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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | The Hairy Frogfish

The hairy frogfish (Antennarius striatus) has a rounded body and its skin is covered with spinules resembling hairs. These spinules can be copious and long or very short and almost invisible. As with all frogfish, its expandable mouth allows it to swallow prey as large as itself. The color varies from yellow to brownish-orange, almost white, or even completely black with no visible pattern. The modified dorsal spine is used as a fishing rod and the tip of it has a three-pronged, worm-like esca (lure) which is used to attract prey. The worm-like lure is a way to easily distinguish the hairy frogfish from the similar-looking shaggy frogfish (Antennarius hispidus) with which it is sometimes confused, but which has an esca resembling a pom-pom.

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | Episode 04 – 2017 | July Highlights

July’s highlights include some very unusual footage, even for Lembeh where the rare and strange are commonplace. A fingered dragonet being eaten by a lizardfish was spotted by one of our sharp-eyed guides and luckily I was there to film the fascinating process. Other cool critters you’ll see in July’s video include a glimpse into the egg pouch of an ornate ghost pipefish where you can even see the eyes of the embryos, a fabulous decorator crab, a pair of mis-matched frogfish and much more. Enjoy the extravaganza!

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uw Critters of the Lembeh Strait | The Coconut Octopus

Critters of the Lembeh Strait | The Coconut Octopus

 

The coconut octopus or veined octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) is one of our favorite critters in Lembeh. It uses “tools” like shells and coconuts to build a hiding place and is often seen ‘walking’ on two arms with these tools in the other arms. This behavior is called bipedal locomotion. Some species are very greedy and try to take as many tools as they can carry, which sometimes is just too much to handle. The coconut octopus is a solitary cephalopod.

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uw Critters of the Lembeh Strait | The Mimic Octopus

Critters of the Lembeh Strait | The Mimic Octopus

 

The mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) is an Indo-Pacific species of octopus and is able to change skin color and texture in order to blend in with the environment. Like other octopus species, the mimic octopus possesses chromatophores and changes shapes while moving over the sandy bottoms where it is often found. In Lembeh we can watch these amazing critters on the muck dive sites. The mimic octopus is often confused with the Wonderpus (Wunderpus photogenicus) which looks similar, but has a few things which look different to the Mimic, one of the most obvious is the white line all along the underside of the arms on the Mimic, which the Wonderpus doesn’t have.

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Rhinopias frondosa in the Lembeh Strait / Sulawesi / Indonesia

Critters of the Lembeh Strait | Episode 03 – 2017 | June Highlights

 

Our June highlights video is a masterpiece worthy of the Mozart symphony it’s set to. Frogfishes, mimic and blue-ringed octopus, ornate ghost pipefishes, unusual footage of a mantis shrimp cleaning house, a stunning yellow weedy rhinopias and a xenia coral shrimp…oh, and if you pay attention, you might even catch a glimpse of Sascha putting in a cameo appearance himself – very Hitchcock!

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Sanddiver (Trichonotus elegans) close-up  in the Lembeh Strait

Critters of the Lembeh Strait | Episode 02 – 2017 | May Highlights

May is associated with flowers, renewal and new life and in Lembeh, May was no exception. This latest highlights video features some extraordinary footage of juvenile sea life like harlequin shrimps and tiger shrimps. We also filmed some unusual scenes with a very fast lens, featuring glass fish swimming behind soft coral (yes there is also beautiful coral in Lembeh!), creating footage that evokes spring-time fireflies in a flower garden. Watch for a close-up shot of an elegant sand diver’s eye which seems to mimic rays of sunshine – catch this rare glimpse of a very shy fish seldom caught on video and enjoy! Best watched in 4K!

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait – The Paddle-flap scorpionfish (Rhinopias eschmeyeri)

Rhinopias belong to the scorpionfish family and are native to the tropical western Indo-Pacific. Like all scorpionfish, they have venomous spines and prefer to rest on the bottom, occasionally walking or ‘hopping’ by pushing off with their pelvic and pectoral fins rather than swimming. Scorpionfish are masters of camouflage, enabling them to lie in wait for their victims to come close, before lunging forward and inhaling their prey with their large mouths.

 

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | Episode 01 – 2017 | April Highlights

What better way to wake up than with a glorious dive in Lembeh featuring our favorite sea-creatures? If you can’t be here to enjoy today’s sightings in person, then grab a coffee and enjoy this latest video of April highlights including graceful cockatoo waspfishes, a blue-ring octopus and a rare Randall’s frogfish with a brilliant red spot near the base of the tail.

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