The Dark Side of the Lembeh Strait

The Dark Side of the Lembeh Strait

Following on with our October Halloween theme of spookiest critters in the Strait here are some fun facts about 6 critters which we think could star in any Hollywood horror movie, read on … if you dare!


Scorpaenopsis possi

Be afraid, be very afraid because this species of scorpionfish, which grows up to 20cm, has no less than 12 poisonous dorsal spines. The spines may be laid flat in this image but when it means business this spooky critter directs the spines upwards, ready to deliver one heck of a sting.



Rhinomuraena quaesita

This secretive critter dwells in elaborate sand and rubble burrows from which only its head and a few inches of its scale-less body can be seen. Don’t be deceived by its slender appearance, this species can grow up to a monstrous 1 meter. Despite its bright colors this is a carnivore which feeds on fish. As it ages it not only changes color but it also changes gender from male to female.



Cryptocentrus cinctus

This species of goby is the ultimate watchman. It shares its burrow with blind shrimps which dig and maintain the burrow while the goby sits “on guard”. The blind shrimp rests its antennae on the goby’s tail and when predators approach the goby flicks its tail and both retreat into the safety of the burrow. The yellow goby has an incredibly wide mouth which it uses to feed on small crustaceans and fish – watch out for the watchman!



Amphiprion polymnus

There is nothing more terrifying than a mother who is defending her young and that is certainly true for the saddleback clownfish – check out the razor sharp teeth on this female guarding her eggs here in Lembeh. The female of this species is the most dominant and on a single anemone there will be one female other smaller males. When she reaches the end of her life-span the largest male will take on her role and change gender to match, freaky!



 Stargazer fish

Anything that is this downright ugly can’t not be spooky. This is one face that does not smile back at you! The stargazer with its goggle like eyes and protruding teeth lays mostly buried in the sand and is spotted most frequently spotted here in Lembeh on night dives – now that’s enough to make you afraid of the dark!



Eunice aphroditois

Have you ever heard urban myths about a lady called Lorena Bobbit who, when she discovered her husband was cheating on her, severed his penis? They are not myths – they are absolutely true and this is from where the “Bobbit worm” takes its name. Now that really is the stuff of scary Halloween movies!

Are you keen to see some of the weirdest and most unusual marine life in the world? Join us at Lembeh Resort and dive some of the best dive sites in Indonesia. For a sneak preview of our critters check our Critter Log here.