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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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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | Episode 13 – 2016 | Highlights of the Year

This highlights of 2016 video is a spectacular fireworks-like display of the brightest and best critters in Lembeh. Pulsating blue-ringed octopuses fall upon their crustacean prey, an iridescent bobbit worm shimmering with rainbow colors waits patiently for a meal and a vast array of rare and beautiful nudibranchs all appear, along with one of the cutest and most unexpected buddy pairs you’ve ever seen – see if you can spot it near the end of the video. Enjoy the video and may 2017 bring you great critterful dives, health and happiness!

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | SEA WARS – Blue-ring Octopus

Did you know that the deadly, highly venomous blue-ring octopus cannot tell the sex of another blue-ring at first sight? They have to feel the other one first in order to be able to figure it out. An encounter can be witnessed in this video where two blue-ring octopuses (Hapalochlaena sp.) meet each other for the first time. Love at first sight or disaster date? Watch to find out!

 

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | SEA WARS – The Frogfish Strikes Again

Frogfishes are a member of the anglerfish family and eat pretty much everything, shrimps, fish and even other frogfish. The strike itself is accomplished with the sudden opening of the jaws, which enlarges the size of the mouth up to 12 times, pulling the prey into the mouth along with water. The water flows out through the gills, while the prey is swallowed and the food pipe closed with a special muscle to keep the victim from escaping. In addition to expanding their mouths, frogfish can also expand their stomachs to swallow animals up to twice their size.

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | Eat dessert first

This little clown frogfish (Antennarius maculatus) obviously did not eat his dessert first! Frogfish tend not to be picky eaters and have been known to eat just about any creature that is close enough and that will fit in their mouth (including other frogfishes of the same species) but this shrimp seemed to not suit his palate. It’s anyone’s guess as to why he spit it out – did he eat the good parts and expel only the hard shell? Was it an awkward shape and difficult to swallow? What do you think?

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | Episode 10 – 2016 | September Highlights

We guarantee you have never before seen some of the crazy critter action featured in this week’s video; have you ever seen a video close up of the eye of an elegant sand diver? No? What about this eye with a shrimp on it? Didn’t think so. This and many more bizarre and beautiful surprises in this will make you wish you were here. What was your favorite part?

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | SEA WARS – The Flamboyant Cuttlefish Strikes Back (Part II)

 

In part I of this series, we saw a newly hatched flamboyant cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) getting snatched up by a small mantis shrimp, a surprising choice of meals since they are widely (but perhaps wrongly) believed to be toxic. In this latest episode II, we see a reversal of roles when an adult flamboyant cuttlefish snatches a mantis shrimp to feed on, so it’s not always predictable who is the hunter and who is the prey between these 2 species! The slow-motion part of this underwater video shows in amazing detail how the flamboyant carefully extends its two feeding arms, then at lightning speed grabs its prey and grips the mantis with its suckers, waiting until the mantis tires before consuming her crispy crustacean meal.

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | SEA WARS – Flamboyant Cuttlefish vs. Mantis Shrimp (Part 1)

Flamboyant Cuttlefishes have the reputation of being highly toxic, but newer studies show that it might not be true and more research has to be done. Unfortunately the action in this video was so fast and unexpected, that I could not see what happened after the attack.

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Critters of the Lembeh Strait | Episode 09 – 2016 | August Highlights

This time of year often brings slightly cooler water temperatures in Lembeh and to our delight, we’ve noticed many more baby frogfishes are around than normal. Coincidence? We think not! Some of these ultra-cute froggies are in this video as well as footage of rare nudis like the Phyllodesmium koehleri and one of the weirdest, most unusual critters we’ve ever seen – a bizarre polychaete worm (Diopatra Sp.) that looks like a cross between a bobbit worm and a furry-legged bristle worm! Enjoy this up-to-the-minute glimpse of what’s going on in Lembeh.

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