Survival of the Fittest in the Lembeh Strait

Survival of the Fittest in the Lembeh Strait

Lembeh’s dive sites might be underwater playgrounds for divers but for the critters that inhabit them it’s a case of survival of the fittest against predators. This fingered dragonet (Dactylopus dactylopus) lost its battle to the gracile lizardfish (Saurida gracilis), which struck with such lightening speed that the dragonet never had a chance. Fortunately our in house Photo and Video Pro Sascha Janson managed to capture this great footage



Frogfish are a definite highlight of diving in the Lembeh Strait. Whether it’s a hairy, painted, giant or even a juvenile they are well equipped with their lures and have such well adapted camouflage they are rarely detected by their unsuspecting prey until it’s all too late.



The spiny devilfish (Inimicus didactylus) is one of Lembeh’s most successful predators. Not only do they have a lightening strike rate combined with venomous spines, they are able to digest prey up to two times their own size.

Not all of Lembeh’s critters prey on other species though. The innocent looking Gymnodoris nudibranch, which is found on our House Reef, is a carnivorous nudibranch which feeds on other nudibranch. A carnivore and a cannibal combined!


Predation - Lembeh Resort


While stargazers certainly won’t win any awards for beauty, when it comes to the art of a successful ambush attack they are hard to beat. These scary looking predators buries themselves in the sandy substrate and lay in wait for their next meal to swim overhead before pouncing. Dinner is served.


Stargazer - Lembeh Resort


Not all Lembeh critters are lacking in looks. The flamboyant cuttlefish is a favorite with underwater photographers as it flashes from bright yellow to orange and purple to distract its prey. As the prey becomes mesmerized by this predators hypnotic show of color it fails to notice the flamboyants two feeding tentacles emerging before they shoot out and pull the prey back into its crushing beak. This cuttlefish might be small but it’s a master of deception!



If you’d like to see some of the incredible predators and behavior, which makes muck diving in Lembeh so famous, contact us with your requirements on

Our friendly team, beautiful Indonesian resort, exceptional service and exquisite diving will make your trip to Lembeh the diving experience of a lifetime.

We look forward to welcoming you to North Sulawesi soon.