The Rhinopias Scorpionfish is relatively rare and it also one of the must see marine critters for divers and underwater photographers. It was on my bucket list in my previous trip in April this year but as the weather was not on my side so I was not able to see one. So in my June trip to Lembeh, once again I asked for my dive guide to look out for this weed fish and this time I was more fortunate to be told that there was one at Trikora dive point at about 20m depth. So we planned for our dive to this dive site and we were really pleased to find this yellow colour Rhinopias frondosa at 18m depth.
The Rhinopias frondosa or commonly known as the Weedy Scorpionship or Weed Fish belongs to the family of Scorpionfishes, Scorpaenidae. It has a highly compressed body and the appendages vary depending on the surrounding environment in which the Weedy Scorpionfish is found. The Weedy Scorpionfish also comes in many varied colours from white, yellow, purple to dark red.
The Weedy Scorpionfish is widely distributed from the Indian Ocean to the Western Pacific Ocean. From East of South Africa to India and Caroline Islands and from West Pacific region from Japan to Eastern Australia region.
The Rhinopias genus has 6 species with 3 found mainly in Japan and the other three in South East Asian region and these are the Rhinopias aphanes, R. eschmeyeri and R. frondosa. At Lembeh, I was able to sight this very beautiful yellow colour Rhinopias frondosa at about 18m of Trikora , a dive point at Lembeh Straits.
The Weedy Scorpionfish is solitary and lives at depth from 13m to 90m in soft bottom habitats among corals, rocks and weeds . It is nocturnal and an ambush hunter using its stealthy camouflage to hunt for unsuspecting preys mainly invertebrates and fish. It is not a good swimmer and uses its fins to crawl slowly over the ocean floor.
As I looked at the Weedy Scorpionfish and while taking photographs of this subject I found it very interesting and full of character. It is definitely a photographer’s favourite as it provides many exciting angles from which you can take beautiful shots of this subject whether you take them from the front or from the side.
Using scuba lamp and scuba torch, I was able to have creative images taken of this wonderful and amazing critter. Here are some of the images taken with my scuba lamps.
Hope you have similar dive experience and enjoy looking at some of these rare marine critters in your dives wherever you maybe diving.
Have fun and dive safe always !