Malapascua island diving

Marine Life

seasnake Malapascua Island

Malapascua’s dive sites have it all, from big to small.

Situated near to the epicenter of marine life origin on the planet, Malapascua has an incredible diversity of life. Our dive sites are spread out to the north, south, east and west of us, and so each site has different influences and its own environment, its own type of diving and its own appeal. We really are a one-stop destination.

Below are lists of only some of the amazing creatures we see regularly. Anything less common or seasonal is noted. We have an excellent library of books to help identify what you see.

Some of the cool, new and unusual things we have seen recently…We knew there must be one in Malapascua and after searching for two years, we finally found a Denise Pygmy Seahorse! This is the smallest known seahorse in the world!

Special shout out to sea snakes, which are among the worlds most poisonous snakes, but totally harmless to divers. Gato Island is a sanctuary for sea snakes and you will almost certainly see some on your dives there. 

Scroll down for more on Malapascua’s Marine Life.


You will get to dive with several different shark species:

  • Thresher sharks
  • Whitetip sharks
  • Bamboo Sharks
  • Cat sharks
  • Grey reef sharks
  • Hammerheads (Jan-Apr, quite rare in recent years)
  • Very occasional whale sharks
  • We once saw a tiger shark, but only the once!


There are also several different rays to be found around Malapascua:

  • Mantas rays (now sadly quite rare)
  • Devil rays
  • Marble rays
  • Fantail rays
  • Blue spotted rays
  • Eagle rays


Inquisitive and intelligent …

  • Broadclub cuttlefish often seen mating
  • Flamboyant cuttlefish
  • Squid
  • Bobtail squid
  • Starry sky octopus
  • Blue-ringed octopus
  • Occasional wonderpuss

Seahorses and pipefish

  • Common seahorse
  • Moluccen seahorse
  • Thorny seahorse
  • Pygmy seahorse
  • Schultz’ pipefish
  • Banded pipefish
  • Orange banded pipefish
  • White mushroom coral pipefish
  • Bent stick pipefish
  • Straight stick pipefish, whiskered pipefish
  • Ghost pipefish
  • Robust ghost pipefish


  • Coleman’s shrimp
  • Banded boxer shrimp
  • Anemone & commensal shrimp of all varieties
  • Smashing mantis shrimp
  • Feather star shrimp
  • Harlequin shrimp
  • and many more…

Moray eels

  • White-eyed
  • Snowflake/clouded
  • Bar-tailed
  • Giant morays,
  • Spot-faced
  • Also – snake eels


Many species of frogfish, mandarin fish, seamoths (Pegasus), batfish (including the juvenile), scorpionfish (including stingers), lionfish (common, dwarf), flying gurnard, clown triggerfish, titan trigger, flutemouth, schooling bannerfish, moorish idols, barracuda, shrimpfish, tuna, jacks, big-mouthed mackerel, angelfish, fingered dragonet, flounder, striped eel catfish, various sweetlips, filefish…


  • Box crabs
  • Decorator crabs
  • Hermit crabs
  • Porcelain anemone crabs
  • Xenon crabs


100’s of types! Way too many to mention!

Dolphins – on the surface, especially on the way to south-western dive sites (Monad, Kimud, Kalanggaman, Capitancillo)