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Marine life found in Indonesia

Sea turtle - Marine life found in Indonesia

If you are visiting Indonesia, and in particular if you are going scuba diving whilst you’re there, you might be asking what marine life is found in Indonesia?

The marine life found in Indonesia is incredible and includes sharks, whales, dugongs, rays, fish, octopus, barrel sponges, hard and soft coral, crabs and lobsters, crocodiles, cuttlefish and squid, sea snakes, giant clams, harlequin and mantis shrimp, jellyfish, nudibranchs, star fish and turtles.

The best way to dive Indonesia, whether that’s to Komodo or Raja Ampat, is by a scuba diving liveaboard. You can check the latest and best deals on liveaboards using the following window:

The following article includes at least one video of each of the following marine life encountered in Indonesia, as per the following list:

  1. Barrel sponges.
  2. Crabs.
  3. Lobsters.
  4. Crocodiles.
  5. Cuttlefish.
  6. Squid.
  7. Banded sea snakes.
  8. Giant clams.
  9. Harlequin shrimp.
  10. Mantis shrimp.
  11. Jellyfish.
  12. Nudibranchs.
  13. Octopus, including mimic and wonderpus.
  14. Starfish.
  15. Turtles.

In addition to the above marine life, you will also find sharks, mammals including in whales, fish and rays. To find out more about the types of shark, mammals, whales, fish and rays found in Indonesia, please follow the links to each of these posts:

Either before or after reading about marine life in Indonesia, you might like to take a look at these Indonesian liveaboards. Alternatively, take a look at the following table of Indonesia liveaboards:

Table of Liveaboard Diving in Indonesia

This list of Indonesia liveaboards is in descending customer rating order, followed by Scuba Diving Luxury Rating (SDE Lux Rating, see below), so the liveaboards with the highest customer rating and the best SDE lux rating will be at the top of the list. If you want to change the list order, use the “Sort by” dropdown below.

Sort by
Total Records Found: 85, showing 10 per page
Discover LiveaboardCustomer RatingSDE Lux Rating %Flexible BookingDive CoursesDietary RequirementsNitroxGear Rental
Review: MV Seaisee; Book: MV Seaisee 10 90% YES NO YES YES YES
Review: Scubaspa Zen; Book: Scubaspa Zen 10 88% YES YES YES YES YES
Review: Jakaré; Book: Jakaré 10 81% YES YES YES YES YES
Review: Leyla; Book: Leyla 10 73% YES YES YES NO YES
Review: Seven Seas; Book: Seven Seas 10 71% NO NO YES YES YES
Review: Cahaya Bersama; Book: Cahaya Bersama 10 63% YES YES YES NO YES
Review: MV Tarata; Book: MV Tarata 10 52% NO NO YES YES NO
Review: Wisesa; Book: Wisesa 9.9 71% YES YES YES NO YES
Review: MV Blue Manta; Book: MV Blue Manta 9.9 69% NO YES YES YES YES
Review: Tiare Cruise; Book: Tiare Cruise 9.7 87% YES YES YES YES YES

The Scuba Diving Earth Luxury Rating (SDE Lux Rating) is explained on each liveaboard review when you click the “Discover Liveaboard” link, and is my own Liveaboard Luxury Rating I’ve assigned to all liveaboards. Choosing between liveaboards is helped by customer scores, and if you get stuck choosing between two or three liveaboards, where each one has a high customer score out of 10, you can use the SDE Luxury Rating to help narrow down your choice.

Think about it like using when searching for the best hotel. also use a customer score where each customer rates hotels out of 10. This is similar to the liveaboard customer rating, which is also rated out of 10. But let’s say you only like to stay in hotels rated 8 and above on, but you also want the hotel to have WIFI or parking, or to have a swimming pool etc. The features each hotel has is usually secondary to the score out of 10. search Indonesia-scroll

Barrel sponges in Indonesia

You will find barrel sponges in Indonesia, and if you’re lucky you will see them when they are spawning too.

Spawning Barrel Sponge

Crabs in Indonesia

There are many species of crab that live in Indonesia, which can be seen from the following video.

Crabs from Raja Ampat & Lembeh strait, Indonesia

Lobsters in Indonesia

Indonesia is home to seven species of lobster, which includes the Indonesian spiny lobster (Panulirus Cygnus) and the painted spiny lobster (Panulirus Versicolor).

Lobsters in abundance around Wakatobi Islands, indonesia

Crocodiles in Indonesia

Indonesia is home to salt water crocodiles, which live in the brackish mangrove swamps and river deltas.

Huge basks of crocodiles in Indonesia making way for boat

The following video shows some “friendly” crocodiles in Indonesia, but I don’t recommend you do what you see happens in the next video, as what I see is a crocodile eying up his next meal! Don’t do this at home folks!

crocodile in Indonesia

Cuttlefish in Indonesia

Indonesia is home to flamboyant cuttlefish, which are capable of changing colours.

Aliens of the Deep: Cuttlefish Fighting & Courting: Indonesia Nature 2018

Squid in Indonesia

Quid live in the seas around Indonesia, as can be seen from the next video.

Banded sea snake in Indonesia

Indonesia is home to sea snakes, and in particular the banded sea snake. Sea snakes, which are also known as coral reef snakes inhabit marine environments for most or all of their lives.

Banded Sea Snake – Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Giant clams in Indonesia

Giant clams can be found in Raja Ampat in Indonesia. Giant clam lives on shallow reef to depths of around 20 metres (66 feet), below which the algae they depend on to survive wouldn’t have enough sunlight to grow.

Giant Clams – Raja Ampat – Indonesia

Harlequin shrimp in Indonesia

Harlequin shrimp can be found in Indonesia and tend to grow to be 1-2 inches in length. Harlequin shrimp tend to be white to light pink in colour, with bright red, purple, orange, and blue coloured spots across their body.

The Harlequin shrimp is native to the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia.

Mantis shrimp in Indonesia

Indonesia is home to the Mantis shrimp, which attacks by whamming down the lower edge of its dull, calcified claw. This whamming motion happens at such a speed that it’s enough to pulverize a snail’s shell or even break a finger of an unsuspecting diver or snorkeler.

Mantis Shrimps everywhere in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

Jellyfish in Indonesia

Indonesia is home to some very colourful jellyfish.

Jellyfish Indonesia

Nudibranchs in Indonesia

If you love to see nudibranchs, you will see many varieties in Indonesian waters. These include the popular Spanish dancer nudibranch.

Nudibranchs from Bangka Island – Indonesia
Diving Bali, Indonesia: Nudibranch feeding behavior (muck diving)

Here is one of the most popular nudibranch, the Spanish Dancer.

Diving in Indonesia | Komodo | spanish dancer

Octopus in Indonesia

Indonesia is home to a number of different octopus, which include the coconut octopus, the blue ringed octopus, which is the most venomous creatures in the ocean, long armed octopus, mimic octopus and the wonderpus.

Stunning SCUBA DIVING in Indonesia ~ A swim with the Reef octopus

Mimic Octopus in Indonesia

The Indonesian Mimic Octopus

Wonderpus in Indonesia

Wonderpus octopus – Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Starfish in Indonesia

Indonesia is home to a number of starfish species, one of which is the flamboyant feather starfish.

Feather Starfish (Crinoid) in Blue Lagoon Padang Bai, Bali by Els Van Den Eijnden
Lembehstreet #Starfish #Banded Bubble Star #Seestern # #Diving #Tauchen #Indonesia #Sulawesi #

Turtles in Indonesia

Indonesia is home to six of the seven species of sea turtle. The turtles that are found in Indonesia include green turtle, hawksbill turtle, olive Ridley, leatherback sea turtle, flatback sea turtle, and loggerhead sea turtle.

Scuba Diving Indonesia: Diving with turtles around the Gili Islands
Diving with turtles in Bunaken, Indonesia
Leatherback turtle swimming near surface ascending and descending in blue water, CU, Indonesia

I hope you enjoyed this page about marine life found in Indonesia

If you have more questions either about snorkelling or scuba diving (or specifically about marine life found in Indonesia), please comment below with your questions.

Please share your experiences, plus dive sites, resorts and liveaboards you recommend. Share the time of year of your trip together with what you saw, the visibility, currents and dive operator, as this will help others who read this page.

There will also be many more pages and articles about scuba and scuba diving safety tips (and on snorkelling too) for you to read and learn about this fabulous sport.

Have fun and be safe!

Marine life found in Indonesia

Article written by Russell Bowyer who has been a scuba diver since diving on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in 1989. After his first dive he trained as a BSAC diver in the UK. He attained his Diver Leader certification with BSAC. He then went on to become a scuba diving instructor, teaching others how to dive and was voted as Diving Officer and Treasurer for the Saffron Walden BSAC club too. Russell has dived all over the world, including the UK, on liveaboards in the Red Sea, the Caribbean, South Africa and the USA. Russell is experienced in all dive types, including drift diving, deep dives that involved decompression stops and recreational dives too.

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