Frogfish, Frogfish, Frogfish, Octopus and then two Frogfishes next to each other: These are moments that turn a muck dive into real Lembeh Muck Dives. The famous beautiful black sand slopes here in Lembeh usually show cycles of extreme critter density which follow after slower periods. This applies to all Muck Dives here: They might be very slow on your last trip but absolute hotspots when you come back – or the other way around. They change much more than coral dives like Angel’s Window or Nudi Retreat do for example. That’s why Muck Diving is so interesting … you can always say: Hey, let’s check that sand slope there … it might be a good dive. So we go out a lot for scouting and try to find new or forgotten dive spots.
Here are some photos, that i took this summer on one of our “secret” Muck Dive Spots. The picture shows two juvenile Painted Frogfish (Antennarius pictus) of very different size next to each other. The photo reflects very good the Frogfish madness we had going on here since August. The bigger one of the two i found when it was smaller than a pea – this photo was taken about one month after that and shows the one month old juvenile with a hatchling of the latest spawn. This photo is not manipulated and these two where actually sitting right next to each other. Promise.
After a while the smaller one started moving and got the attention of the bigger juvenile. Knowing that frogfish don’t really mind cannibalism i left the two but placed a little piece of rock in between them – hoping that Goliath would fullfill my expectations of short time memory of frogfishes.
Here are some more shots from that one and a half months when this very ordinary peace of black sand beach turned into one of the hottest spots of the Lembeh Strait … The photos have been taken within 3 dives. Missing shots: several Mimic Octopus and Wonderpus (sometimes mating) and Giant Frogfish – i could not shoot them, as i always went with a 100mm lens. Plus all the Nudies, shrimps and other critters that i ignored in favour of the numerous Frogfishes 😉