Yesterday Miguel’s Diving staff went exploring a new location. Among the wonderful marine creatures seen during the dive was a very secretive and puzzling filefish. It turned out to be the cryptic and rarely seen Black-lined filefish (Pervagor nigrolineatus). She was hiding inside a black crinoid but soon disappeared into Gorontalo’s dense coral growth. Found only in the Western Pacific, this filefish has several color phases. One is greenish with distinct black lines; another is brown with a thick irregular, mid bodyline with a white line on its nose. The one is our photo has none of these characteristics and the white on her face is actually a bit of skin she is shedding. However, her elegant nose is distinctive to this species. The fish in the photograph is female.
Miguel’s Diving staff took a much-needed break today. Even though dive season doesn’t start again until November, diving is still possible in a couple of protected bays. With stiff winds already blowing from early morning, we decided to try the opposite side of one bay that provided a bit more shelter. Actually, we have never surveyed this location. Almost immediately upon descent we found an enormous sea fan next to one of Gorontalo’s famous Salvador Dali sponges. Although fish schools were numerous, churning waters and plankton rendered the visibility to only three meters. This is off-season! However, numerous sponge species plus the odd nudibranch or worm kept the camera low on memory.
For travelers flying Garuda Indonesia in August, the in-flight magazine has a four-page article on diving in Gorontalo. Singapore-based underwater photographer William Tan contributed the many pictures that appear. The article is in Indonesian.