Dottybacks of Raja Ampat
by Ned DeLoach
The sparkling waters of Raja Ampat are famous for many wonders, but I never think of the region without dottybacks popping to mind.
I seem to find more species of the secretive little 2- to 4-inch fishes lurking inside small recesses on walls and around the bases of patch reefs than in any other destination I dive.
A few species are easy to approach, however the majority of dottybacks slip back into the shadows when approached. Give them a wait. After a minute or two the fish usually reappear in the opening where they disappeared.
Ned DeLoach with his wife Anna and long-time friend Paul Humann are partners in New World Publications. Their field guides (10 and counting) are the industry standard and are found at virtually every dive resorts and on every liveaboard world-wide. They are also the founders of REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation). Their dive travels are chronicled at Marine Life Blog.