It is no secret the Lembeh Strait is the Frogfish Capital of Planet Earth. We really love our frogfish. Correctly identifying the numerous species we encounter can be challenging since some species look very alike, causing confusion. Antennatus nummifer (Spotfin Frogfish) and A. coccineus (Scarlet Frogfish) are the worst offenders. But just a name can cause consternation, which brings me to the Lembeh Frogfish.
Last year I received word that the Ocellated Frogfish has been officially described. The new name is Lembeh Frogfish / Nudiantennarius subteres. But we already had what we called (unofficially) the Lembeh Frogfish, otherwise known as the Shaggy Frogfish. Some confusion is understandable.
In fairness, Teresa Zubi has always called the Ocellated frogfish the Lembeh Frogfish on her expansive and comprehensive web site www.frogfish.ch , which is very recommended to check out if you are into frogfish. So perhaps she had some influence with the name.
It is a very small frogfish and the main identifying feature is the orange / yellow / pale “O” eyespot (Ocellus) on the dorsal fin. Sometimes there is two on one side and only one on the other! Even three ocelli have been seen. I thought that we were finding them only in black until tan-coloured ones were seen from time to time. In the new description it seems that another identifying feature is the long “toes” and a prominent “fishing rod” (second dorsal spine). Using this description, I have attached the name to two rather different-looking specimens (below). Another feature (sometimes) is the presence of white skin shreds along the edge of the tail (look closely on the far bottom snapshot).
So now we must endeavor to apply this new name of Nudiantennarius subteres / Lembeh Frogfish and hopefully it will lead to more accurate identification of the myriad and messy variations within the numerous frogfish species we find in the strait.
What Every Dive Resort Should Strive to Be
"This was a phenomenal dive trip and we will be back here on our next visit to Lembeh. Thanks again to Bruce, Fung, and all of the wonderful staff who made our vacation a fantastic one!"
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Three times is not enough...
"In the 20+ years that we've been diving, in about the same number of different countries, there was only one other place where we went back a second time. But Black Sand? Oh we just couldn't stay away!"
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Idyllic Resort Set in Middle of Lembeh’s Best Diving
"Bruce was often present at meal time, and he is a wealth of knowledge about all things diving, especially Lembeh and critter identification. We really enjoyed our discussions with him. The dive staff was outstanding."
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Missing it Already and Can't Wait to Return!
"We visited Black Sand for the second time because we could not have imagined having better hosts than Bruce and Fung as well the number and variety of great dive sites."
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Black Sand Dive Retreat
Kel. Kasawari, Bitung
North Sulawesi, Indonesia