lembeh straits


ROBUST GHOST PIPEFISH (30mm) por Sonja Ooms
Por Flickr:
This uncommon species is found in coastal reefs and weedy areas or lagoon reefs, often on algal flats or seagrass beds. Monogamous, always in pairs. Females carry the eggs in their pelvic fins that are modified to form a brood pouch. Feed on small crustaceans. This one is a red young female variation, relatively rare.


Two Hairy Frogfish (Antennarius striatus) walking around at Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

video footage: Natalie Bondarenko | Youtube

Gentle kiss by Triggerfish_Images The mating ritual of the mandarin fish is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. In this shot, a female is gently kissing the cheek of a male, in the lead up to mating. Lembeh Strait, Indonesia.

Canon EOS 5D MkII; Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens; Seacam housing; Seaflash 150 strobes.


PLATAX PINNATUS (12 cm) (2) por Sonja Ooms

F I S H  by irwinunderwater Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni)
Lembeh Straits, Indonesia. March 2017

The Banggai cardinalfish is a small tropical cardinalfish in the family Apogonidae. It is the only member of its genus. This attractive fish is popular in the aquarium trade.

The Crinoid Cuttlefish, like it’s cousin the octopus, can instantaneously control the color and texture of its skin. They do this for many reasons, some being camoflage; communication between individuals; as a threat display to ward off predators or would-be rivals - photo taken at Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi


DRAGON SHRIMP (15mm) por Sonja Ooms
Por Flickr:
Also known as the dragon shrimp or black coral shrimp Miropandalus hardingi a species of pandalid shrimp. Like its common name suggests M. hardingi spends most of its life on the branches of gorgonians and whip corals (although they are more often seen on whip coral). Their coloration often matches that of its host. They spend their entire lives on the coral feeding on passing organic materials and using the corals stinging tentacles for protection. H. hardingi’s “horns” are also thought to mimic the coral’s stinging tentacles to deter further predation. Lembeh Strait, North Sulwesi, Indonesia.

Home of fiery spines These zebra crabs clearly haven’t heard the real estate agent’s advice that location is everything. They reside on a fiery red urchin covered in sharp, venomous spines. Still, it keeps away unwanted visitors. Lembeh Strait, Indonesia.

Canon EOS 5D MkII; Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens; Seacam housing; Seaflash 150 strobes. by Triggerfish_Images


Por Flickr:
The banded pipefish has a straight, elongated body which reaches a maximum length of 19 cm (7.4 in). It has fleshy streams coming back from its head. These trails are thought to be mechanisms of camouflage for the pipefish whilst hiding in reeds. This one has eggs under its belly. Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia


Do you love Cephalopods? - Watch this!

Mucky Secrets - Pt. 16 - Cuttlefishes & Octopuses - Lembeh Strait   

Cuttlefishes and octopuses. Part 16 of my documentary, “Mucky Secrets”, about the fascinating marine creatures of the Lembeh Strait in Indonesia.

Watch the full 90-minute documentary at


In this video I look at cuttlefishes (Sepiida) and octopuses (Octopoda); types of cephalopod (Cephalopoda) found in the Lembeh Strait…

via: Bubble Vision


Following on from the series, here is my “Mucky Secrets” documentary in full. It’s a nature documentary about the marine life of the Lembeh Strait at the heart of the Coral Triangle off north Sulawesi in Indonesia. The Lembeh Strait is a popular scuba diving destination, famed for its excellent “muck diving”. A huge diversity of weird and wonderful marine creatures can be found on the mucky seabed, including everything from tropical fish to benthic sharks to nudibranchs. Critters compete for survival with an armoury including camouflage, mimicry, toxicity, and dazzling coloration.

“Mucky Secrets” is an excellent resource for scuba divers, aquarists, marine biology students and anybody interested in the underwater world. The documentary features underwater macro footage from many of Lembeh’s famous dive sites including Critter Hunt, Police Pier, Tanjung Kusu-Kusu, Nudi Falls, Aer Perang, Jahir, Makawide, Nudi Retreat, Retak Larry, TK (Teluk Kembahu), Hairball and Aw Shucks.

Marine life featured in the film:

0:00:00 Introduction
0:05:11 Corals
0:05:57 Tunicates - sea squirts - ascidians
0:06:37 Symbiosis - sea anemones - anemonefish (clownfish)

0:07:29 Commensal shrimps (partner shrimps)
0:09:12 Emperor shrimp
0:11:07 Mantis shrimps
0:12:34 Squat lobsters
0:13:27 Hermit crabs
0:14:26 True crabs
0:15:55 Sea Urchins

0:17:11 Blue spotted stingrays
0:18:15 Brownbanded bamboo shark

0:18:59 Snake eels
0:20:27 Moray eels
0:21:34 Ribbon eels

0:22:33 Cardinalfishes
0:24:43 Trumpetfish
0:25:58 Seahorses
0:27:06 Pygmy seahorse
0:28:30 Pipefishes
0:30:38 Ghost pipefishes
0:33:22 Shrimpfishes - razorfishes
0:33:58 Seamoths - short dragonfish
0:35:03 Oriental flying gurnard
0:35:58 Blennies
0:36:49 Gobies
0:37:46 Sea pen
0:38:17 Dragonets
0:40:49 Mandarinfish
0:42:08 Frogfishes
0:46:39 Juvenile fishes
0:47:12 Spotted parrotfish
0:48:20 Sweetlips
0:49:05 Yellowblotch razorfish
0:49:37 Filefishes
0:50:24 Boxfishes - cowfishes
0:50:57 Puffers (pufferfish)
0:52:21 Sharpnose puffers (tobies)
0:52:50 Porcupinefishes
0:53:45 Panther grouper
0:54:10 Whitemargin stargazer
0:54:54 Leopard flounder
0:55:25 Flatheads
0:56:36 Scorpionfishes
0:57:27 Ambon Scorpionfish
0:58:04 Rhinopias
0:59:50 Lionfishes
1:02:29 Demon stinger (spiny devilfish, bearded ghoul)
1:03:17 Fireworm
1:03:45 Waspfishes

1:05:48 Cuttlefishes
1:08:38 Octopuses
1:11:34 Flame scallop
1:12:03 Sea snails
1:14:37 Sea slugs - nudibranchs
1:21:49 Sea slugs feeding
1:23:57 Nudibranchs mating
1:26:11 Sap-sucking slug
1:26:59 Headshield slugs
1:27:49 Sea hares
1:30:21 Polyclad flatworm
1:31:18 End credits

Beauty treatment by Triggerfish_Images This snowflake moray is getting some beauty tratement from a cleaner shrimp. For a reef fish, beauty treatment means removing dead skin and parasites. Believe it or not, this is what the cleaner shrimp eats! Lembeh Strait, Indonesia.

Canon EOS 5D MkII; Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens; Seacam housing; Seaflash 150 strobes.

The Coconut Octopus is the only invertebrate known to seek out and utilize tools (in this case, two halves of a shell to form body armor).

They carry these tools across the seafloor in a walking motion, and sometimes even store them for future use - photo taken at Lembeh Strait, Indonesia


RIBBON REEFGOBY (30mm) por Sonja Ooms
Por Flickr:
This species is distinguished by the following characters: a fraenum; unbranched second dorsal-fin rays; second spine of first dorsal fin reaching beyond the caudal peduncle when extended (Ref. 9018); characterized further by reddish orange body color with dark scale margins forming network on side of body; head and upper back below first and second dorsal fins with dark-edged whitish bars, including bifurcate bar originating on nape and forms an inverted “Y”; longitudinal scale series 23-24; ctenoid body scales except cycloid on abdomen; nape, operculum, cheek and breast without scales; cheek without vertical rows of papillae; depth of body 3.7-4.0 in SL (Ref. 90102). Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Sniffer slug by Triggerfish_Images The feathery red appendages on the front of this sea slug (or nudibranch) are called rhinophores and they are smelling organs. They can be used for finding food and mates. Although nudibranchs do have eyes, their sight is exceptionally poor, so their rhinophores are critical to them. Lembeh Strait, Indonesia.