Manado Diving Harlequin Shrimp

Scuba diving in Manado – uncovering harlequin shrimp and orang utan crabs

In Indonesia, Scuba Diving by Jaclynn Seah2 Comments

Diving in Manado is great for anyone who loves underwater photography – check out my dive logs in Bunaken as well as Lembeh Straits for more pix from the first 4 days. In this dive log, we are back in Manado and Bunaken again where we found the pretty harlequin crab, some strange octopi among other creatures.

Bunaken – Mandolin

This is a shallow reef which drops off into a steep wall dive. Lots of nudibranches here, though the highlight of this dive would be the turtle and large school of jacks that we saw here.

Manado Diving Turtle Swimby

Up close with the passing turtles

Manado Diving Hairy Squat Lobster

How cute is this tiny purple hairy thing – it’s called a Hairy Squat Lobster!

Manado Diving Moray Eel Yellow Mouth

This spotted face moray eel definitely didn’t want us getting closer. They can chomp your fingers off so I kept my distance

Manado Diving Nudibranch Light Blue Gills

I like this nudi shot because of the prominent butt flower (the external gills, but doesn’t butt flower just sound so much more evocative?)

Manado Diving Crab Yellow Orange Sponge

Look at this teeny yellow crab on an orange sponge

Manado Diving Mandolin Shallow Reef

I just loved the reflection and the colours happening in this shot – it’s a shallow part of the reef so we got more sunlight but bringing those colours out in the editing really made my day

Manado Tua Volcano P

Manado Tua in the distance. We had really good weather that day.

Manado – Garden Point

This was a similar type of dive to the first site where a shallow reef dropped into a steep wall. There were mild currents so we could drift right along.

Manado Diving Randalls Shrimp Goby

This Randall’s Shrimp Goby is very skittish – it was under an overhang so I had to really lighten up the photo and use my full zoom so it wouldn’t disappear

Manado Diving Bubble Coral Shrimp

It’s so weird how the bubble coral shrimp is practically transparent. Those pink things that look like guts are eggs!

Manado Diving Spider Crab

The spider crab looks like it’s more spider than crab

Manado Diving Nudibranch Blue Orange 2

I got to practice taking shots of many nudis around here, but this is probably one of my favourites for the unusual colouring of the nudis and that they look like train carriages lined up in a depot

Manado Diving Orangutan Crab Patchy

This hairy orang utan crab is looking kinda patchy. We saw a hairier one later on in the dive as well.

Manado Diving Cuttlefish Broadclub

The lone Broadclub cuttlefish we came across. It let me get really close from behind when it swam away!

Manado Diving Nudibranch Black-Green

This nudi I like for the unusual colouring and shape

Manado – Open Sea Point

This is a sandy sloping reef, a spot in the open water away from the land. Not too many interesting creatures except for the harlequin shrimp and me getting stung by fire coral where the shrimp like to hide.

Manado Diving Nudibranch Black-Purple and White-Orange

There might be some inter-species mixing of  nudis happening here…

Manado Diving Hermit Crab

Look at its beady eyes

Manado Diving Harlequin Shrimp

The elusive harlequin shrimp! Love its distinctive colouring. There was a smaller mate about half its size that hid too well, this was the bigger one which is female.

Manado Tua Sunset

Ending the day with a lovely sunset and Manado Tua in the distance

Manado – Aba Point

Last day of diving! Sadness. We would only do 2 dives, stopping around lunch time so we had enough rest time before our flight the next day. Aba Point is a shallow reef with a sandy bottom and a short wall area. I managed to catch 3 eagle rays in the distance, but they were too far for me to get a picture, and I was pretty out of breath by the time I swam over and saw them! Other than that, more macro for practice… I managed decent pygmy seahorse pictures this time around on my own!

Manado Diving Pygmy Seahorse Front

Yay pygmy seahorse! Still the size of half your thumb

Manado Diving Pygmy Seahorse Side

This one is apparently pregnant so it’s a tad bigger/rounder than most others

Manado Diving Snake Eel

I love how goofy this snake eel looks hiding in the sand, mostly because of its weird ass ‘teeth’

Manado – Posi Posi 1

We did our night dive here previously, sandy bottom with dead coral but we weren’t looking for mandarin fish this time around. Some creatures here, and apparently a mimic octopus that refused to resurface sadly, which would have been a really great way to cap off the dive. Despite no mimics, we did run into 3-4 other octopi and little cuttlefish so that was fun.

Manado Diving Nudibranch Tron

I call this the Tron nudi

Manado Diving Snake Eel Napolean

The Napolean Snake Eel has such pretty skin

Manado Diving Orangutan Crab Hairy

This is a properly hairy orang utan crab

Manado Diving Cuttlefish Mini Yellow

This cuttlefish was about palm sized and was black when calm. It started turning yellow when it felt a bit threatened by us

Manado Diving Cuttlefish-Octopus

It turned white almost instantly when it came across an octopus emerging from the sand! See the octopus on the left side?

Want to see more weird animals from Manado? Check out all my Manado posts – I have dive logs from Lembeh and my first 2 days at Bunaken and Manado as well.


  1. Great pictures! Manado is probably one of the more underrated places to visit but it looks so beautiful :)

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