Meridian Adventure Dive bring you the monthly Raja Ampat Creature Feature series: Sweetlips.
Plectorhinchus, more lovingly known as Sweetlips, is a species of fish commonly found on Raja Ampat’s reefs. These fish vary significantly in size and colour, but one defining feature is found in all. The large puffy lips rival those found on fashion runways across the world.
There are over thirty known species of Sweetlips found in the Raja Ampat waters. Smaller sweetlips swim in large groups, while the larger species tend to be alone or in pairs in deeper waters.
Sweetlips are known to communicate by rubbing their teeth plates together and the sound further being amplified by their air bladders. A sound that divers can even hear at times.
The most commonly encountered in the area are the Yellow-Ribbon and Oriental sweetlips. These species are of the smaller variant but are easily spotted due to their bright yellow colours. For example, the Yellow-Ribbon has prominent yellow and white stripes that run the length of the body with neon yellowfins.
The Oriental, however, has black and white lines running the length of the body and bright yellow fins spotted with black, much like that of a leopard.
While these two species can be found swimming in large shoals on shallow reefs and slopes, Raja Ampat is also home to one of the largest Sweetlip species. The Two-stripe or Giant sweetlips can often be found in and around crevasses and rocky outcroppings at around 30m. While not as colourful as the other species in the area, these dark-spotted fish can grow to an impressive size of 1m.
Regardless of the size and species, all sweetlips are carnivores feeding on crustaceans and smaller fish in large quantities daily.
Sweetlips are well known to provide divers with incredible photographic opportunities, especially on dive sites such as Cape Kri at the turn of the tide, where large shoals are found swimming at the point and into the oncoming current. In contrast, diving in these conditions may be challenging to some. However, when diving with an experienced and professional diving company, you will be able to experience one of the most awe-inspiring moments Raja Ampat has to offer.
About Meridian Adventure Dive
Situated in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Meridian Adventure Dive is a PADI 5 Star Resort and winner of the PADI Green Star award. Scuba Divers enjoy our professional services that have become synonymous with both the PADI and Meridian Adventure names.