Diving in the Gili Islands is a colourful experience with a wide variety of marine creatures to find. However, if you are up for a challenge and want to find some relly rare species, you’ll have to have an eagle eye. Luck is also involved when it comes to spotting a few of the rare species we’re talking about in this article.
Box fish are easily identified thanks to their box-like shape, but aren’t generally easy to spot. They are small and shy and stay hidden as much as possible, but once in a while you might get lucky and see one around Gili Trawangan.
If you do spot a box fish you’ll be charmed by their cartoonish appearance and the the strange bumbling way they swim. However, don’t be fooled by their cuteness. These fish can kill predators by releasing a deadly toxin from their skin if they are threatened.
If you’re intent on seeing a box fish for yourself, keep your eyes well peeled. The juveniles can be smaller than an American quarter!
Frogfish are spotted often by divers around the Gili Islands but to see the rare black frogfish is a real treat.
Like most frogfish species, this fish is an odd looking creature. Its froglike head and wide body aren’t the most graceful or pretty but it’s strange appearance makes it fantastic to photograph.
It’s also wonderful to see them using their pectoral and pelvic fins to ‘walk’ across the sea floor. They use this technique and their camouflage to slowly creep up on pray.
Black frogfish have been spotted around the biorock structures close to Gili Air. These areas are easy to reach from Gili Trawangan with Gangga Divers.
Blue Ringed Octopus
Beautiful to look at but seriously dangerous to touch, the blue ringed octopus is a rare sight in the Gilis. The may be numerous but due to their tiny size, between 12 and 20 centimetres, they are very difficult to spot. They also like to squeeze themselves into small crevices and pile rocks in front of the entrance to stay safe from predators.
Blue ringed octopuses have been spotted in a number of dive sites around Gili Trawangan. Many divers say that the Bounty Wreck and Frog Fish Point are good places to start but if you keep your eyes peeled for their bright blue rings, you could see them just about anywhere.
If you haven’t seen a whale shark while diving, you haven’t lived. These gentle giants, that are actually the world’s largest fish, are spotted around the Gilis a few times a year. They are usually just passing by so it isn’t very likely that you’ll see one when you dive in the Gili Islands, but if you do it’s a moment that you’ll remember forever.
Whale sharks are found in open water so are generally seen at some of the deeper sites around the 3 Gilis. Deep Halik, Deep Turbo, Simons Reef, and Taket Malang are the most likely dive sites to see whale sharks but you also need a bit of luck to be in the right place at the right time.
Are any of these species ones you’ve been on the lookout for? We’d love to hear about how you feel when you see a rare species while diving so leave us comment in the box below.