October 31, 2010

Explore Kubu Reef

Kubu is a small village in the neighbourhood of Tulamben. The Kubu reefs are easily accessible from the rocky lava shore. The reef starts right off the beach in shallow water about 2-3mtrs deep featuring huge pinnacles of glassfish-covered coral heads. This site is a good snorkeling spot, too. The coral garden leads into a beautiful ridge covered with fields of staghorn coral (Acropora sp.) and some good sized soft coral (Dendronephthya spp.) which sometimes host rare crustaceans like porcelain crabs and tiny little cowries snails (Pseudosimnia sp.). Please check for pygmy seahorses (Hippocampus bargibanti) on the deeper gorgonian sea fans (Muricella sp.)! Nearly any kind of reef fish is abundant, schooling species like sawtooth barracudas (Sphyraena putnamiae) or large schools of fairy basslets (Pseudoanthias spp.), but also individuals like large groupers can be seen. A very highlight would be the gorgeous juvenile pinnate batfish (Platax pinnatus) which hides in the dark of crevices and holes. This fish is rarely seen by divers but occasionally and, of course, with a bit of luck we can discover this beautiful animal on the Kubu reefs. Especially “macro freaks” will like this site since we have discovered many rare species of nudibranches and sea slugs, some of them not yet described, probably even unknown.