These days we have been back to Pulau Abadi – a divesite in front of Bitung harbour, that has a nice rubble patch and also a beautiful coral reef. Our guest saw lots of cool things there including frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, ribbon eels and a wonderpus (that disappeared in its hole unfortunately). My personal highlight of that dive were these three though: A Cuttlefish eating a shrimp (he kept hunting it for quite some time while i watched it through the viewfinder), 2 Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorses cuddling and hitting each others heads and an algae with 7 (yes, 7!!) Picachu Nudibranchs in it (see 2 of them on photo). Oh … and there was also a beautiful school of barracuda. And all that just in front of Bitung’s Deep Sea Harbour … typically Lembeh 😉
The Yellow Pygmy Goby (Lubricogobius exiguus) can be found frequently in Lembeh Straits black sand muckdives: It’s poppy yellow colour makes it stand out and an attractive critter for Photographers, Videographers and normal divers alike. It usually lives in pairs and can be found on mucky sand substrates – living in holes, under pieces of plastic, in cans, toth paste tubes or bottles. It grows up around 3 cm in size and guards eggs that it sticks to the inside of its hiding place.
Best Places to find the Yellow Pygmy Goby in Lembeh: virtually all Muckdive Sites – for example TK 1-3, Aer Bajo, Jahir etc.
Photo Tipps: The Yellow Pygmy Goby’s eyes reflect strobe light in green colour – try to bring this reflection into your shots. A 100mm Macro is to be preferred over a 60mm as the working distance helps. Best photo subjects are the ones hiding in bottles … just wait in front of the bottle – cool effects like backlighting are possible here.
On today’s second morning dive at Jahir 2 we went looking for the Hairy Frogfish (which Abner found). While everyone took pictures of the Frogfish that was posing nicely at 7 meters depth, i stayed a little deeper looking for small things. At around 15 meters depth i found this little Pygmy Squid hiding in a piece of Halimeda Algae. This little guy is about the size of a Rice Grain – so the perfect subject for the 100mm Macro with the +10 Subsee Diopter. After i took some shots of it i suddenly saw it shooting forward and coming back to the algae. As i was watching this through the viewfinder i did not realize straight away what happened. Only after refocussing i could see the little shrimp moving struggling to escape the Pygmy Squids tentacles. A fantastic experience to witness predation of such a tiny animal – tiny but as action loaded than a feeding shark (well … almost).
The Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorse (hippocampus bargibanti) is the most common Pygmy Seahorse and found all over the Indo-Pacific region. It was the first Pygmy Seahorse that has been discovered (1969) and still counts as the classic Pygmy Seahorse.
It grows to maximum 2 cm, lives only in Muricella Seafans and matches the colour of their host: Bargibantis can be Pink, Purple or Yellow. They live in couples or groups of sometimes up to 20 in one fan. Like all Seahorses and Pygmyseahorses the male gets pregnant by receiving eggs from the female and fertilizing them in his pouch. A Pygmy Seahorse can give birth to around 30 Baby Pygmies (usually at night).
Best places to see Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorses in Lembeh: Nudi Retreat, Batu Sandar, Angel’s Window, California Dreaming, Dante’s Wall, Tanjung Tebal, Makawide and other Coral Sites in the Lembeh Strait.
Best lenses to use: Best Lens to use is a 100mm – a teleconverter or a diopter can be added for extra magnification. A 60mm is not advisable as the strobes would touch (and damage) the seafan at minimum distance. Please also respect the animal: Do testshots on pieces of coral before shooting Pygmy Seahorses and then minimize your shots – they can’t close their eyes and they can’t swim away!
I just downloaded the pictures from todays morning dives and am amazed by the beauty of this little Pontohi Pygmy Seahorse that i found at XXX (of course we don’t tell the divsite ;))
It not only has a very cool white-yellow colouration with lots of red on the head and back – it’s also quite big (for a pygmy seahorse), was standing relatively still (for a pontohi) and was pregnant. A very good combination! So since today it is my preferred Pontohi that is around at the moment … there are right now Pontohis at 5 divesites (3 of them with yellow-white ones). Come here to Lembeh and check them out!