Tiny frogfish tries to eat an amphipod, Indonesia


Tiny frogfish tries to eat an amphipod, Indonesia, originally uploaded by echeng.

A juvenile frogfish attempts to eat an amphipod and some unknown eggs. The amphipod survives the encounter after being rejected by the frogfish. See grains of sand, for scale. These animals are tiny! Photo taken with Canon 7D, Canon 100mm USM macro lens, INON macro diopter, Nauticam underwater housing, 2 x Ikelite DS-125 strobes. (Night dive at Sizzler; Wai Verang, Indonesia)

Wai Verang
November 4, 2011; 10:22pm

The known dive sites at Wai Verang ("wai" = water, and "verang" = crab"; known as "Wai Wowang" to Western dive folks) consist of a strip of muck along a fish processing plant with a fresh water outflow. The dive sites we've been doing are called Rhinorama and Sizzler; Rhinorama's bottom is fully covered by new coral growth, and although it is most certainly full of Rhinopias (we found 3), it is difficult to spot anything in the chaotic backdrop. Sizzler is a slopey, sandy area with quite a few Rhinopias, but the real show was an army of juvenile frogfish (painted, clown, and Randall's). During our two full days of diving at Wai Verang, we probably saw in excess of 20 juvenile frogfishes. Each frogfish claims a single rock or clump of Halimeda macro algae. The frogfishes here seem to be hunting and eating shrimp constantly; our group recorded single frogfishes consuming multiple shrimp during only a few minutes of observation. Jhoey and Agung, the dive guides aboard the Damai II, had never in their guiding careers seen anything like this.

Like the sandy slope at Beangabang, Wai Verang's substrate is completely covered in crustacea at night. In addition, nearly every clump of rock and coral is home to a bunch of Caprella sp. skeleton shrimp. These skeleton shrimp are enormous, and completely fill the vertical frame of a Canon 100mm macro lens at close focus on a crop-sensor SLR.
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