Surprising Finds Just Off The beach At Kata
We’ve taken the time for some Kata beach diving this high season. Rumours of rare and quite astonishing finds have been doing the rounds. We though we’d check it out and see if it was a possible location to offer our guests, especially those staying in a Kata Hotel.
Not Just Rumours
The rumour of mimic octopus at Kata Beach has being doing the rounds for years but without much evidence. This season quite a few photos have been turning up of mimic sightings away from the main reef.
Venturing out on to the sand areas that are generally ignored has reaped some surprising rewards and yes a healthy population of mimics are there as well as some other very nice critters that we don’t expect to find around Phuket.
What Did We Find?
Obviously mimics but we were also extremely pleased to find: algae octopus, veined (coconut) octopus, pygmy cuttlefish, bottletail squid and bobtail squid. You can also find day octopus and needle cuttlefish around the reef and that’s just the cephalopods. We’re sure eventually a blue ring will turn up but it evades us at the moment.
Several species of seahorse which to be honest we’re not 100% sure of the I:D but we think estuary seahorse (Hippocampus kuda) and hedgehog seahorse (Hippocampus spinosissimus) are two of the species.
Sticking with the same family; ornate ghost pipefish, robust ghost pipefish and bent stick pipe fish as well as some other hard to identify smaller species are all out there.
The odd shaped bottom dwellers through up the biggest surprise. Some species such as reef stonefish, indian ocean walkman, cockatoo waspfish, spiny leaf fish and seamoths we find occasionally at other sites but seem fairly common with Kata Beach diving. The big find and the most surprising for us was a micro habitat with a fair number of ambon scorpionfish! A very rare find indeed and a first for Phuket as far as we are aware.
Various frogfish species are there but very hard to find, brackish water, shaggy, freckled and painted frogfish have all been photographed but unfortunately not by us.
Nudibranch’s, Slugs And Snails
Too many species to list but there certainly seems to be a wider variety of species than at other Phuket dive sites. Finds of note; Melibe viridis, Costasiella usagi (shawn the sheep), Micromelo undata and Hydatina aplustre. They certainly are a bit hit or miss especially out on the sand but we can usually find a nudi or two on the reef.
Let’s Not Forget The Main Kata Reef
Starting at just 7m you can find plenty of stuff as soon as you descend; small barracuda, clownfish, striped catfish and moray eels all dwell in the shallows. A very large school of sardines and yellow scad have been putting on a stunning display over the top of the reef. In the nooks and crannies you can find lobsters, nudi’s and different varieties of shrimp.
If your guide braves the barren sand and navigates to the cube structure to the south, you will probably come across a dozen or more kuhl’s stingrays rooting around in the sand and the cubes house the very beautiful honeycomb moray along with false clown anemone fish and reef stonefish.
You can have some really nice dives out at Kata Beach but we’ve found it to be a little hit or miss. We recommend it only if you haven’t got time to join one of our Phuket day trips or you’ve completed them all and want something different.
You could also choose Kata Beach diving for PADI Discover Scuba Diving but again only if you haven’t got time to immerse yourself in the full day dive experience on the boat.
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