Posted by: Kaj Maney
Another wonderful week in Lembeh…Be sure to look at Barb’s fantastic Week 6 photos below..
This week I’ll start with my best bit….I found a Blue Ring Octopus.
There are many amazing creatures and critters in Lembeh and our guests, of course, want to see as many as possible. We love finding Mimic and Wonderpus octopuses, Hairy, Warty, Painted and Giant Frogfish, Bargibanti’s and Pontohi Pygmy Seahorses, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Ghost Pipefish and many others and there is a good chance you will see them all. There are a few tricky critters for us to find and one of the most elusive is the Blue Ring Octopus. They are tricky as they spend most of their lives under the rubble and coral and don’t venture into the open very much. We’ve have now been for 6 weeks, diving everyday, and there have only been two Blue Rings spotted and we weren’t on either of those dives. So there we were, diving at Batu Merah (Red Rock). It had been a great dive with two Giant Frogfish (one in a sponge), Pink Bargibanti’s Pygmy, Nudis, a Dragon Sea Moth and, at the end of the dive, we were having great fun watching some Pom Pom Crabs (Boxing Crabs).
These great tiny crabs which hold even tinier anemones in their pincers and wave them around. I decided to go and look for the Sea Moth again, as everyone else was watching the crab show. Of course I could not seem to find the Sea Moth anywhere and so was instead watching a big school of Rainbow Runners which decided to swim around me. I watched them for a while then had a half-hearted look for the Sea Moth again, when, out of the corner of my eye, in the rubble, I saw this very small octopus head moving around. I moved closer to get a better look and as I did it dawned on me that it was a Blue Ring!!! I think Jony, the guide, instantly knew that when I started banging my tank I had found something good. He was there like lightening. We spent a good 5 minutes or so with this beautiful octopus, took some lovely photos, ascended with even bigger grins on our faces than usual.
What was interesting about this one was that when I showed one of our really experienced Dive Guides, Ade, the photos he said he had never seen one with red eyes…..
Blue Ring facts. If you were ever silly enough to get bitten by one (you would really have to harass one) it’s venom (tetrodotoxin, a neurotoxin which is created by bacteria in the salivary glands of the octopus) paralyses your voluntary muscles, but doesn’t actually kill you. You can’t move any of your body and you stop breathing, but your heart keeps on going. If there is someone with you and they can give you mouth-to-mouth for 20 minutes or so, you will be fine. Yet another reason to never tease or bother animals when you are diving.
The rest of the weeks diving was fabulous too. We are seeing a lot of Seahorses, including Thorny, Pygmies and we’ve found a white and a black Pontohi Pygmy (well done Tamrin). The Mandarins have been performing extremely well, obviously enjoying their business. It’s been a good week for Frogfish, with plenty of sighting of Giants (one even free-swimming around), Warty’s, Hariy’s and Painted. We’ve seen some more Solar-Powered Nudis and well as a whole host of others. Joe found a beautiful Saron Shrimp and Ade found some Coleman and Tozeuma Shrimp. Jeff has been finding, as always, some really small stuff including a Bumble Bee Shrimp and a tiny Pipe Horse. We’ve had Flamboyants and on night dives we’ve been watching Bobtail Cuttlefish flick sand and small buts of rubble over themselves on night dives. We also saw a Cockatoo flounder and a Reptilian Snake Eel which is bright pink! One of my favorite sights this week was watching a family of three white Ornate Ghost Pipefish.
The House Reef still rocks. Our guests love diving it and so do we. There are now nine Pink (I call them Red) Pygmies on one Sea Fan. Four Yellow Pygmies next door to them. There have been close encounters with Banded Sea Kraits. I’m pretty sure I saw a medium sized Napoleon Wrasse. We still have at least five Ornate Ghost Pipefish, and one of them is pregnant, as you can see in Barb’s photos below.
This weeks short video is of Flamboyant Cuttlefish. These amazingly colorful cephalopods are masters of camouflage and blend perfectly into the sand and rubble. But when they are seen, they change into the most vivid purples, red, yellow colors, with waves of changing color behind their eyes. There muscles have been shown to contain a highly toxic compound that is yet to be identified. It has been shown that the toxin to be as lethal as that of a fellow cephalopod, the Blue-ringed octopus. Colorful critters underwater are always colorful for a reason….
So thank you to all lovely guests from the States (again East and West Coast), Grenada (West Indies), the UK, Germany, Holland and Singapore. We had a great time
Date Posted: May 31, 2010 @ 8:54 pm Comments Off