Posted by: Kaj Maney
It’s Chinese New Year today, and this year is the Year of the Dragon. The Year of the Dragon is meant to be a good sign, as the dragon is a special creature and much revered. People born under this year are said to stand out and have a certain aura about them.
In Chinese astrology the dragon is the only animal in the Chinese zodiac that is not a ‘real’ animal.
We have a few dragons underwater in Lembeh; the Lembeh Seadragon, the Dragon Shrimp and the Dragon Sea Moth. This week I was very lucky to get some special video of the last of those, the Dragon, or Pegasus, Sea Moth.
As I wrote in an earlier post, patience is a virtue in Lembeh. The critters here rarely sit or pose in exactly the position that you would like them too. But with patience and time you can get the images you are hoping for.
The Dragon Sea Moth probably has one of the most photographed bottoms in the world (maybe J-Lo wins..). The Sea Moths are one of the truly bizarre fish. The are fairly small, usually about 10cm (3.5 inches) long and seem to have wings, legs, a bird-like beak and a strange big lump between it’s shoulders. They often are found in pairs and they ‘walk’ around sandy/rubbley areas, 15m (50 feet) deep or so. They are fascinating to look at and generally do not seem to care that you are there watching them…that is until you want to take photos or videos of them. As soon as your lens goes down, they turn around and walk off in the opposite direction…and you’ve got another video or photo of their behind…
But I am a patient man (it’s not an oxymoron girls, we do exist). I have patiently been waiting for one of them to be so interested in eating that he forgets about me and finally this week, the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, it happened. An auspicious moment indeed!!!
So I found three Sea Moths together and one of them actually let me film him head on. This was very exciting as it gave me the chance to finally see it’s mouth and how it eats. I have tried so many times in the past to get these ‘head on’ shots, that I thought it was never going to happen. So enjoy the beginning to the Year of the Dragon with some very rare footage of the face of a Dragon Sea Moth.
As well as the Dragon Sea Moths, we’ve also seen Ambon Scorpionfish, Lembeh Velvetfish, Raggy Scorpionfish, Cockatoo Waspfish, Spiny Devilfish, Stargazers, Starry Blennies, Crocodile Flatheads, juvenile Barramundi Cod, juvenile Finger Dragonets, Signal Gobies, Bobbit Worms and Stonefish. There have been Bumble Bee Shrimp, Tiger Shrimp, Xeno Crabs, Whip Coral Shrimp, Paron Shrimp, Saron Shrimp, Donald Duck Shrimp, Candy Crabs, Carry Crabs, Decorator Crabs, Skeleton Shrimp, Porcelain Crabs, Elegant Crinoid Squat Lobster, Squat Shrimp, Hairy Shrimp, Rock Shrimp, Harlequin Crabs, Halimeda Crabs, Commensal Shrimp, Emperor Shrimp, Golden Mantis, Peacock Mantis, Zebra Mantis and many more. There have been Giant, Painted, Hairy, Freckled and Warty Frogfish. We have seen Denise and Bargabanti Seahorses, as well as Common, Thorny, Estuary and Long Snout Seahorses, and many pipefish, including Winged, Ringed, Double Ended and Network, and we’ve seen pygmy Pipehorses and Lembeh Seadragons. Cephalopods include Mimic, Wonderpus, Long Arm, Day and Coconut Octopus, Broadclub, Pygmy and Flamboyant Cuttlefish and Bob Tail Squid. And, as ever, lots and lots of nudis….
Thanks to all our lovely guests from Canada, the States, the UK, Italy, Singapore, Germany, Japan and China – it’s been a great week’s diving.
P.S. Last week’s blog seemed to have got messed up, but it is now OK and readable
Date Posted: January 23, 2012 @ 6:46 pm Comments Off