Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Butterflyfish and Angelfish in Raja Ampat

When I go to Raja Ampat to guide tourist(s) on a birdwatching, sightseeing and snorkeling tour, I always, provide time to explore the coral reef of the archipelago and to take pictures of its reef fish. Early this month, I visited Raja Ampat with an American tourist. We stayed in the southern region of Waigeo island and did some tours to its nearby beaches and islands. We enjoyed snorkeling every day. I brought a compact camera Fujifilm XQ2 with its waterproof case. Using this small device, I could take pictures of coral reef, fish, and other interesting marine creatures. There were a lot of species of colorful fish.
Vermiculated Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus mesoleucus) and Saddled Butterflyfish (Chaetodon ephippium)
Angelfish and Butterflyfish
Saddled Butterflyfish (Chaetodon ephippium) and Vermiculated Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus mesoleucus) were moving among hard corals when I tried to take pictures of them. I held a hard coral using left hand to minimize my movements in the water so that I could shoot the fish with my camera. Some explanations in the internet said that Vermiculated Angelfish is not suitable for aquarium. For Saddleback Butterflyfish, she will need a large aquarium with a lot of space for swimming.
Latticed Butterflyfish photo by Charles Roring
Latticed Butterflyfish
Another species that I saw was Latticed Butterflyfish. I saw a couple of the fish swimming near the bottom of the coral reef. I dived to approach them. But they swam away from me. I did freediving which was without using air tank. I moved slowly and avoided of making a lot of movements in the water. Carefully, I aimed my camera to the fish and shot them. From the information in liveaquaria.com website, it said that the fish needs at least 120 gallon or larger aquarium with numerous hiding places. I also saw Redfin Butterflyfish. They were all beautiful.
Actually, I saw hundreds of species of reef fish every time I went snorkeling and freediving. Butterflyfish, angelfish, spadefish, surgeonfish, rabbitfish,damselfish, snapper, seabream, jacks, fuseliers, groupers and wrasses were abundant in Raja Ampat waters.
Anyone who plans to visit Raja Ampat to enjoy snorkeling should bring at least a small pocket camera such as Nikon W300, Olympus TG-6, Panasonic FT-7, or GoPro Hero 8, and Fujifilm Finepix XP-130,  in order to take pictures of them.
Birdwatching and snorkeling in Raja Ampat with Charles Roring
Warduwer Beach in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
For birdwatching, we visited several coastal areas and forest in Kabui bay. There, we watched Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Spice-Imperial Pigeon, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Dusky Scrubfowl, Hooded Butcherbird, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Beach Kingfisher, Bridled Tern, Moustached Tree Swift, White-breasted Wood Swallow, Willie Wagtail, Lesser Frigatebird, Pacific Swallow, Singing Starling, White-bellied Sea Eagle, and etc.
Well, I prefer seeing the fish in their natural habitat to seeing them in aquariums. If you are interested in taking your holiday in Raja Ampat to enjoy snorkeling and birdwatching and want me to be your guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

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