Hairy Squat Lobster in Lembeh

A Hairy Squat Lobster in a sponge at Nudi Falls, Lembeh Strait.

The Hairy Squat Lobster (Lauriea siagiani) lives in the crevices of the large barrel sponges here in the Lembeh Strait. They typically hide pretty well making it tricky to photograph them, and extremely hard to video them.  I found this guy on a night-dive and he was sat out and moving around, in fact he seemed to enjoy the video lights bringing him plankton.  In these few short clips below you can see the function of the hairs on this critter – they trap stuff for the ‘lobster’ to eat.  You can see him comb through his ‘do and eat up the bits he collects a couple of times.  In my experience of Indonesia over the last 6 years, their diet generally consists of fish poop that ends up settling on the sponges.

Squat lobsters can be found in almost every square meter of the Lembeh Strait, but the Hairy Squat Lobster is the most beautiful and sought-after.