Once I took a photo or two I noticed a pulsation in the body of the Copepod which looked like a peristaltic action to take fluids (food / brain juice / magical powers) from the host. I managed to get some video of it so you can take a look below:
The Gobies had a patch of eggs, so the presence of the parasite is not detrimental enough to prevent procreation, but it stall is a pretty gruesome way to live your life! Lembeh seems to be full or parasites these days, so when you are visiting keep checking for more smaller things on the smaller thing that is living on the bigger thing.
On todays morning dive at Nudi Falls i found this cool crab. It is a very weird looking elbow crab whose colour and shape strongly remind of a skull – even though the shape is not really human … rather the one of the stereotypic Alien. So i will call it Alien Crab (i am sure it has another name). After i made sure, that this is not a dead crab or a piece of rock with a strange shape (i did the poke test and it moved …) i started to look for the eyes, but the shady areas, where a “skull” would have had the eye cavities did not contain any eyes. I finally spotted them right over the mouth – two yellowish spots under the inner borders of the “skull-eyes”. The crab was about 1-2 cm in size and i found it sitting on a small rock … after the photo session on this sponge, i placed it back on its rock.
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.
Nudi Falls is one of the dive sites in Lembeh Strait that you can dive over and over again – at night, in the morning, for the second morning dive or for the first one. And it is always nice. Some of our guests requested to go to Nudi Falls again so that’s why we went back there yesterday morning for the first dive. The critters were all there and we saw countless different nudibranchs and shrimps (including some nice Hairy Shrimps). But the most beautiful thing if diving there first thing in the morning is that there can be very beautiful sunrays in the shallows – specially when the visibility is as good as it was yesterday. This picture is taken in 4 meters of water right under the boat. Thanks to our Dive Guide Joni for posing for this picture …
This morning we had two fantastic dives again here in Lembeh Strait … the first one at Critter Hunt and the second one at Nudi Falls. Besides many cool critters such as Wonderpus, Seamoths, Nudibranchs and other things we saw two tiny shrimps of the same species. I found one on the first dive and our dive guide Indra found one on the second dive at Nudi Falls. They are shrimps of the genus phycocaris (just like the hairy shrimp) and are about the the size of a grain of rice (slightly smaller even). They can be found on rocks and debris. Oh … and this afternoon our Guest Martin saw a Manta Ray at Aer Prang – his first Manta ever.
If you like Nudibranchs, then Lembeh is the place to go – a trasure chamber full of Nudibranchs and Slugs of all families. This was proved again on a recent dive at Nudi Falls. I can’t really remember how many different species of Nudibranch we counted in total, but it was very impressive and our guest kept talking about it all day. There were Hairy Norse Gods, Pikacus (Thecacera), Melibes, Gymnodoris and many others. But my personal highlight on this special dive were these two little Trapania Nudibranchs. Trapanias are very small (max 1-2 cm) and a not very common Group of Nudibranchs. I have seen about 5 or 6 different species of Trapania here in Lembeh – but i have never seen two species on a single dive. I was highly considering changing lenses these days and do some Close Focus Wide Angle … but i think i just stick with the 100mm for some more days and shoot Nudibranchs 😉
Our many time repeater guests Susan and Tom are having their last dive day today. And Tom did his last night dive yesterday at Nudi Falls. And what he really still wanted to see, was a Starry Night Octopus (Octopus Luteus) … or as Tom said it: “The little red Smurf”. Well anyway: Last night he did get to see one and he really enjoyed his last Night dive. The other highlight for him was, that he found a Hairy Shrimp by himself – something that he always wanted to achieve. Congratulations Tom. You have sharp eyes! We whish Tom and Susan a safe trip back home and hope to see them again next year.