Posted by: Kaj Maney
When Barb and I first got here we introduced a simple system to help us record the critters that are seen on dives here. Lembeh is such a special place that we felt, and still feel, that it is very important to make a record of all the amazing critters that are found here.
After every dive the guides write down three or four critters they saw on that site and I record all this information in a spread sheet. You get to see all of this in the monthly Critter Chart I produce at end the end of every month. When the list started it had a lot less than 100 critters on it. As the guides find more stuff, and as they learn more and more names, then the list gets added to and grows.
This week we hit a milestone, the 200 Critter Mark!!!! Now this really is quite an achievement. We do not list absolutely everything. We don’t list many Lionfish, or Puffers..most nudibranchs are listed as just that ‘nudibranch’, though we do have a few individuals listed. Crustaceans tend to get lumped under one banner, like ‘Cleaner Shrimp’ or ‘Decorator Crab’ when there are so many different types of each,
I am really astounded by just how many creatures exist in Lembeh. After all it is not exactly a huge area, with our main dive sites only covering about 8 miles (14km). And yet there are over 200 weird and wonderfully rare critters to be found.
So in honour of reaching 200 critters on the list, here is the full list (203 critters so far), published for the first time (apologies for any misspellings)….
I would like to thank all the guides for helping to produce this, both by recording the information for me and, of course, finding all these critters in the first place, and I look forward to getting more and more…roll on 300!!!!
This week’s video is of some of the wonderful nudibranchs I’ve seen over the past seven days. It has been a great week and I thought it was time to put some more of these wonderful creatures on display.
Nudibranches, sometimes known by their much less attractive name of ‘Sea Slugs’ are one of the wonders of the underwater realm. Unlike their land-based cousins, these ‘slugs’ are incredibly beautiful and exist in 1000s of different varieties.
This week’s diving has been great. The highlight for me was seeing nine baby Flamboyant Cuttlefish hatching!! It was incredible, just one after another after another…And there was even a tiny tiny nudibranch crawling on one of the eggs…really really amazing…
We also saw more Blue Rings, Mimics, Wonderpus, including one with eggs (which I missed again), Coconut, Occellate, Long Arm and Reef Octopus. As well as many Flamboyant Cuttlefish, we also saw some Pygmy and Broadclub Cuttlefish. Frogfish were excellent, with more Hairy, Giant, Painted, Freckled and Warty ones being seen. We also found Yellow and Pink Bargabanti Pygmy Seahorse, Denise Pygmy Seahorse and Common, Estuary and Thorny Seahorses. Crustaceans included Tiger Shrimp, Bumble Bee Shrimp, Skeleton Shrimp, Decorator Crabs, Carry Crabs, Candy Crabs, Elegant Crinoid Squat Lobster, Hairy Squat Lobster, Hairy Shrimp, Tozeuma Shrimp, Boxing Crabs, Snapping Shrimp, Brook’s Urchin Shrimp, Cleaner Shrimp, Harlequin Crabs, Hermit Crabs, Mantis Shrimp, Crinoid Shrimp, Porcelain Crabs, Xeno Crabs, Xenia Shrimp, Whip Coral Shrimp and many more. There were, as you saw in the video, many nudis, with Melibe’s, Batangas Halgerdas, Pikachu, Grass Blade Sea Hares, Freckled Sea Hares and many many more this week. And we saw Pegasus Sea Moths, juvenile Fingered Dragonets, Stonefish, Ambon Scorpionfish, Bobbit Worms, Sea Snakes, another Spotted Eagle Ray, Reptilian Snake Eels, juvenile Pinnate Batfish, Cockatoo Flounder, Electric Clams, Pygmy Pipedragons, Robust and Ornate Ghost Pipefish, Spiny Devilfish, Bent Stick Pipefish, Frimbrilated Morays and much much more.
Also this week the Second Annual Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, has announced its winners for 2011. This year’s Ocean Art Photo Competition represents entrants from over fifty countries.
Over $82,000 worth of prizes will be awarded to 52 underwater photographers, including a 10-night all-inclusive package for 2 people at KBR Lembeh, 18 nights in Papua New Guinea at Walindi/ Febrina and Loloata, 11 days on the SMY Ondina, 1.5 spots to the Socorro Islands aboard the Rocio Del Mar, an 11 day trip on the vessel KLM Aurora, a 7 day charter in Fiji aboard the Nai’a, 5 nights’ accommodations and diving at Wananavu, a one week package for 2 people at Maluku Divers Resort, and a trip to either Socorro or Guadalupe aboard Nautilus Explorer.
Judges this year included prestigious professional photographers Marty Snyderman, Bonnie Pelnar, Martin Edge, and Tony Wu.
There are at least 4 winners in each of 12 categories, including Wide-Angle, Macro, Portrait, Behavior, Novice, Nudibranchs, SuperMacro, Fashion, Coldwater, and 3 Compact Camera categories.
The Best of Show was a stunning wide-angle photograph of several manta rays, taken by Tobias Friedrich of Germany. Other stunning images include a hunting leopard seal, a pair of eels, and a beautiful squid composition. Thousands of entries were viewed by the judges before the final set of amazing images were selected, and deemed some of the best underwater photos in the world.
Judging was quite difficult due to the high quality of images. World famous underwater photographer and contest judge Martin Edge commented, “This year the judging was very tight due to so many superb images. After much discussion, agreements, and disagreements, we felt the winners really stood out. For myself, the best in show was the most awesome shot in the entire collection.”
Winning photos can be seen here:
Thank you to all our guests from Brazil, the States, Indonesia and Singapore. It’s been fab.
To see all of Barb’s photos this week, just click on the photo strip at the top or bottom of this blog. There are some really wonderful photos worth checking out…..
Date Posted: December 19, 2011 @ 9:38 pm Comments Off