Muck-diving and Macro-diving Underwater Critters
Field Guide for Underwater photography macro subjects in Anilao, Indonesia, Bali, Ambon, Lembeh & Dumaguete
By Scott Gietler
This is the underwater critter list and online field guide of over 130 macro species that I used for Anilao, Philippine, Bali and Lembeh, Indonesia for macro underwater photography. It is list of the most sought after underwater photo subjects in the Indo-Pacific region.
We found 90% or more of these critters in Anilao, and almost all are also found in Lembeh, Sulawesi. This is also a great macro subject list for Mabul, Dumaguete, Ambon, Bali, Papau New Guinea or any other muck diving area in the Indo-pacific region.
Photos by Scott Gietler unless otherwised mentioned.
Nudibranchs & Molluscs
Phyllodesmium rudmani, Xenia mimic nudibranch
Ceratosoma alleni, photo by Mike Bartick
Solar-powered nudibranch. Photo by Larry Polster
Solar-powered nudibranch, Phyllodesmium longicirrum. Anilao. Photo by Mike Bartick.
Swimming Clam, Bali
Electric Clam, photo by Marli Wakeling
Shrimps and Crabs
Peacock mantis shrimp, gorlock mantis shrimp
Bumblebee shrimp, very rare! (great find Peri!)
Colmani shrimp, lives in pairs on fire urchins
Harlequin shrimp. Feeds on blue starfish.
bubble coral shrimp
jumping shrimp, Thor amboinensis. Often waves its tail, sits outside anemones. Also called "Sexy shrimp"
Imperial shrimp, found on sea cucumbers and Spanish Dancers.
Crinoid shrimps, always found on a similar host featherstar
Donald duck shrimp, Leander plumosus
Tiger shrimp, Bali
Hairy squat lobster (purple), Lauriea siagiani. Lives on Barrel sponges.
Squat lobster (crinoid crab)
Xeno crab, found on wire coral
Soft coral crab
Humpback prawn, Metapenaeopsis lamellata. I call it the evil shrimp.
Sawblade Shrimp, Tozeuma species. By Jeff de Guzman
Red Army Shrimp (Bali), Rhynchoinetes durbanensis
Slipper lobster, photo by Mike Bartick
Zebra crab on fire urchin, Lembeh. Photo by Larry Polster
Boxer Crab, photo by Mike Bartick
Squid, Octopus, Cuttlefish
Common Reef squid
Pygmy (mimic) cuttlefish
Mototi octopus, photo by Mike Bartick
Blue-ringed octopus, photo by Mike Bartick
Another Blue-ringed octopus, from Raja Ampat. Photo by Kevin Lee
juvenile longfin batfish
Juvenile harlequn sweetlips
juvenile harlequin sweetlips, older stage
juvenile oriental sweetlips
juvenile spotted boxfish or pufferfish, very tiny
Juvenile Rockmover Wrasse from Kona, Hawaii. Photo by Jeff Laity.
juvenile pinnate batfish
juvenile ribbon eel. Juveniles are black, adult males blue, old females yellow.
juvenile emporer angelfish
Hairy frogfish with lure out, a version of the Striated frogfish, Antennarius striatus. Photo by Mark Strickland
Frogfish, photo by Larry Polster
Juvenile painted frogfish
Painted frogfish, Antennarius pictus, photo by Jeffrey de Guzman. Species often develop large scab like patches on body. This species has the ability to change almost any color including white, black, red, pink, orange, yellow and brown.
Juvenile warty frogfish
Warty frogfish, Antennarius maculatus. Photos by Jeffrey de Guzman. Juveniles frequently yellow with red-brown saddle and orange borders of rear dorsal and tail fins. Often in open sand.
Antennarius randalli, Randall's Frogfish - Dark Phase. Photos by Jeffrey de Guzman
Antennarius coccineus, Freckled Frogfish.Photo by Jeffrey de Guzman.
Pygmy seahorse, Hippocampus bargibanti
yellow (thorny) seahorse
Giant seahorse of Anilao
Another Giant Seahorse of Anilao
Yellow pygmy seahorse, Hippocampus denise
Pipehorse, related to pipefish and seahorses
New lembeh pipedragon, Kyonemichthys rumengani. Photo by Marli Wakeling. Looks like a stick or algae.
coral banded pipefish
Common pipefish (photo coming soon)
robust ghost pipefish
Ornate ghost (harlequin) pipefish
Juvenile ornate ghost pipefish, colors not defined yet
Halimeda ghost pipefish
Mushroom coral pipefish, Siokunichthys nigrolineatus
Check out Mike Bartick's great Rhinopia article
Rhinopia frondosa, Weedy Rhinopia
Rhinopia aphanes, Lacey Rhinopia. Photo by Larry Polster
Crocodile snake eel (bites!)
Napolean snake eel
Garden eel, very shy
Garden eels, hard to approach
Male ribbon eel
female ribbon eel, lembeh. Rarely seen, the female is the last color stage of the Ribbon eel. Photo by Larry Polster.
Wire coral goby
Mimic Filefish, mimics a Toby.
Pajama cardinalfish, photo by Bill Van Antwerp
Urchin clingfish, photo by Mike Bartick
Soft coral filefish, photo by Mike Bartick
Green algae filefish, found in shallow harbors
Spotted blue Boxfish
Camoflauged bottom-dwelling fish
Fingered Dragonet from Anilao, Dactylopus dactylopus
Twin spot lionfish,photo by Marli Wakeling
Shortfin lionfish, Dendrochirus brachypterus. Rare yellow variation. Photo by Mark Strickland
Stonefish face, photo by Mike bartick
Sanddiver, male displaying with 2 females of his harem
Pegasus sea moth, photo by Kevin Lee
Cuckatoo waspfish, Lembeh. Photo by Larry Polster
Male ambon scorpionfish, lembeh. Photo by Larry Polster.
Sea snakes, not to be confused with the similar Banded snake eel