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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.