IDIOMYSIS OR OPOSSUM SHRIMP
Certainly one of the weirdest critters and alien-looking creatures, is the Idiomysis or Opossum Shrimp. They only reach a few millimeters in length. I’m sure that every diver checking the sand or reef has seen them before. Idiomysis usually come in groups of 5 up to maybe 20 individuals and look a little like “flies” but underwater.
Idiomysis is a genus of minuscule crustaceans and they belong to an order called Mysida. The common name for the order is Opossum Shrimp because the females keep their eggs in a brood pouch called a marsupium (which comes from the Greek for “bag” or “pouch”). This sets the order apart from other crustaceans, whose larvae are free-swimming.
SIX DIFFERENT SPECIES
So far, 6 different species have been described. As far as I’m aware of, we only get Idiomysis sp. here in Lembeh. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot of images on the web or in any of the books for identification purposes. Therefore (and please correct me if I’m wrong), my guess is that the ones in my photographs are all the same species of Idiomysis sp. with different colorations.
UNDERWATER “FLIES” WITH GIGANTIC EYES
With their enormous eyes they sometimes remind me of Tarsiers. Taking a closer look, they have a lot of similarities with shrimps. Their cephalothorax is quite robust with the abdomen characteristically curled up behind. So next time you come across a horde of tiny underwater aliens buzzing around like flies, be sure to take a closer look and get prepared for super macro. All pictures taken with Panasonic GH4 in Nauticam Housing, Olympus 60mm and Subsee +10 or Nauticam CMC-1.
Why Dive with NAD-Lembeh?
NAD-Lembeh Resort is a small, owner-operated, photography-oriented dive resort in the Lembeh Strait. We are situated in a private bay on Lembeh Island, away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. We guarantee a 2:1 guest to guide ratio as standard, which makes for a private dive experience and lots of time to take pictures.
ROOMS & BUNGALOWS
All our rooms (10 Beachfront Rooms, 5 Seaview Bungalows) offer ocean view, air conditioning, hot water, wifi, including full board. Our resort has only few steps, which makes our layout extremely convenient to get from your room to the restaurant, camera room, bar and floating jetty.
Our dive team consists of 15 full-time guides, with over 100 years of combined experience! Air as well as Nitrox and various cylinder sizes (both DIN and Yoke are available onsite).
BOATS & FLOATING JETTY
NAD-Lembeh has 4 large, purpose-built dive boats. Each at around 15m long, they offer lots of space and comfort for the divers. Boats feature onboard toilets, towels, drinks and snacks and first aid/ oxygen
Our jetty allows our guests dignified and quick boat entries – all our dive boats can be moored simultaneously, so there is no wading through the shallows to get on the boat for the dive!
NAD-Lembeh Resort has been purposely built for photographers: our huge camera room features individual work spaces and we have 6 rental systems on site.
We offer 1:1 photo classes and our guides are all proficient in photography, using our rental equipment for fun dives when not diving with guests.