Harlequin Shrimp At Night

When you concentrate on diving at night (as was the case for much of my recent stay in Ambon), you have an opportunity to pick up on things that you might not otherwise notice.

Doing an occasional night dive here and there is one thing, but visiting the same sites night-after-night for several dives a night affords you the chance to focus on what's going on.

Harlequin shrimp, for example, are relatively common at the Laha 2 dive site. It's always fun to watch these beautiful crustaceans with their starfish farms, but it's not as common to see them at night.

Harlequin shrimp (Hymenocera elegans) at night in Ambon

After coming across a few pairs of these shrimps during daylight hours, I got it in my head to look for them at night. With the help of Marcel Hagendijk (I challenge you to say that name three times in succession, or even once for that matter.), who's managing the Maluku Divers resort, I managed to find and spend quality time with a very cooperative pair one evening.

With these shrimp, it wasn't so much unusual behaviour I was looking for, but more of a unique photo opportunity.

The lack of ambient light meant less visual distraction and clutter, so I was able to get a bit creative, and portray these familiar animals just a little bit differently than you normally see them.

Harlequin shrimp (Hymenocera elegans) with starfish

See? There really is a point to diving through the night.