Entries by Mikes Management

1. Octopus’s Garden

Octopus’s Garden An amazing variety of these 8-legged lovelies inhabit the sandy slopes of Dauin’s shores. Here are just a few you may be lucky enough to encounter. Greater Blue-Ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena lunalata) Their venom is thought to be one of the most powerful neurotoxins in the animal kingdom, which is why we are really […]

2. How do you find a Pygmy Seahorse?

How do you find a Pygmy Seahorse? The Pygmy Seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti) is one of the most difficult critters to find. They are smaller than a little fingernail, live on sea fans, and from their earliest stages of life, encourage the growth of the sea fans on their skin, creating near perfect camouflage. Can you […]

3. Are Ghost Pipefish scary?

Are Ghost Pipefish scary? No, not really, unless you are an unsuspecting tiny crustacean. They are cousins of the Seahorse family, and they are very good at hiding in plain view, floating head down, and ambushing the poor little things that make up their diet. Ornate Ghost Pipefish (Solenostomus paradoxus) The hairy wisps on the […]

4. Feeling crabby?

Feeling crabby? Quite often overlooked on the dive in preference to flashier species, crabs are very ancient, and some of the best camouflaged creatures in the sea, and are therefore very cool.  Decorator crabs adorn themselves with bits of stuff to look like something else, whilst Imitator crabs mimic their homes to blend in perfectly. […]

5. Shrimps are for life, not just barbecues

Shrimps are some of the tidiest critters around.  If they are not burrowing out neat networks of tunnels, they can be found tickling around the fearsome mouth of a Moray Eel cleaning its teeth or sweeping up around Sea Cucumber bottoms.   Dauin has more than it’s fair share of shrimp crackers, so here’s a few […]

6. Frogfish Chorus

Frogfish are some of the most sought-after critters on the Dauin coast, with good reason. Big gaping frog-like mouths allow them to suck in fish almost the same size as themselves with a muscle reflex which is one of the fastest in the animal kingdom. Highly developed pectoral and anal fins allow them to walk […]

7. Do you Nudi?

Nudibranchs (pronounced noody-branks) are an underwater photographer’s dream.  Bizarre shapes, fantastical colours and an inability to move particularly quickly make for very popular subjects.  But they are much more than oceanic eye-candy.  These slugs are Nembrothas, a wide-ranging species in the largest family of the 4 sub-orders of Nudi – the DORID family.  Enter the […]

8. Our Guests Nudi too

Here’s a dosage of slug action courtesy of Jane Doherty, Shona McKenzie and David Gilchrist who together with a happy band of divers, got overwhelmed by slugs!  Thanks to them for letting me pinch these pics.  These are all members of the DORID family, meaning they have branching external gills and obvious retractable Rhinopores (the […]

9. Cuttlefish Chameleons

Cuttlefish are very clever creatures.  Controlling 8 arms, 2 tentacles and 3 hearts takes one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of all invertebrates.  They can they change their colours and texture in a flash, to match the seabed they are passing over.  This makes them awkward critters to spot, but once you have, you […]

10. Can a Fish be a Critter?

Can a fish be a Critter?  We don’t see why not, especially when it’s a Scorpionfish.  With a bewildering number of species in this family, the things they have in common are a love of camouflage, striking their prey quickly and defending themselves with some highly venomous spines.  Not your average pretty reef fish, and […]

11. Slugs, Hares, Warts and all

Some of the genuinely weirdest Critters in Daiun are Sea Slugs.  Doesn’t sound too exciting?  Think again!  Sea Slugs are nothing like the dull black slimy pest you may know from the garden. Sea Slugs look like they’ve been designed by a 3-year old with a box of crayons after a consuming a large volume […]

12. Not all worms are wiggly

Critters in the sea often bear very little resemblance to their earth-bound namesakes.  Flatworms are a case in point.  They are far from the pink, wiggly sausage-like creatures found in your lawn.  Rather, they are a very ancient and basic form of marine life, with some very disturbing adaptations….. Thanks to guest David Gilchrist for […]

13. The eyes have it

We still have much to understand about how Critters view their home under the waves.  Some eyeball designs suggest they see the world much as we do, whilst others suggest super-hero-like vision.  Let’s focus (bad pun) on Critter Vision.  Mantis Shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus) The Mantis Shrimp has reportedly the most complex eyes of any creature […]

14. New to Science!

Every diver has been there.  Seen a Critter that you know you’ve never seen before, and can’t find it in the Guide Books, so you proclaim it New to Science!  Sadly, most of the time some 19th Century Naturalist got there before you and put their name on it in latin.  Here are some Critters […]

15. Aeolids – Slugs with a sting in the tail

An old and not-often-visited site of ours, Ducomi, is sometimes crawling with specimens of a rather special kind of slug family, the AEOLIDS.  So called because their many thin lobes, or cerata, act as external lungs just like the DORIDS, but these nudibranchs have a rather unique defence mechanism. Read on… Bicolor Flabellina (Flabellina bicolor) Flabellinas love to […]

16. Not all Critters are tiny

You’d be forgiven for thinking from that Critters have to be microscopic.  Well, to put the case for all those big Critters out there, take a look at this selection of chunky creatures that don’t need a magnifying glass to find…. Spanish Dancer (Hexabranchus sanguineus) The largest of all Nudibranchs, growing up to the size […]

17. Schizophrenic Slugs

A particularly graceful genus of Nudibranch, is the Glossodoris.  Early marine biologists lumped many different slugs into this genus, but recent DNA testing is showing how some of them belong to a different genus, and should be called something else.  All we know is that with frilly, fringing skirts and a gently undulating movement, finding […]

18. Small is Beautiful

They say the best things come in small packages, and this is just as true below the waves here in Dauin.  A basic magnifying glass is sometimes all you need to enter a brand new underwater world.  Here’s a collection of tiny Dauin Critters. Saddleback Anemonefish (Amphiprion polymnus) The Saddleback (or Panda) Anemonefish lays a […]

19. Turtle-y Amazing!

Any dive with a turtle is a great dive, no matter how many times you may encounter one. As they breathe air just like us, it’s unsurprising we feel an affinity for them, but do you know your Hawksbill from your Green, or if you are looking at a male or a female, and that they […]

20. The Three Mosquitoes

Critters come in all shapes and sizes.  Here at Mike’s we have three very unusual creatures unique to the waters of Dauin and Apo.  Together they are known as the Three Mosquitoes, and are a charming and engaging trio.  Come and see them only at Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort! The Marlon (Guidus superfasticus) The Marlon […]