Here in the Maldives we’re blessed to have not only big animals like mantas, turtles and sharks but also beautiful macro life. The house reef at Six Senses Laamu has the best of both worlds, offering up nudibranchs, little octopuses still undescribed by science and even a resident guitar shark! Here are some highlights from February, enjoy!
Our November highlights video showcases a little-known side of Lembeh, full of gloriously vibrant, healthy and diverse corals and reefs, all shot on Lembeh dive sites. Naturally fluorescent corals and critters also make a glowing appearance onstage and will change the way you see these animals. Enjoy the best of Lembeh wide angle and macro!
October’s highlights video features awesome footage of a flamboyant cuttlefish carefully placing her eggs underneath a coconut shell half and an extremely rare golden tripod fish juvenile (Pseudotriacanthus strigilifer) – a first for us here! Sascha also filmed two Godiva rachelae nudibranchs engaged in some odd behaviour – mating dance? Fighting? Let us know what you think they were doing in the comments!
September’s highlights video features favourite stars such as the ornate ghost pipefish (there were so many around this month!) clown frogfish and mimic octopus. Be sure to also watch for the shrimp dancing on the eye of a snake eel (does it tickle?) and a close up of the iris of an elegant sand diver (Trichonotus elegans) resembling rays of light. Enjoy the show!
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.
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!
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!