- THE PAPUAN GARDEN EEL, JUST DISCOVERED IN 2010
Just discovered in 2010, the garden eel is a species belonging to the Heterocongrinae. It lives in groups, in dens at the bottom of the ocean, and it spends most of its time with its small body (up to 60 cm long) hidden in the sand.
- THE MANTIS SHRIMP, ONE OF 8 ENDEMIC SPECIES
This Stomatopoda crustacean is common in the waters of Raja Ampat. They are also known as “thumb splitters” among the divers, because of their aggressive nature and sharp claws. They are brightly colored and can grow up to 12 cm long.
- THE TASSELLED WOBBEGONG (EUCROSSORHINUS DASYPOGON)
The bizarre looking Wobbegong shark is a fairly common sight, once you know where to look for them!), Raja Ampat is one of the very few places, outside of Australia, where you can see these creatures. They make for a great photo opportunity! Wobbegongs are well camouflaged, with a symmetrical pattern of bold markings, resembling a carpet. The camouflage is enhanced by the presence of small, weed-like whisker lobes surrounding the Wobbegong’s jaw, which it uses to lure and catch fish.
- HEMISCYLLIUM FREYCINETI, RAJA AMPAT EPAULETTE SHARK
This is s a small, harmless carpet shark that seems to walk on the ocean floor with its fins. Most species are 1.25 meters long or less.
There are several species and they are fairly common in the area.
Bargibant’s pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti)
Denise’s pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise)
Pontoh’s pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus pontohi)
Most manta rays around the world have dark upper sides and white lower sides. Here you can see the Raja Ampat mantas, which are, black both on top and underneath. Rather a magnificent sighting!