Abadi. See you next year Nicole and Markus!
When Muck Diving Freaks come to Lembeh the Hairy Frogfish is arguably the top candidate on the Critter Whishlist. The Hairy Frogfish is the hairy variation of the Striated Frogfish (antennarius striatus or striped frogfish). Even though there is some other species of frogfish with hair to see in Lembeh, the Striated Frogfish is the most impressive one.
It grows relatively big (up to about 20 cm) and can be white, brown, yellow, orange or even black. Besides the stripe pattern and the hair another cool feature of the Hairy Frogfish is the worm shaped lure that it actively uses to attract prey.
Hairy Frogfish can occasionally be found in depths as shallow as 1m – but usually deeper. They normally stay around for a while, but move back deeper after mating. The bigger Frogfish is the female and is usually followed by a smaller male.
Classic sites to see the Hairy Frogfish in Lembeh are: Hairball, Teluk Kembahu (TK), Jahir, Aer Bajo, Tandu Rusa and Retak Larry.
Best lens to use: 60mm Macro – but for bigger hairy frogfishes also Wide Angle Lenses can be used.
Best season: The whole year with a peak in August – November
More Info: A good website with more information about Frogfishes is www.frogfish.ch
Last week we found a small male black hairy Frogfish … and when coming back again this week, he already found a new “Hairy Girlfriend”. On this fantastic dive, we not only saw these two lovers, but also two more Hairy Frogfish on the same site. Let’s hope they make lot’s of small Hairy Frogfish Babies 😉