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.
Lembeh Strait is a Muckdiving paradise – and it has many interesting habitats to offer. Algae, Sand, Rubble, Coral, Rocks and Sponges. This week i took 3 nice photos with different animals all living on the same type of sponge – i just realized that, when going through my pictures of this week. There are many other cool critters living on those sponges, but i just thought i share these that have been taken within some days.
There is a Paaron Shrimp, that really blends in with the sponge and not only mimics its colour and shape, but also its surface pattern. Then there is a sponge mimicing Nudibranch, that is laying eggs and a carrier crab that is decorating its back with a piece of xenia coral (polyps are retracted in this picture).
The Coconut Octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) is also called Veined Octopus and a day active octopus species that is quite common in the Lembeh Strait. They usually are burried in the sand, hiding in Objects or burried in the sand with objects. They like to hide in Bottles, Shells, Cans, Yoghurt Cups, Coconuts – basicly in whatever they find.
The Coconut Octopus grows to maximum 30 cm but juveniles can be as small as olives and hide in a bottle cap.
Where to find Coconut Octopus in the Lembeh Strait: Coconut octopus can be found at any depth on all Muck Dive Sites (Sandy Dive Sites) in the Strait. For exemple at Jahir, TK, Hairball, Aer Bajo, Rojos etc.
Photo Tips: Best lens to shoot Coconut Octopus is a 60mm Macro. And it is very nice shooting them, when they hide in Shells or when they are “running away” with their objects.
Today was another fantastic day of diving here at NAD Lembeh. This morning was somthing like the festival of miniatures. On the first dive we had several Baby Painted Frogfish, tiny Soft Coral Shrimp, baby Sawblade Shrimps, Pygmy Goby guarding eggs and a lot of other small things, that make a dive BIG. On the second dive the Mini Creatures just kept coming: A Baby Seahorse, a small Tiger Shrimp, Pygmy Seahorses, Ghostpipe Fish with eggs (Eyes of the Babys visible), juvenile Flamboyant Cuttlefish, dozends of Mini Nudibranchs and … a tiny tiny Hairy Shrimp (about 2mm in size!!). So remember to pack your magnifying glass when you come to Lembeh!
We are having a fantastic week of Muck and Coral diving here in Lembeh at the moment: Many cool Critters like Blue Ringed and hairy Octopus, rare Frogfishes and Ghost Pipefishes … but also a big variety of Nudibranchs these days. The Lesser Janolus in the Picture is just one of them. Some others, that i remember from this week are: A very cool Sagminopteron psychedelicum, Solar Powered Nudis in different variations, several Melibe Nudibranchs (with Shrimps on them), Magical Hypselodoris, Hypselodoris Kanga, Hypselodoris Infucata, Hypselodoris Bullocki, Hypselodoris Bollandi, Glossodoris Astromarginata, Glossodoris Cincta, Glossodoris Rufomarginata, Chromodoris Tinctoria, Chromodoris Sinensis, Chromodoris Preciosa, Chromodoris Kunei, Chromodoris Hintantuensis, Chromodoris Fidelis, Chromodoris Geometrica, Chromodoris Dianae, Chromodoris Aureopurpurea, Chromodoris Annae, Loads of different Ceratosomas & Mexichromis and many many more. Good diving for Nudi Lovers here in Lembeh!