During the day, it can be hard to focus on just a single animal as the reef is teeming with life everywhere you look. At night, we can only see what our under-water dive lights show us, which can actually make it easier to find some well-hidden creatures! Join us for a guided night dive or a guided ostracod night dive to find out more. For those who would like to submerge themselves deeper into night diving, we recommend signing up for the PADI Night Diver specialty. What’s incredible to experience, is that there’s such a different and wide variety of nocturnal creatures that comes out after nightfall. Here are some of our favourites.
Caribbean reef octopuses like to hide in reef caves and crevices during the day. They are masters of camouflage and incredibly hard to spot, since they can change their colour, texture and shape. They are night hunters of crustaceans, clams, snails and small fish. Of all the invertebrates, they have the most highly evolved nervous system, including vision similar to vertebrates. Octopuses can propel their bodies by rapidly expelling jets of water from the mantle cavity through a ventral tubular funnel. Fun fact: did you know an octopus has three hearts?
Green moray eel
Moray eels are solitary animals that hide in reef cracks and crevices during the day. At night, they prey on fish, octopuses, crustaceans and even other eels. Moray eels’ sight is quite poor but they have a super good sense of smell. They constantly open and close their mouth, which could seem a little scary. However, they just need to create a constant water current through their gills for respiration. It’s basically just their way of breathing!
Lobsters can be distinguished by their heavy, muscular abdomens and wide, flattened tails. They are nocturnal bottom-dwellers that take refuge during the day under shallow ledge overhangs. They use well-developed legs to walk, but when danger threatens, they can swim backward with darting speed, using powerful strokes of the abdomen and tail.