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Marine Life Blog » Indonesia, Lembeh » The Indonesian Critter hunt begins

The Indonesian Critter hunt begins

Ned and I arrived at our second home, Kungkungan Bay Resort in the famous Lembeh Strait, Indonesia yesterday afternoon. On the ride from the airport, we realized that our first trip here was ten years ago! We spent several hours catching up with friends and touring the latest additions to the resort before jetlag caught up with us and we crashed for the next 11 hours.
Over the next two weeks, friends will be flying in to dive in the area, before we all collect at the end of the month to travel 500 miles east to Sorong in eastern Indonesia for a voyage through the Raja Ampat area.  
In our December field report from Papua New Guinea, I talked about my captivation with the Convict goby, which I have since learned is more correctly called the Convict fish.  Last week, just before we left home, Ned and I saw Michele and Howard Hall’s latest IMAX film, Under the Sea, where we watched the very same fish on the big screen.  (By the way, we think Under the Sea is the Hall’s best IMAX film to date. We especially appreciate their strong climate change message.) One of the scenes shows the large 10-inch adult Convict fish greeting the swarm of ¾ inch juveniles streaming into its burrow at dusk. This only served to make me more determined to find an adult and its den while we are diving Lembeh. I’ve seen juveniles here but have never been able to locate their burrow. I shot video of adults and juveniles in PNG, but the burrow was located in such a silty location that every time the adult spit out a mouthful of muck, I had to wait 20 minutes for the visibility to clear. So, the hunt is on! 


Flamboyant Cuttlefish laying eggs

Flamboyant Cuttlefish laying eggs

Ned and Paul will continue to concentrate their efforts on critter hunting this trip as this will be their last opportunity to pick up new species for their new book Reef Creatures Tropical Pacific. We’re happy to be reunited with our guide, Liberty, who has, over the past four years helped Ned find many new invertebrate species for the book. He has one of the best sets of eyes for finding cryptic little animals underwater we have ever encountered. He is not bad at finding large animals either. This afternoon, he spotted a Flamboyant Cuttlefish laying eggs inside a discarded tin.     


Two years ago, we spent two weeks and many hours, sitting in one spot waiting for Flamboyant cuttlefish eggs to hatch so this is a nice addition to our photo collection. 


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One Response to "The Indonesian Critter hunt begins"

  1. Andrew Dineen (UK) says:

    Always interested to see what you are up to. My wife and I spent a great couple of weeks in KBR, in yours and Carrie’s company in 08. We missed you in bonaire by a couple of weeks last month but found your blog useful.

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