Ornate ghost fish. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010)
Ornate ghost fish. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010)

The small critters of the reef

  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2010

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 


In Indonesia, the word "biodiversity" makes sense. Here in the Sea of Celebes, the underwater world teems with bizarre and fascinating creatures, often tiny.

The beautiful reefs of Bangka Island

Since I have been taking pictures underwater, I have been fascinated by these little creatures that inhabit the tropical reefs. Each time I dive, I am amazed. Like a kid, I never get tired of it.

The reefs of North Sulawesi are definitely worth a visit. Compared to the island of BunakenThe Bangka sites, where I was three years ago, are interesting because they allow you to mix different types of diving:
→ the "Muck-dive." on a sandy bottom, where we carefully scan the coral and seaweed debris, the holes and bumps, to find the bugs that hide there;
→ the classic ride along the drop offs, rich in groves of colorful soft corals and schools of spinning fish.

A lion-fish is watching me from the corner of the eye... (Bangka Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia. July 2010.)

Soft corals. (Bangka Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010.)

I decided not to go back to Bunaken this year. The place is becoming a bit too famous and crowded. Resorts have developed on the island and it seems that there are more divers and trainee divers than fish underwater...

Bangka is definitely more peaceful, and especially its funds are better preserved. And at MurexThere are great guides, with lynx eyes under water...

Walk along the reef. (Bangka Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010.)

Here are the small people of the reef, crossed around the Bangka. You just have to click once on a picture : it will open in big size, with its caption, and you will be able to navigate from a picture to another, with the arrows of the keyboard... Have a nice trip !

Toadfish

They are colloquially known as frog-fish or toadfish, because of the English name "frog-fish". It suits them well. The family to which they belong is the antennae family. I like them a lot, these shapeless fish that can hardly swim and that look like nothing but the sponges they like to hide on.

I didn't take the time to look through the identification books to find the name of each one, but my favorite is the little toadfish called "clown" (3rd picture below). Not very cooperative, it remained clinging to its piece of coral without deigning to show me its best profile. The bottom one, with its small orange spots, is a new one for me: a tiny fish, which I had never met before.

Toadfish or antennae. Bangka Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia. July 2010.

Toadfish. (Bangka, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010.)

Toadfish or antennae. (Bangka Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010.)

Toadfish or antennae. (Bangka Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010.)

Small cuttlefish and mini octopus

All these bugs change their appearance and color in an instant, when they feel threatened or try to blend in with the environment. The effect is always striking.

The astonishing little flaming cuttlefish (2nd photo) bristles with pustules and seems to be covered with waves of fire. One could stay for hours admiring the infinite variations of its dress, which gives the impression of undulating permanently.

Cuttlefish. (Bangka Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010.)

Flaming cuttlefish. (Bangka Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010.)

Small octopus (hairy octopus) ... Nicknamed Harry Potter by my Indonesian guide! (Bangka Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010.)

Small cuttlefish. (Bangka Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010.)

Seahorses and cousins

How far away my very first encounter with the tiny pygmy seahorse, smaller than the nail on my little finger, seems. And what progress, since then this first picture of 2008 not very clear, and the following

The little sea horses, and their cousins the "ghost-pipe fishes", especially the "ornated ghost-pipe fishes", are a pleasure of macro photography.

A seahorse-pygmy hung on its gorgonian branch. (Bangka, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010.)

Another species of pygmy seahorse (Bangka, Sulawesi, Indonesia. July 2010.)

Ornate ghost fish. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010)
Ornate ghost fish. (Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010)

Bunch of nudibranchs

Nudibranchs? I hear it's a girl thing. Helena, Valérie, Malene are like me They love these small sea slugs, which can take on endless shapes and colors.

Here is a small bouquet harvested in the waters of Bangka. And I'm counting on Anthonywho is not a girl but who likes nudis a lot too, to give us their little scientific name... 😉

Nudibranch. (Bangka, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2010.)

😉

  Indonesia: Sulawesi - July 2010

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  1. Selamat pagi Corinne, -or siang, or sore, or malam- it depends when you read me 😉

    C’est la fête aux pygmées et aux crapauds.. et même aux crapauds pygmées dirait-on 😆 – Je bave devant ton hippocampe “pontohi” et ton nano-frogfish à pois. 😯

    C’est vrai que Murex a toujours eu la réputation d’avoir parmi les meilleurs guides de la région… 🙂 ça ne se dément pas manifestement.

    Happy photo hunt for the rest. 8)

  2. Creatures! Creatures! Creatures! 😀
    Nice pictures anyway. In the neighborhood, imagine how much fun you have to play with your camera and the animals.

  3. Pour les nudibranches, de haut en bas et de gauche à droite, je crois que c’est:
    1 / nembrotha kubaryana
    2 / chromodoris fidelis
    3 / a geographical variation of mexichromis mariei
    4 / jorunna funebris
    5 / glossodoris rufomarginata
    6 / halgerda batangas

    et j’adore toutes les autres espèces que tu décris aussi! Tout ce qui est petit est mignon!

  4. @ Wet & Sea-Ludovic: Selamat malam !!! Suis bien contente que mon nano-frogfish et le petit pontohi te plaisent… Oui, Aswar, mon guide chez Murex, est vraiment excellent. Et dire qu’il n’aimait pas du tout la plongée, au début… Et puis, il a découvert les petites bébêtes. Maintenant, c’est un mordu. Et un fin connaisseur des fonds du coin.
    🙄

    @Mirta: Je savais que tu serais heureuse de découvrir par mes yeux ces petites créatures subaquatique dont je t’ai tant parlé… Bises au quartier.
    😆

    @Manta: T’es trop forte… La prochaine fois que je voudrai faire de l’identification de bestioles bizarres, je t’enverrai direct un mail, ça ira plus vite!!! Merciiiii !!!
    😀

  5. Yippee, nudibranches! The Halgerda is one of my favorites, but I have to admit that your picture of Jorunna funebris (thanks Manta) pleases me a lot too: it looks like a mini rabbit ambushed in the grass 😉

    Sinon, depuis Mai et mon voyage à Lembeh, je suis devenue aussi accro aux frogfish. Et là, ton petit à pois est très séduisant. Je vais le mettre sur ma liste de “A voir en vrai” pour mes prochaines vacances lembethiennes!

    In any case thank you thank you thank you for photos and story.

  6. 😮 Horreur!!!! voilà un moment que je n’avais pas pris le temps de venir sur ton site et j’ai failli louper ton récit de voyage!!!!
    Whew I catch up lost time savoring your photos, I enjoy with nudibranchs!
    Voilà qui conforte mon idée de retourner en asie l’an prochain:D
    In the meantime I will dive into the Channel (water at 16 ° C it starts to heat up finally ...)

  7. @Malene: Oui, tu n’es pas la première à me dire qu’il ressemble à un petit lapin !!! 😆
    À l’heure où j’écris cette réponse, je suis de retour à Lembeh !!! J’ai retrouvé le fameux bungalow que tu connais. De nouvelles photos sont à venir, pour très bientôt… 😉
    @ Helen: 🙂

    @Laurence: Oui, oui, oui… l’Asie, ça vaut vraiment le coup. Et puis l’eau est plus proche de 29°C que de 16°C… 😀

  8. Les fonds sous marins recèlent une riche et abondante variété d’espèces animales à qui veut bien prendre le temps de les observer… reste qu’il est souvent difficile de les dénicher tellement ils se fondent dans leur environnement, restent immobiles et sont de petite taille ! 8) De superbes photos immortalisant cette rencontre magique ! 8)

  9. @auxBulles: Avec un dive-guide local, doté d’un œil de lynx et qui connaît les sites comme sa poche, c’est plus facile pour les repérer !
    😉

  10. Hello!
    J’ai eu ce lien par Cathy Haget.
    I also dive N2 & I go to Sulawesi in late July for 4 weeks.
    En parcourant différents blogs, j’ai pu voir que le sîles Togian avait bonne ‘presse’ versus Bunaken (trop prisée) – Apparement tu as pris le parti d’aller plus au nord encore… Je n’ai encore rien reservée, tu pense que ce sera faisable sur place? Je débute à Makasar le 30 juillet, traversée de la Sulawesi pour finir à Manado & consacrer 3-4 jours dans les îles…
    Terima kasih of your return

    Agnes

  11. Salut, commentaire bête, mais le nudibranche No. 4, de haut en bas et de gauche à droite, ressemble beaucoup à un tout petit lapin blanc avec des oreilles à pointes noires. Peut-être j’ai besoin de passer en analyse… 🙂

    PS. Thank you for the beautiful photos ...

  12. @ Agnes Désolée, je te réponds bien tardivement… Tu dois déjà être là-bas depuis quelques jours !!! Je pense que tu trouveras sans trop de souci à te loger et à plonger, même sans avoir réservé (on finit toujours pas trouver de la place quelque part), ne t’inquiète pas. Les îles Togian sont sympas, mais c’est tout un périple pour s’y rendre. Je te souhaite un très beau voyage !
    8)

    @Max: Non, pas “bête” du tout le commentaire, car tu n’es pas le premier à me dire que ce nudi ressemble à un lapin !!!
    😆

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