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

The 5 Best Beginner Dive Sites around Amed

Blessed with clear visibility and a large variety of marine creatures: The area surrounding the little fishing village of Amed makes every divers heart beat go faster.
The north eastern coastline of Bali is packed with endless coral reefs. Dozens of bays string together forming Balis largest dive area. From Padang-Bay through Gili Selang up to Amed and Tulamben you could literally jump into the water and dive. This abundance of sites can be overwhelming, therefor we will share the 5 best dive sites for beginners with you.


1. USAT Liberty Shipwreck (Tulamben)

Depth: 5-35 meters
Access: Shore
Level: Beginner

The areas most famous dive site claimed its reputation for a reason. USAT Liberty was an American war vessel during the second world war. The ship got torpedoed by the Japanese towards the end of WW2 close to the Komodo Islands. Upon it’s sinking the ship got pulled to the island of Bali where allied forces beached the vessel on Tulambens shore. The Liberty remained stranded there for many years while being scavenged by the local community. The eruption of the massive volcano “Mt. Agung” in 1963 forced the vessel underwater where it lies up to this day. Over the years the wreck became a heavenly paradise for marine life. The whole ship is covered in different types of hard and soft corals. This coral city invites an astonishing variety of marine creatures to settle. Most famously known is a family of Humphead Parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) residing in the shipwreck at night, whilst grazing on the surrounding coral reefs during the day.

2. Pyramids (Amed, Tukatse)

Depth: 5-25 meters
Access: Shore/Boat
Level: Beginners to Advanced

This dive site in the heart of Amed is a pure gem. Along the large coral reef lie artificial coral constructions in the shape of pyramids. The reef itself ranges from a depth of 5 to 20 meters and is home to a variety of coral fish (Angle Fish, Butterfly Fish…). Alongside the reef on a depth of 18-25 meters about 20 large pyramids align them selves. Over the years the pyramids allowed plenty of corals to grow on them. With corals came a diversity of schooling fish (fusiliers, goat fish…). Additionally, every pyramid is home to a slightly different type of coral. Some of them are inhabited by large fan corals, others by table corals and some are home to a mix of different hard and soft coral species. This site can attract pelagic marine animals like hammerhead sharks, schools of barracudas and sometimes even whale sharks.

3. Amed Wall & Jemeluk Bay (Amed, Jemeluk)


Depth: 3-55 meters
Access: Shore
Level: Beginners, Advanced and Professional

The best place to learn diving in Amed. In the shallow areas of the bay, right off-shore, beginners can perfectly accomplish their Open Water Course. By venturing out towards the right side of the bay you will eventually reach the famously known “Amed Wall” – a beautiful wall dive site ranging from 10-45 meters. The wall is covered in all types of coral. You can find gigantic sponges, gorgeous fan corals and large table corals. On days of clear visibility you will be astonished by the beautiful landscape.

4. Drop Off (Tulamben)

Depth: 5-60 meters
Access: Shore
Level: Beginners, Advanced and Professional

Even though this dive site is dropping very deep, beginners can enjoy the feeling of flying along the shallower parts of the wall. The Tulamben Drop Off is quite different to the Wall in Amed. Different types of corals can be found. Also the marine life in this part of the coast varies from the one found in Amed. Just because the site is reaching very deep it doesn’t mean that the area from 5-18 meters has nothing to offer. A school of fusiliers is stationary living at the very beginning of the dive site. The Drop Off is also home to an abundance of macro marine life. Nudibranchs in all shapes and sizes can be encountered here. Don’t spread the word to loud but there have even been recent sightings of Whale Sharks right here!

5. Japanese Shipwreck (Amed)


Depth: 3-30 meters
Access: Shore
Level: Beginners

Among dive professionals in the area this site is known as a paradise for microscopic marine creatures. The wreck is considerably small and lies very shallow just in front the shore. Despite its small size it is home to dozens of nudibranchs, ghost pipefishes and coral fish. Beginners love this wreck as it is easily accessible and shallow. The reef surrounding the shipwreck is worth another whole dive itself. Pristine corals, thousands of different species of fish and the notoriously known “Pigmy Seahorse” can be found here. To find this very small seahorse you definitely need very good eyes or a dive buddy specialised in finding them!