Pantar, Indonesia, 2006 – I have said it many times: Not a fan of night diving. Our liveaboard dive boat was anchored in Beangabang Bay and only three of us, plus our guide, Made, were diving. Several years earlier, I had seen a pearlfish during a night dive in Lembeh Strait, but it was at the very end of a two-hour dive so all I got was a 3 second clip before the camera battery expired. I spotted this one five minutes into the dive and this time, got the video.
There are at least 31 species of pearlfishes. The elongate fish are most famous for living in the anus of sea cucumbers but they also live commensally with sea stars, tunicates and some bivalves. I don’t have a positive id on this one; my guess is Onuxodon fowleri, Encheliophis gracilis, or E. homei. An occasional gem like this will keep me night diving!