For the past week I’ve taken one of our guides, Johan, for some diving. He’s usually famous for being the “Goby Hunter”. Although considering how many different species of shrimps and crabs we both found together, he deserves an additional name!
With tons of different kind of nudis in the Lembeh Strait, I find it hard sometimes to get excited about the „sluggy stuff“. However, there’s certain species which, even if you’re not a nudi lover, are just spectacular. Sometimes it’s their funky colors, sometimes their incredible shapes, just like the Miamira Alleni which Joni Toy spotted the other day.
It’s considered the holy grail of critters because they’re extremely rare and usually only spotted during a short period of time: the Hairy Octopus. Once you’ve seen Wonderpus, Mimic, Blue-Ring and Mototi, this is probably the ultimate Cephalopod left on the list.
How well do you know your gobies from the Lembeh Strait? Here’s a quick quiz of just some of teh gobies you can look for during your stay in Lembeh. Of course, we all have a favourite goby, and tastes may be different but there is one thing for sure, they are way cooler than nudibranchs!
In the last week we’ve had all kinds of octopus, from blue ringed to mimic and the usual other cephalopods. Many kinds of frogfish, and of course all the other usual tiny critters that you associate with Lembeh. My favourite moment was sitting with a pair of gobies whilst they had a territorial dispute, which in turn allowed me to get very close without disturbing them.
Have you ever wondered how the partner shrimp in the Lembeh Strait get their food? I always assumed that 100% of it came from digging through the sand and finding morcels of food between the rocks and grains of sand. Today changed my opinion – the shrimp goby clearly plucks a piece of poop from the water column and passes it down into the burrow for the partner shrimp – I peered over the top of the camera and the partner shrimp did pick it up and withdraw into the burrow with it.
It’s just before the sun disappears and most of us divers feel like having a beer, when the actual magic on the reef happens. Mating Mandarin Fish are something all divers should experience at least once during their stay in Lembeh. It’s when one of the most beautiful and stunning fish appears briefly to mate around sunset time in order to avoid any bright light.
It sounds contradictory at first because of course the waters are black and it’s dark during night dives, but it will make total sense to you in a minute. Black Water Night Dives are something everyone should try at least once even if you’re usually not a big fan of night dives.
Rhinopias are some of the rarest and at the same time most beautiful creatures to find here in the Lembeh Strait. And that’s also the reason why we are proud to say that our dive guide Oksin found one for the first time in two months now!
The life cycle of fishes and other marine organisms is extremely complex and one blog entry is surely not enough to elaborate this topic. But regardless of the season and dive sites, we can usually see several marine species and their eggs whilst diving in Lembeh. Normally, marine organisms produce large amounts of small eggs that hatch quickly. This produces large populations and therefore a greater chance for species survival.