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.
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?
Are you a fan of night-diving? In this special episode you can see some of the critters that come out only at night: bobtail squid, bobbit worm, pleurobranch, starry night octopus and other weird underwater animals. Enjoy the night-circus!
Here’s the second part of our Hide & Seek series. Lean back and watch the incredibly camouflaged critters of the Lembeh Strait.
I see it all the time. Photographers don’t even touch their strobes for a whole dive, or even worse, for all their dives. But it’s so easy to get different results when we move our lights around. Macro lighting is quite easy, yet still complex. We can change the look of an image a lot by just changing our strobe position(s). There is no one recipe for good results, it all depends on the situation. Play with the shadows and see what you like best.
Sometimes I like to create strong shadows, this often works better with only using one source of light (strobe or continuous light).
Take this example of a frogfish here in Lembeh. I didn’t change the position or settings on the camera, I only used one light (1x SOLA 4000), but I still got many different images of the same subject just by moving the light around.
Painted frogfish lit up from the top left. This is an example of fairly standard lighting.
Painted frogfish lit up from the left. Note how it is very similar to the one above, but the tail of the frogfish is not lit up.
Painted frogfish lit up from the top left but this time I positioned the light further behind the subject to get a backlighting effect.
Painted frogfish lit up from the bottom right – the coral makes a nice shadow on the body and only a tiny bit of the frogfish gets illuminated. That gives a nice spooky effect.
Some more examples of the same frogfish. It’s up to you which one you like best. There is no right or wrong!
You can also watch the video how I shot the frogfish here:
When will you start moving your strobe(s)/light(s)?
Here’s a new episode of critter awesomeness. Watch for incredible close-ups of charismatic animals such as the blue-ring octopus, ornate goby, and juvenile star puffer fish – you can see their eyes moving, their breathing and every movement they make! There’s also spectacular footage of an embryonic flamboyant cuttlefish pulsating within its egg sac and plenty of rare and colourful nudibranchs that resemble bizarre works of surrealist art. Enjoy the spectacle! All the Critters of the Lembeh Strait say “HI”.
It’s an underwater party and all your favorite critters of the Lembeh Strait are there – anemone fish, blue-ringed octopus, ornate ghost pipefish with eggs (yes, children are welcome at this party!), various frogfishes and a graceful free-swimming ribbon eel. Also keep your eyes peeled for a very special, seldom seen little goby, the Priolepis vexilla, whose blue-and-red striped face, dotty body and spiky dorsal fin will surely charm you. Sit back and enjoy!
We have been unusually fortunate these past few weeks in Lembeh with many sightings of mating blue rings, a beautiful red weedy rhinopias, and baby flamboyant cuttlefishes hatching, all of which are beautifully captured in this week’s episode. As an extra cute factor bonus, there’s also footage of a baby clown frogfish waving its lure around as a tiny sponge isopod flirts with death! Enjoy the Critters of the Lembeh Strait.