Mimic Octopus. Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. March 2010.

My house-reef is rich

  Indonesia: Pulau Weh [Sumatra] - March 2010

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

In Pulau Weh, most divers come to get the "big", the deep, the current. And me, who never does anything like the others, I have fun in a few meters of water on the beach, chasing small animals.

The "house reef"

Welcome to the house-reef of the centre. Lumba Lumba, on Gapang Beach, Pulau Weh (Banda Aceh, Sumatra).

Among the usual small tropical underwater creatures, two new ones for me: one lacy scorpion-fish, purple rhinopias with delicate lace (more famously nicknamed Larry by local divers), and a shy little mimic octopus, unearthed by the incredible Aris, one of our Indonesian guides.

Lacy scorpion-fish. Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. March 2010.

Mimic Octopus. Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. March 2010.

A few seconds after the photo above, pffttt... The tiny octopus flattened itself like a chewing gum to run as far as possible on the sand, intimidated by our bubbles and my flash!

Mimic Octopus. Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. March 2010.

Small creatures

Below are some portraits of the more common and charming underwater creatures that inhabit the Gapang Beach house-reef.

Hippocampus. Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. March 2010.

Clown fish. Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. March 2010.

Boxfish. Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. March 2010.

Shrimp. Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. March 2010.

Black lady. Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. March 2010.

Red Lionfish. Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. March 2010.

Sand eel. Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. March 2010.

Stingray. Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. March 2010.


  Indonesia: Pulau Weh [Sumatra] - March 2010

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  1. Very beautiful pictures, congratulations! Taken with your new toy?

    I had never heard of this "mimic octopus", what a funny animal!

    Welcome back ... (unless you have already come back ?!)

  2. @Jean Philippe: Yes, yes, absolutely, I got my hands on the 7D with these little beasts.

    @Thib: Yes, all with my new toy. Now that we have to leave, I'm just starting to master it better. I would have stayed a little longer ... But I'm flying back tomorrow.
    Apparently, if I trust Wet & Sea, they would have lied to me: my "mimic octopus" would not be one ...

    @Hippocampe: Merciiiiiiii !!!!

    @ Helen: Enjoy!

    @Cathy: I wish I had time to adjust my settings, but it was faster ...

    @Malene: I really like the "little one". But Pulau Weh is rather a destination for the "fat" in fact. There are beautiful drifts, splendid drop-offs with huge gorgonians. Many rays-eagles, black tip sharks and some hammers, and sometimes even moon-fishes. But obviously, it happens rather in the area of 40-45 meters ... I saw two rays eagles, not a single shark. But I must say that I stay rather in the area of 30-35 meters max.

    @ Wet & Sea I am not super talented in identification. I rely entirely on your remarks. I will correct the text for the Rhinopias. But suddenly, I'm disappointed: so I would have lied for the "mimic octopus"? Gosh. For all our Indonesian guides, it was a "mimic" ... Well, I'm going to have to brush the books, then. In any case, thank you for these informative details!

  3. @ Wet & Sea # 2: One of the Indonesian guides to whom I have just explained the blow of the false "mimic" certifies me that it is one of a different kind ... Good. Definitely, will have to delve into the books!

  4. Definitely you are buddies with the box-fish around here! I love the lacy scorpion fish too... It's ruffling! 🙂
    Agree with you: I'm more of a house-reef snoop rather than going deep into the current and waiting for big stuff to come by! 😛

  5. Splendid the Rhinopias! 😮 I am jealous, I dream of seeing one 😀
    On the other hand, it seems to me that it is a Weedy Rhinopias, and not a Merlet. Unless I am mistaken, the Merlet is only known in the Pacific (Caledonia, GBR and Papua) it is normally black and yellow with very defined stripes. If there were any in the Indian, I think it would be the discovery of the extension of its habitat. 😕

    Same thought about the mimic octopus which I believe is not one 😳 ... the Thaumoctopus mimicus is endemic to the Region Sulawesi, Borneo, Bali, it is striped brown and beige and characteristic with uen excrescence above the eyes, similar to the "antennae" of pterois.

    But we do not care a bit about the exact taxonomy, it is true that the house reef Gapang looks sublime (and the Rhinopias, Merlet or not is beautiful) ... 8)

  6. Hi Corinne!
    Great pictures ! What is your flash by the way? And the arm ? Did I miss a post or did you not mention it??? 😕
    For the mimic... considering the pictures and the chewing-gum posture (which mimics a sole), it is indeed a mimic octopus (which means just mimetic octopus), for the species, it should not be Thaumoctopus mimicus... I did a little research, maybe a "white V-octopus"... but I'm not sure it has a scientific name, it was discovered not long ago, if not Octopus sp.18 ! 😆

    Nice catfish ... you know they are very venomous adults ??? LOL

    A +! I can not wait to see the rest !!!

  7. Ooh la la!!!With all these names to sleep....me, it doesn't matter to me if it's a mimicus, rhinopias or white V-octopus, or even a red-lilaybus with branch (name of my invention 😉 ) because, they are all beautiful!!!

  8. Waooh, your lacy scorpion-fish, is too good <; we looked for it, but not found, just as the mimic octopus had gone for a walk when we were in Lembeh. Pity! we will have to go back, which is planned for the end of the year! Thank you for your beautiful photos, we completed the sorting (and identification) of our nudibranchs among the 8000 photos of our last trip. Soon an online gallery on ontheploufagain.
    It's good that some leave while others stay ... ceka makes the blogs, photos and ... dreams go round 😉
    Isa and Marco

  9. @Anne Marie: As you say !

    @ Wet & Sea According to the guy to whom I exposed your arguments, our mimic octopus lives on white sand, which would explain why it does not have the same characteristics (brown color and scratches, in particular) than those of Bali, Sulawesi, etc. . where the sand is black ...

    @ Helen: Oh dear, I do not tell you how happy I was that we found Larry ... But I barely had time to flash and adjust my settings. This little rascal is quickly back hide behind the branches of a coral pile, where I had a hard time shooting him.

    @Anthony: Ah! I thought that the specialist would end up bringing his two cents ... I think it's a mimic too, even if it does not match the species indicated by Wet & Sea. Thanks for the additional information! As for catfish, I was totally unaware that they were poisonous. We learn every day ...
    As for my equipment, I talked a little about it, but without going into details:
    For now I have a flash Ikelite DS125 lent by Plongimage (on this one, they were really nice to help me out!) While waiting for the DS161 that I ordered (new flash for the 7D and other SLRs -video, which is also "flagship-projector" for films) is available (not before May).
    I will surely make in the next days a ticket "report" more complete on my impressions and the grip of this Ikelite kit for the Canon Eos 7D.

    @ Helen: The identification of species, it's really a real job ... For my part, I'm content to marvel, and to recognize, by and large, the families to which my little idiot belong. For the rest, I give the floor to the specialists Wet & Sea and Anthony.

    @IsaetMarco: Oh dear, I can not wait to see that !!! Me too, now that I'm getting better at mastering my new toy, I really want to go back to flashing strange bugs in Lembeh ...

  10. Damn another octopus mimic! 😯
    I'll have to go and see it all for myself then. 😆

    (Especially ask about the climate of Weh in August and take the coordinates of comfortable bungalows on the edge of a nice beach, where we can swim and snorkel ...: my companions will thank you 😀 )

  11. @ Wet & Sea / Ludovic: That's it, you'll have to come check it yourself, it'll be the easiest. I did not get a clear idea of the seasons in Pulau Weh. Apparently, they are not very marked, it is plunging all year, there is just the wind that changes direction. Around the Lumba Lumba, which I recommend and which offers large bungalows very comfortable at 25 € per night (tapering rates beyond a week), there are a lot of other accommodations, at all prices. In Gapang Beach, you can swim and snorkel without worry. Otherwise, there is Iboih beach, but most of the accommodations are more "cheap", more "backpackers" ...

    @Philippe: Thank you!!! But the two work especially well when I do not forget to put the battery in the camera or connect the flash cord ... Twice I discovered this kind of forgetfulness too late, once under the water with the box !!!

  12. How do you remember the name of all these critters !!!! Despite the books on board, I can not memorize. Do you all know that on your fingertips?
    Beautiful photos, with beautiful poses, it makes you want to have the same toy. But really too bulky for me ....
    Keep it up... my recreation is to go to your site 🙂

  13. I spent all weekend on an island at the end of Cotentin and I just discovered your photos, in a word, great!
    I love rhynopias, I searched during my stay in Mauritius, but he had obviously moved!
    You're back already???? How time flies! I hope you still have plenty of pictures in reserve to show us... 😉

  14. @SunDance: Well, I do not remember all the names in detail. I only know the big fish families, it's enough to identify the bugs you're dealing with. The toy is bulky, certainly, but what a pleasure! I do not want to part with it anymore. And wait to see the quality of the videos he makes ...
    I'm glad my blog is your recreation. I'll be back soon post new photos and stories !!!

    @Laurence: Yes, I'm back, already ... You do not imagine how happy I was, when we finally found Larry, just before he went back to hide in his coral grove! I still have lots of pictures and videos in stock. But I will not be able to post them there, right now, because I'm for a few days in a place where my internet connection is limited to a 3G key ... A little patience, so ...

  15. Thank you for sharing this photo report which is simply amazing:
    The seabed is full of life that is hard to imagine ...!

  16. No matter what the name of all these "bugs" big and small, they are beautiful, and splendidly magnified by your high quality photos! Bravo, me who said I don' t like this kind of photos, I would be stupid not to change my mind, it' s so beautiful! 🙂 😉 🙄

  17. @Touie: Yes, that's what fascinates me the most: the incredible number of creatures more or less weird that we can meet under water. Nature has amazing resources. As soon as I have regained my home and a connection worthy of the name (tomorrow, hopefully), I will post new subaquatic images, taken, this time, on the walls and other reefs of Pulau Weh. Patience…
    @Lydie: I'm glad you like them too, these little underwater creatures. They are beautiful, yes, and the technical challenge of underwater shooting adds to the pleasure of photography.

  18. E-NOR-ME 🙂
    I do not know which one I prefer, between the square fish, ideal for freezing, the whistling fish, or the one with a false air of Bukowski.
    Congratulations Corinne, your photos are beautiful and their colors pierce the gray sky that weighs like a lid.

  19. @Richard: Thanks for the compliments, especially if it pokes holes in the gray sky... 😉
    This is the advantage of the SLR compared to the compact (which, he, always has a latency at the moment of release). There, we can catch the fish pile when it makes mines!

  20. Hi Corinne,
    I immerse myself with much pleasure in your blog after 2 weeks of bubbles in Mozambique. You have a big kiss from Sabrina.
    Very promising photos with your new toy! It's not to say, there is a plus compared to the compact!
    Again thank you for sharing so much beauty.


  21. @ Jean-Luc: Thank you Jean-Luc! My regret is not to have passed the stage of the grip ... While I was just beginning to better control the beast, it was already the end of the stay. Grrr ...

    Oh, there, I really will have to organize a trip to Mozambique, a day soon ... I'm really happy that you send me news of Sabrina. You had to feast under the water, there!

  22. Small complementary news from Sabrina & Denis:
    Not always easy in terms of daily management of all the small hassles due to the lack of structures on the spot and all the annoyances that entails .... But heavenly place in many ways especially when you're passing for a diving holiday, what I really recommend. No luck for Sabrina who had a malaria attack during my stay, but who was starting to recover when I left. It would make him super pleasure to have your news.
    A +

  23. Hello,

    Magnificent !
    On vacation, near Malaga, and when you leave me alone (lively children) I love to snorkel with a mask, a snorkel and fins. I am very happy when I see a crab or some (little) fish ...
    When I see your photos I'm speechless ... It makes me want to go diving!

    Thank you for sharing this.

  24. @Pika: In this case, you must try a dive baptism, one day, to see if you like it ... And if so, why not go further by passing the levels! The underwater life continues to enchant and fascinate me. I'm glad I could share some of my wonder with my images.