The other day at TK I found (well of course i didn’t, the guides did!) a pair of Commensal Shrimp (Periclimenes imperator) sitting on the back of a Glossodoris nudibranch.
I also managed to get a few video clips of them feeding as well, these are some of my favourite shrimp, just behind the coleman shrimp… which i’ll go looking for in a few days:
No doubt: Diving in Lembeh is good all year round and there is always a lot to see. But still it is never the same and everytime you come you see some things more frequently and others less frequently. The last days i realized, that there are several members of the Aeolid Nudibranchs (the rather hairy ones like Flabellinas or Phyllodensium) aggregating. I have seen now 4 different species gathering for mating (i suppose) in 2 days of diving.
Specially the Phyllodensium is a very cool group of Nudibranchs as most of them store symbiotic zooxanthella algae in their tentacles to gain energy through photosynthesis. Plus they are very well camouflaged as they often exactely match the corals they live on – so this makes it even more special if you can spot them. There are many different species of this group to see here in Lembeh Strait … besides hundreds of other nudibranchs and thousands of other cool critters.
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 😉
The Emperor Shrimp (Periclimenes imperator) is a commensal shrimp and a member of the Palaemonidae. Sounds strange, but looks really beautiful: Characteristic is its attractive red, white and purple colouration and its commensalism. The Emperor Shrimp can be found on several species of Sea Cucumbers and Nudibranchs (for example Risbecia tryoni, Cerathosomas, Spanish Dancers, Melibes and others). Usually they pick relatively big nudibranchs. Emperor Shrimps can be up to 2,5 cm in size and always stay on their host.
Best places to find Emperor Shrimps in Lembeh: Basicly any Divesite with sandy bottoms (for shrimps on sea cucumbers and Nudibranchs) or also rubble (for shrimps on Nudibranchs).
Best lens to shoot Emperor Shrimp: Any Macro Lens from 60mm (shrimp or shrimp with background) to 100mm (shrimp only) – or even diopters & teleconverters (for super close ups).
The Bullocks Hypselodoris (Hypselodoris bullocki)is a Dorid Nudibranch from the group of the Chromodoridae. It is a relatively big nudibranch an can grow up to 7 cm in size. Characteristic is its pink to purple colouration with a thin white margin around the body and an poppy yellow rhinophores and gills. But there are also colour variations in which the bullocki can be white with red gills and rhinophores. The Hypselodoris bullocki produces a yellow egg mass ribbon, prefers a mucky rubble substrate and is usually found in around 15-25 meters depth.
Best places to find Hypselodoris bullocki in Lembeh: Pintu Colada 1, Pintu Colada 2, Nudi Falls, Bianca, Police Pier, Pulau Abadi
Photo Tips: Best lens to use is a 60mm Macro. They often hang out in numbers in one area – watch out for individuals on little sponges or rubble pieces: they are easier to isolate from the background. And: Come back for a second dive – you’ll often find them in other positions and might get a better shot.
The year is almost over and it was another great day of diving here in Lembeh Strait: we had Tiger Shrimps, Hairy Shrimps, Frogfishes, Blue Ringed Octopus, Coconut Octopus, Pipehorses, Seahorses and lot’s of other cool stuff. I specially liked this nudibranch. First, because i don’t know what it is (please comment if you do) and second because it looks so funny with its two different rhinophores. It was about 1 cm in size and in 5 meters depth in the rubble … just one of the various uncommon nudibranchs i have been seeing here recently.
This week Mood – one of our repeater guests that has been here at NAD Lembeh many times – found this yellow Nudibranch at Nudifalls: a Bristly Jorunna (jorunna pavra). He had never seen this particular Nudi before, so he stayed there for a while. Eventually he recognized a little white “Blob” at the gills of the Nudibranch and wondered what this could be. As the yellow nudi was already quite small, it was not easy to determine with the eye. As so often in Lembeh a photograph and a look on the LCD screen helped a lot …
That “Blob” actually turned out to be a Nudibranch as well – a predator Nudibranch: a juvenile orange spotted Gymnodoris. And as a predator, it was feeding on the gills of the jorunna. Several species of Gymnodoris can be seen here in Lembeh Strait, with this kind of orange spotted Gymnodoris arguably beeing the most common one. All Gymnodoris feed on other dorid nudibranchs … usually they follow their trails and then catch them. Juveniles are either catching small dorids or – like seen here in the picture – feeding on the gills of bigger nudibranchs.