Top 5 Micro Marine Animals in Amed

Whether you’re into Macro Photography or just want to take a closer look at the variety of small underwater creatures: this article might help you to find and identify some of the most fascinating little critters Amed area has to offer.

Nr. 1- Nudibranch and other sea slugs

Starting off with one of the most diverse marine animals in matters of shape, size and colour: the Nudibranch. Their scientific name, Nudibranchia, means ‘naked gills’ and describes the feathery gills and horns that most wear on their backs.

With over 3,000 different species, you will not get bored searching for these beautiful little creatures. Their size can range from 0.25 inches (around half a centimeter) to as big as 12 inches (around 30 centimeters), but their bright, colourful appearance usually makes them quite easy to spot. When muck diving the chances are high to find “nudis” (as most Nudibranch connoisseurs refer to them), but they can also be found on a variety of different corals, rocks or sandy slopes. Amed Wall, Ghost Bay or Tulamben Drop Off are generally great choices for a successful Nudi-Hunt.

Hypselodoris Bullocki at Pyramids

Nr. 2 – Frogfish

It is quite more difficult to spot this micro marine creature: the frogfish. They have the ability to “mimic” their surroundings in both form and color which makes them masters of camouflage. These grumpy looking anglerfish are usually found camouflaged in sea fans, sponges, rocks or among the sand. Their colours can vary from yellow, pinkish red, white to full-on red. The best dive spots in Amed for finding frogfish are Ghost Bay (especially at night), Jemeluk Bay, Tulamben Wall or Drop-Off.

Red Painted Frogfish at Ghost Bay

Nr. 3 – Squid, Octopus, Cuttlefish

Cephalopods are the most intelligent, most mobile and the largest suborder of molluscs. Squids, Octopuses, Cuttlefish and their relatives display remarkable diversity in size and lifestyle with adaptations for predation, locomotion, disguise, and communication. These “brainy” invertebrates have evolved suckered tentacles, camera-like eyes, color-changing skin, and complex learning behavior. A great variety of them can be found along the coasts of Bali and if you look hard enough and explore each and every crevice you’ll be sure to spot some common reef squids, bobtail squids, pygmy and broadclub cuttlefish, coconut and mimic octopuses or even a blue ringed octopus (makes sure to stay away from this one, as they are extremely venomous and one of the most dangerous animals in the ocean). 

Specifically in the Amed area you should check out Jemeluk Bay or Pyramids by night or day to spot these fascinating creatures.

Juvenile Cuttlefish in Jemeluk Bay

Nr. 4 – Crabs and Shrimps

Continuing the trend of incredible diversity in this list, let’s take a quick look at some of the crustaceans you will be able to find in Bali. 

You can find them in between various corals, underneath rocks or even hitchhiking on a Nudibranch. Most notoriously found are harlequin shrimp, mantis shrimp, colmani shrimp, anemone shrimp and imperial shrimp (just to name a few favourites). 

As far as crabs are concerned they will most likely hide in sandy slopes or underneath a coral/rock-formation. The possibilities seem endless, as you can find almost anything from orang-utan crabs, reef crabs, porcelain crabs to hermit crabs and many more.

Be sure to visit Jemeluk Bay and Wall, Pyramids or Ghost Bay. A nightdive would be ideal, as crustaceans usually come out of hiding when it’s nice and dark and you’ll have an easier time spotting them.

Anemone Crab can be found on almost all sites

Nr. 5 – Ghost Pipefish and Seahorses

Closing off with probably the hardest to spot category: Seahorses and Pipefish.

They are not only rare but also quite difficult to spot. Seahorses in Amed are mostly very small and well camouflaged. Especially seahorses like the yellow (thorny) seahorse or pygmy seahorse won’t be easy to find, but who doesn’t like a challenge? While seahorses prefer shallow waters and to hide in between algae or different species of gorgonian coral (soft coral), pipefish on the other hand are usually found hanging out inside wrecks or close to mooring buoys. 

Try your luck at one of the world’s most famous shipwrecks, the USAT Liberty Shipwreck in Tulamben or the Japanese Shipwreck in Bunutan (Amed area).

Pygmy SeaHorse at the Japanese Shipwreck

5 Must Haves To Get Started With UW‑IMAGING

You love diving? You love to take pictures and videos? Then it is time to talk about becoming an underwater photographer!
A underwater photographers Wishlist is endless. Nevertheless we will introduce you to the “5 Must‑have Items to get started with UW‑Imaging”!

NR. 1 – The Camera

First of all, obviously ‑ you need a camera! There are dozens of awesome cameras out there, but just a handful of them is suited for underwater photography. As a beginner you want to start with something small and simple, like a digital camera! Sony’s RX100 series, like the Canon G7x series or the Olympus TG‑series are notoriously known amongst underwater photographers. Despite their small size they are really good entry‑level cameras. Especially in underwater photography most people have to travel to get to the dive spots and this small camera size can be a real game changer!

(Obviously you could also go for a simple ActionCamera… but if you want to take things seriously and actually recognize something again on your pictures you should stay away from using an ActionCamera for your underwater photography🤗)

Nr. 2 – Underwater Housing

Most cameras are NOT waterproof. Therefor you need to get a underwater housing which suits your camera. Many camera‑manufacturers started to build their own waterproof cases. Some of them are good others should be avoided.
There are 2 materials most commonly used for underwater housings:
Polycarbonate ‑ cheaper, lightweight and perfect for traveling.
Metal ‑ expensive, heavy but extremely durable and rugged.
The market leading companies for polycarbonate housings are Fantasea, Ikelite & SeaFrogs. For metal housings you should have a look at Nauticam, Isotta or Auquatica.

Nr. 3 – Wide Angle Lens

Now, as you got your camera & underwater housing you need to decide, which style of photography you want to pursue.
If you choose to capture the big stuff like coral reefs, sharks, schooling fish or people ‑ you should consider to get a underwater wide angle lens. These so called “wet lenses” are mounted on the lens port of your housing. They broaden the field of view by correcting the magnification that happens underwater with a flat port.

Nr. 4 – Macro Diopter

This is a must have for all those macro photographers out there: the wet macro (or super macro) diopter. Using this piece of equipment brings your right up close and personal to your favorite underwater creatures.
Macro Diopter work by shortening the focusing distance between the camera and the subject so that the subject fills the frame.

Nr. 5 – Underwater Strobe or Video Light

As you learned and observed in your Scuba Courses, the color of light is lost underwater. The deeper you venture, the more colors disappear.
To correct this loss of color you can use either a strobe or a video light.
(This tool is rather advanced and will take practice to be mastered. If you want to know how to correct your underwater colors without a strobe/light, check out our Article on http://www.lunatics‑world.com “Finding the right White Balance”


Feel inspired ? Why not checking out our Underwater Imaging Courses ?

Everything you need for underwater photography can be found here: