Little Creatures of Lembongan
Lemobngan is very much know for it’s large creatures. A lot of divers come to the area to dive with the manta rays and the molas. As the mola season comes to a close, let us have a look at the cool little creatures that we find around the Lembongan and Penida dive sites.
Some of our favorite creatures that we like to point out to our guests are; orangutan crabs, hairy squat lobsters, ‘sexy’ shrimps and whip coral shrimp.
Although these small creatures seem hard to find at first, once you know where to look, they are quiet common here.
Below you will found some information about each of these creatures, what they look like and where to find them. We hope with this information, you will be able to find some of these creatures on your next dive in Lembongan.
These hairy crabs can be found in a few different types of soft corals, that are common on the north coast of Penida. Orangutan Crabs are named for their hairy orange bodies, that resemble that of an orangutan monkey.
With a size of only about 2 centimetress in diameter, it has relatively long arms, which are thickly covered with fine hairs, red or reddish brown in colour. It is frequently, but not always, found in bubble coral.
These crabs are one of Bryce’s favorite creatures to find underwater. Often, it takes a little bit of time for divers to understand what they are looking at. This is because the smaller orangutan crabs, just look like an orange ball of fluff.
Hairy Squat Lobsters:
These hairy lobster are found running up and down the outside of barrel sponges. The north coast of Nusa Penida, has many large barrel sponges, which provides many places to look for these creatures. Squat lobsters are smaller versions of what you may think of as a normal lobster. Squat lobsters normally grow up to 7 millimetres.
These squat lobsters differs from the other species in the group, by a number of features, but most obviously by the coloration: hairy squat lobsters are normally orange or pink with red or purplish markings.
These lobsters are one of Kipp’s favorite creatures to find underwater. With a bit of time learning to find these creatures and taking the time to look around the barrel sponges, it can become very common to spot. These little creatures are a little shy. It can run away and hide, if you get too close.
‘Sexy shrimp’ is the common name for this shrimp, but mostly referred to as squat shrimp. The name ‘sexy shrimp’ comes from the way this shrimp moves it’s tail. It moves its tail in the way a dancer would move her butt in the club.
These small shrimps grow to a length of about 13 millimeters. The bodies of the sexy shrimp are olive brown colour, with symmetrically placed white patches, edged with thin blue lines. It characteristically carries its abdomen curved upwards with its tail fan above its head.
These are normally found in anemones and have a commensal relationship with the anemone. Commensalism, is a class of relationships between two organisms where one organism benefits from the other without affecting it.
Whip Coral Shrimps:
Whip Coral Shrimp are shrimp that live on whip coral, hence its name. These small shrimp can be found on any part of the whip coral, from the very tip, where they feed, to the very bottom, where they hide.
Whip coral shrimp reach a total length of 60 millimeters and have striking colouration that match that of the whip coral. The base colour is transparent, but the carapace, abdomen and the large third pereiopod are banded to the colour of the whip coral. The abdomen, carapace and third pereiopods are covered in spines.
Another creature that is pretty shy, this shrimp will race up and down the whip coral, trying to hide while the guide is trying to point it out.