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Diving the unusual in Lembongan

Unusual Critters on Dive Site Shocker!

Diving at Manta Bay, Nusa Lembongan, takes a family turn?


The dive site around Nusa Lembongan and Penida have done it again!

There is always cool stuff to find when taking a dive around the nusa islands, whether its manta rays, mola mola or the usual angels and trigger fish. Sometimes, however, something extra cool appears from out of nowhere and the word spreads like crazy.

Ladies and gentledivers… I present to you… the 5 x Robust Pipefish of Manta Bay…

Right Here, Right Now

Where 5 of these bad boys have appeared from is anyone’s guess. Especially as this relatively small ocean pelagic is known to spend most of it’s life in open water.

Normally a rather unflattering shade of brown, green or grey, the robust pipefish is the least showy of the family. But what they lack in color, they make up for in size and are the largest of the pipefish family growing up to 17cm. Even with their muddy colors, divers still like the opportunity to catch these curious little critters on camera. Maybe because they look like squashed sea horses? Or simply because they look so delicate.  They normally don’t make it easy though, the robust pipefish does an excellent job of blending in with sea grass and we’ve spent many a time looking into the eyes of a dive buddy who is wondering why we were getting so excited over a piece of seaweed 🙂

Coming to a dive site near you

As far as we know, the robust pipefish tend to live in open water until it’s time for breeding. Once ready, and feeling suitably motivated to reproduce, they come in closer to the shore and spend their time around a coral or muddy bottom, feeding on tiny crustaceans they suck in through their large snouts.

Does this mean that our little grouping of 5 may suddenly blossom into 100s?

Lets hope so… there’s few things in life cuter than a baby pipefish… maybe a puppy in pajamas, but we’re not that kind of web site.

Oh, go on then… you decide 😉

small robust pipefish - brown

Pipe vs Puppy cute off?

Clearly the little fella on the left is a hands down winner.

(photo courtesy of people with too much time on their hands)

Cute puppy in pyjamas
Darren Warburton

Author Darren Warburton

Aquatic bodyguard, chief tank filler and biscuit dunker.

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