My DVDs are now manufactured and shipped by CreateSpace, a subsidiary of Amazon, and I designed a new sleeve for my “Diving in Bali” DVD. You can still find them at http://www.bubblevision.com/marine-life-DVD.htm
Answer to my video puzzle “How Many Fish?”. There are 2 frogfishes here. I never saw the far one until I watched this video back on my computer.
How many fish do you see in this video? Answers in the comments please. If you think you know the species (common name or scientific name), please add that too.
Scuba diving in Bali. This DVD is available to purchase on my website.
Diving in Bali is a document of an extraordinary expedition I made to Indonesia’s magical island of Bali in 2006 with Aquamarine Diving. From Tulamben’s awesome USAT Liberty wreck, to the reef manta rays of Nusa Penida, via the fascinating macro marine life of Tulamben and Seraya Secrets, the footage covers the breadth of Bali’s fascinating underwater world.
The video features 158 species of marine life, and their common and scientific names are available by turning on the captions with the CC button under the video.
From Tulamben there is footage of the wreck of the USAT Liberty in both day time and night time, including the humphead parrotfish that spend the night there. Also from Tulamben are numerous marine live encounters from dives at the Drop-Off and the Coral Garden.
Just around the corner we make a dive at Seraya Secrets, a macro hotspot where I encountered seahorses and nudibranchs. From Padangbai on the east coast of Bali we have footage from The Blue Lagoon and Pura Jepun. From the island of Nusa Penida we have the manta ray cleaning station, Manta Point, and Ped.
Full list of dive sites featured in this video:
1. USAT Liberty Shipwreck, Tulamben
The USAT Liberty was torpedoed by the Japanese off Lombok and beached at Tulamben in Bali. In 1963 the last eruption of Mount Agung caused the wreck to slide deeper into the sea where she lies today. The USAT Liberty shipwreck makes an excellent dive site. This video features the towering stern, the coral-encrusted gun on the bow, green humphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum), a Pacific hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata bissa), garden eels, sweetlips and lots of other interesting marine life from the wreck and its surroundings.
The USAT Liberty also makes a fantastic night dive. Green humphead parrotfish sleep in the protection of the wreck. Other highlights include a Spanish dancer and a bluespotted ribbontail ray.
2. Coral Garden, Tulamben
The Coral Garden at Tulamben lies conveniently right off the middle of the beach. Skunk cleaner shrimps tend to moray eels and groupers at a cleaning station based around a barrel sponge. Also featuring a ribbon eel, ghost pipefish, leaf scorpionfish and trevallies schooling in the shallows.
3. Tulamben Drop-Off
Video from the Drop-Off at Tulamben, Bali, featuring a spectacular giant purple knotted sea fan, nudibranchs, a ghost pipefish and a seahorse. Before and after exploring the Drop-Off we spend time in the shallows where we meet Tulamben’s famous schools of trevallies.
By night the drop-off at Tulamben provides plenty of treats for the visiting diver. This video includes a squat lobster, a cone shell, a dwarf cuttlefish, a hermit crab and various pretty reef fish.
4. Seraya Secrets
Seraya Secrets, nearby to Tulamben, is an exellent muck dive known for weird and wonderful critters. Here we encounter some batfish around the artificial reef project in the shallows. A little deeper we find 2 thorny seahorses, catfish, an anemone crab and nudibranchs.
5. Blue Lagoon, Padangbai
The Padangbai area on the east coast of Bali provides some fantastic diving. Just north of Padangbai lies the Blue Lagoon. This footage comes from my first ever dive in Indonesia with a video camera and features leaf scorpionfish, cuttelfish, anemonefish, lionfish, shrimps, catfish, nudibranchs, moorish idols and a goby.
6. Pura Jepun, Padangbai
Pura Jepun also lies just north of Padangbai and is home to some fantastic marine life. This video features clownish, sweetlips, angelfish, a peacock mantis shrimp, a stingray, a panther grouper, a wart slug, ribbon eels, a scorpionfish and a flying gurnard.
7. Manta Point, Nusa Penida
On the north-east side of Nusa Penida lies a cleaning station for reef manta rays (Manta alfredi) known as “Manta Point”. On 23rd May 2006 we had the pleasure of diving with these graceful giants.
8. PED, Nusa Penida
Ped is sloping reef on the north coast of Nusa Penida. Here we encounter a variety of tropical reef fishes including angelfish, triggerfish, anemonefish and scorpionfish, as well as a rhizostome jellyfish.
Thanks to Toao for the music tracks, “Deep Blue”, “Starbeam”, “Afterglow”, “Time & Space” and “Woodsman”, and to Erik Verkoyen for “Prickly Shark”.
The giant manta ray, Manta birostris, is a common visitor to Thailand. The first manta ray in this video was filmed at Koh Bon’s south-west ridge, north of the Similan Islands in the Andaman Sea, where scuba divers can often encounter giant manta rays.
We then meet another giant manta ray at Hin Daeng in Thailand’s southern islands, another popular scuba diving destination.
Finally we encounter a giant manta ray at Richelieu Rock, also north of the Similan Islands in the Surin Islands National Park.
Manta rays are pelagic elasmobranchs, closely related to sharks. There are now known to be at least 2 distinct species of manta ray. This video features the largest species, the giant manta ray, Manta birostris, which is thought to travel great distances underwater.
The first giant manta ray at Koh Bon has 2 common remoras, Remora remora, attached to it’s head. The manta at Richelieu Rock has many smaller remoras (live sharksuckers), Echeneis naucrates, accompanying it. The remoras attach themselves to the manta ray and other large marine animals using their dorsal fin, which has evolved into a sucker. The remoras get a free ride, and they feed on the giant manta ray’s faeces.
Manta rays are threatened because of overfishing. The manta’s gill rakers are used in a so-called traditional Chinese medicine. As it has become popular in recent years, the manta ray population has fallen dramatically, and the IUCN have declared giant manta rays as “vulnerable with an elevated risk of extinction”.
The lovely music is “Are We Dreaming” by Solidtrax, who you can find here:
Part 27 of my weekly series, “Reef Life of the Andaman”. Crabs and shrimps at night.
Night diving offers the opportunity to see many crustaceans that are typically hidden in the reef during daylight, but are highly active under the hours of darkness. This video features 13 species.
At Koh Doc Mai, near Phuket in Thailand, and in the Similan Islands, we see banded coral shrimps (Stenopus hispidus) plucking plankton from the water to eat. Rock cleaner shrimp (Urocaridella sp.) are busy cleaning a large snapper and a fimbriated moray eel (Gymnothorax fimbriatus).
Space is at a premium on the reef. In the Mergui Archipelago in Burma (Myanmar) we see a fimbriated moray sharing its home with a variable coral crab (Carpilius convexus).
Female crabs carry their eggs under their apron for a few months while the embryos develop. We witness the dramatic sight of a spendid round crab (Etisus splendidus) releasing her brood. As she pumps her lower body, thousands of tiny larvae are released and drift away in the current.
At Thailand’s Boonsung wreck, a crucifix crab (Charybdis (Charybdis) feriata) tries to appear as large and intimidating as possible by spreading its claws, before escaping into the shelter of the wreck, while at Western Rocky Island we see a tiny bull crab (Naxioides taurus) crawling across a gorgonian sea fan.
The flat rock crab, Percnon planissimum, is a common sight in the Andaman Sea, as is the swimming crab, Charybdis sp., which we see defending its territory by fighting off a passing common decorator crab (Schizophrys aspera). This decorator crab has large claws and covers itself with other marine organisms such as stinging hydroids for camouflage and defence. The horrid elbow crab (Daldorfia horrida) becomes completely encrusted with growth, while the spider decorator crab (Camposcia retusa) covers itself with sponges which continue to grow while on the crab, and enable it to blend in with the reef. The sponge crab, Dromia dormia, carries a large spone with its rearmost legs. We see one fling itself off the edge of the reef in an attempt to escape our lights.
Hermit crabs live inside empty snail shells in order to protect their soft abdomen. We see white-spotted hermit crabs (Dardanus megistos) in a variety of different shells. Anemone hermit crabs (Dardanus pedunculatus) carry live sea anemones on its shell as an extra defence. At Honeymoon Bay we a pair of them, perhaps in a dispute over territory.
Part 26 of my weekly series, “Reef Life of the Andaman”. Night dive.
Night diving offers a different type of experience to the scuba diver, as a different array of marine critters venture out while others rest.
Cephalopods can be successful hunters by night. In Burma’s Mergui Archipelago we see a bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana) feasting on an Indo-Pacific sergeant (Abudefduf vaigiensis) and a pharao cuttlefish (Sepia pharaonis) feeding on a spinefoot.
Pretty moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) drift over Thailand’s Boonsung wreck. A great barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda) passes by the camera at Koh Doc Mai near Phuket. An orange cup coral’s pretty polyps are extended. Amongst a group of red lionfish on the Boonsung wreck, a goldband fusilier (Pterocaesio chrysozona), displaying its night coloration, is pounced on and swallowed whole by a a honeycomb moray (Gymnothorax favagineus).
Many reef fishes use the night time to sleep. We see a blackspotted puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus) and a spotted sharpnose (Canthigaster solandri) resting on the reef at Koh Tachai, north of the Similan Islands.
At night, parrotfish surround themselves in a scent-proof cocoon of secreted mucous to avoid detection by sharks. We see ember parrotfish (Scarus rubroviolaceus) and blue-barred parrotfish (Scarus ghobban) using this technique.
It’s very difficult for scuba divers to observe fishes at night without disturbing them. We encounter a scrawled filefish (Aluterus scriptus), moorish idol (Zanclus cornutus), humpback turretfish (Tetrosomus gibbosus), emperor angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator), snake moray (Uropterygius sp.), blue triggerfish (Pseudobalistes fuscus) and ornate ghost pipefish (Solenostomus paradoxus) all apparently disorientated or upset by the bright lights.
Part 20 of my weekly series, “Reef Life of the Andaman”. Sea snakes and sea turtles.
In this video we look at the 3 most common marine reptiles in the Andaman Sea. First we meet the banded sea krait, Laticauda colubrina, a type of sea snake, hunting for prey at Shark Cave in the Mergui Archipelago in Burma (Myanmar), and in and around the Similan Islands in the Andaman Sea of Thailand. The banded sea krait’s venom is extremely poisonous but they usually ignore scuba divers and their mouths are very small.
There are two common types of sea turtle to be found in the Andaman Sea. First we encounter the Pacific hawsbill turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata bissa, which can be found on many dive sites in Thailand and Burma. Then in the Similan Islands we find the green turtle, Chelonia mydas. Turtles have a wide-ranging diet that includes cnidarians such as jellyfish and coral polyps. Sadly many sea turtles die by choking on or being poisoned by man-made debris such as plastic bags which they mistake as food.
At Donald Duck Bay in the Similan Islands, we witness snorkellers hand-feeding one of the green turtles which hang around moored boats in search of food.
As reptiles, both sea snakes and sea turtles must surface to breathe regularly before returning to the sea bed to hunt or rest.
Part 19 of my weekly series, “Reef Life of the Andaman”. Fishes feeding.
In this video we look at ways that fish hunt and feed, mostly by collaborating in schools. At Richelieu Rock we first see a rhizostome jellyfish, Versuriga anadyomene, under attack from a scrawled filefish at Richelieu Rock in Thailand and then see a school of streaked spinefoots (Java rabbitfish, Siganus javus) preying on a jellyfish as rainbow runners, Elagatis bipinnulata, dart by.
We then encounter streaked spinefoots joining Singapore parrotfish, Scarus prasiognathus, feeding on algae on the coral reef at Staghorn Reef on Racha Yai near Phuket, and a school of blue-barred parrotfish, Scarus ghobban, feeding at Koh Bon.
At East of Eden in the Similan Islands, we find different types of fish collaborating in their hunt for prey. Goldsaddle goatfish (Parupeneus cyclostomus), bluefin trevally (Caranx melampygus) and smalltooth emperors (Lethrinus microdon) make a spectacular sight as they gang up in their hunt for small fishes.
Fringelip mullet, Crenimugil crenilabis, are occasionally spotted in a school at Racha Noi, feeding by filtering organic matter from the sand.
At Koh Tachai, north of the Similan Islands, we see a variety of tropical fish that would do any aquarium proud, all gathered around a titan triggerfish, Balistoides viridescens, as it feeds.
We then meet the blackspotted puffer, Arothron nigropunctatus, standing by at another feeding frenzy at Anemone Reef, then feeding alone at Richelieu Rock.
Finally we encounter a yellow trumpetfish, Aulostomus chinensis, firstly, riding, above a porcupinefish, and then hiding within a school of yellowfin goatfish so that it can more easily approach its prey.
Part 16 of my weekly series, “Reef Life of the Andaman”.
In this video we look at how fishes and other marine life avoid detection by predators and prey by using camouflage, mimicry or by simply hiding.
First we see how the pastel tilefish, Hoplolatilus fronticinctus, hides by diving into enormous piles of rubble that it has built at dive sites in the depths of the Mergui Archipelago in Burma (Myanmar).
Then we look at how the dwarf whipray, Himantura walga, and bluespotted stingray, Neotrygon kuhlii, camouflage themselves under sand on the seabed at various locations in Thailand including the Similan Islands.
The day octopus, Octopous cyanea, shows us how it ejects ink as a decoy so it can make its escape.
Mimicry is a clever way that marine life hides its presence. We see how the straightstick pipefish, Trachyrhamphus longirostris, mimics sea whips to avoid detection, and how the ornate ghost pipefish, Solenostomus paradoxus, can change its body coloration and orientation to mimic its surroundings.
The giant frogfish, Antennarius commerson, is an ambush predator. They mimic sponges and their slender dorsal spine, the illicium, is waved around like a tiny fishing rod. Bypassers attracted to the lure at the end of the illicium are engulfed by the huge mouth in a fraction of a second. They are also known as anglerfish.
Scorpionfish and stonefish are also ambush predators. They blend in perfectly with their environment so they can pounce on their unsuspecting prey, but have venomous spines as an extra defence. We see a moray eel colliding with a stonefish at Thailand’s Boonsung wreck.