Dive Site: Stingray City, Mabul, Sabah

Blue spotted ray under a ledge diving Stingray City at Mabul Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

Site Overview

Site Type: Scenic natural reef
Depth: Top: 5MBottom: 20M
Location: On the opposite side of the island to the main jetties

Description

Stingray City is a natural sloping reef with great coral and littered with a great variety of critters. The kind of place where you move slowly from one clump to the next seeking out everything there is to see on the macro and micro level before moving on.

Not sure where all the stingrays were the day we dived Stingray City; maybe they were all having their afternoon nap somewhere. The only guy out in the open was this Crocodile flathead with starry eyes.

Crocodile flathead with starry eyes diving Stingray City at Mabul Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

Stingray is a natural sloping reef with great coral and littered with a great variety of critters. First up: a Willans Chromodoris

Willans Chromodoris diving Stingray City at Mabul Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

It might have been the Willan’s, but we found this spiral of Nudi eggs

Nudi eggs laid in a spiral diving Stingray City at Mabul Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

There are many of these translucent white sea cucumbers. So many, they appear in the background of a number of shots! You only see them once you put the photos on the big screen.

Translucent white sea cucumber diving Stingray City at Mabul Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanitw

Not a tricky subject for photography per se: behold the seacucumber’s bum

Nudi on a seacucumbers bum diving Stingray City at Mabul Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

But wait – there’s more: this is the Nudi on that seacucumber’s bum!

Nudi on a seacucumbers bum diving Stingray City at Mabul Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

To my knowledge, Sponges have no predators that would be repulsed by thorns. So why do we get Thorny sponge pipes?

Thorny sponge pipes diving Stingray City at Mabul Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

Obviously the Yellow spotted puffer prefers hiding in smooth sponge pipes!

Yellow spotted puffer hiding in sponge diving Stingray City at Mabul Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

All around is beauty and life: a leather coral in full bloom

Leather coral in full bloom diving Stingray City at Mabul Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

Not sure why the Granulated seastar, Choriaster granulatus, is called granular – he’s actually quite chunky!

Granulated seastar diving Stingray City at Mabul Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit

And my favourite fish – the Dwarf hawkfish. Why? It’s a game we play: how close can the photographer get before he moves.

Dwarf hawkfish closer diving Stingray City at Mabul Sabah Malaysia by Diveplanit