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!
Rhinopias belong to the Scorpionfish family and although there is in total six different species, we get to see only two of them here in Lembeh. The Paddleflap Rhinopia (Rhinopias eschmeyeri) usually have only one color with few markings. The more exciting species is the Rhinopias frondosa or Weedy Scorpionfish. They can come in many different colors such as purple, red, orange or yellow like the one in the picture.
Usually, Rhinopias are found on deeper parts of the dive site, at around 20m. However, I have seen Rhinopias before in 30 cm of water! Most of the time Rhinopias are found in couples (we just haven’t been able to locate the second one yet). Being fairly “big” in size with around 15 cm, Rhinopias offer photo opportunities to both macro as well as wide angle enthusiasts.
It’s been more than two weeks now that we had sightings of the almost resident Rhinopia. Let’s hope all other dive operators stick to the code of conduct and allow for minimum manipulation of the critter, so that it will stay with us for a long time and many more guests can enjoy taking pictures of it.