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Caribbean Fish Slideshow # 1 Family groups from A - R 2008 Edition
Angelfish Sweeping extensions from dorsal and anal fins Tough beaklike mouths –one of the only fish that can EAT sponges
Immature French Angelfish Black and yellow bars Rounded Tail with yellow border
French Angelfish Oval Shaped Body Dorsal and anal fin taper backwards Blackbody with yellow tickmarks inches
Gray Angelfish Oval Shaped Body Gray body. Yellow inner face of pectoral fin. Square-cut tail Juvenile:
Queen Angelfish Blue “crown” on top of head Yellow Tail Juvenile:
Immature Rock Beauty Yellow body Black dot ringed in brilliant blue
Rock Beauty Yellow forebody and tail Dorsal and anal fin taper backwards
Sea Bass Large and varied group Oval body shape Most have heavy lips Spiny anterior dorsal fin continuous with soft posterior dorsal fin on most bass
Coney Blue Dots Two dark spots on lower lip Highly variable background color
Graysby Rounded tail Dark spots found on base of dorsal fin
Creole-fish Slightly forked tail Red blotch at base of pectoral fin 3 dark spots below base of dorsal fin
Harlequin bass Dark, vertical stripes
Tobacco fish Body is shades of orange to brown Dark C shaped border on tail
Red Hind Red blotches on body Dorsal, tail, and anal fin tipped in black
Fairy Basslet Distinct yellow and purple coloration Black spot on dorsal fin
Greater Soapfish Soaplike toxic mucus Lay on side waiting to gulp unwary prey
Goliath Grouper (Jewfish) Largest fish on the reef Small dark spots over body 3-6 feet long
Comb Grouper 3-4 lines slope down from eye/cheek to edge of gill cover Heavy “grouper” lips
Tiger Grouper “Tiger” stripes but NOT on head Red/brown spots fuse into stripes Often rest in cleaning stations
Nassau Grouper 1-2 feet
Bass: Hamlets Many color patterns Virtually identical in body shape/size Distinctive brow is straight (uncurved) from eyes down to mouth
Barred Hamlet Broad, v-shaped bar on the midbody Flat head easily identifies a hamlet
Butter Hamlet Distinct Hamlet slant on brow Large blotch saddles the base of the tail
Indigo Hamlet Hamlet forehead; straight slope from dorsal fin to lips Blue body with white bars
Shy Hamlet Body outlined in yellow Black dot on nostril outlined in blue
Yellowtail Hamlet Yellow tail Hamlet forehead; straight slope from dorsal fin to lips
Boxfishes: slow swimmers protected by a triangular bony “box” skeleton just under the skin
Smooth Trunkfish Dark body covered with white spots Area of pale honeycomb on midbody NO spines over eyes or under tail
Spotted Trunkfish Light body covered with dark spots NO honeycombed pattern No spines over eyes Spines under tail
Honeycombed Cowfish Honeycomb pattern all over Spines over eyes and under tail (the cow’s “horns”)
Butterflyfish Oval shape Small, protruding mouth Eyes are usually disguised Dorsal and anal fins extend to meet tail fin
Banded Butterfly fish Two wide black midbody bands Noticeable butterflyfish mouth
Four-eye Butterflyfish Butterfly fish mouth and oval shape Black spot outlined in white
Longsnout Butterflyfish Butterfly fish mouth except noticeably elongated
Spotfin Butterflyfish One black bar near eye All fins are yellow Black spot on tip of dorsal fin
Sergeant Major Five black, vertical bars Adults may have yellow on base of dorsal fin
Threespot Damselfish Black saddle on top of caudal fin Dark spot on base of pectoral fin Yellow crescent over eye Juvenile:
Yellowtail Damselfish Yellow Tail Blue spots running along the surface Juvenile below:
Bicolor Damselfish Dark front & White tail portion
Dusky Damselfish Adult: Juvenile:
Eels Snake-like bodies No bony gill cover (operculum) Highly flexible for hunting inside the reef Many have lost pectoral fins
Garden Eels Visible in sand flats Head pointed in the direction of current Will burrow when threatened (only about 4-8 inches exposed)
Sharptail Moray Eel Snakelike body Yellow spots on head, grading to white on body 1.5 – 3 feet
Goldentail Moray Eel Brown covered with yellow spots
Green moray eel 3-5 feet & thick as your leg
Grunts Related to snappers, but less toothy Most numerous on reefs with sand flats and seagrass beds Most bear longitudinal stripes Family includes Margates
Black Margate High back profile Clear/white pectoral fins Dark tail
French Grunt Flattened Ventral surface Yellow bars do not run parallel; instead they meet at the lateral line
White Grunt Horizontal stripes absent on body but present on head
Bluestriped Grunt Blue stripes on yellow field Black margins on dorsal & tail fins Juvenile:
Smallmouthed Grunt 5-6 yellow stripes fins yellow
Parrott Fish Very prominent scales “Beak” for grazing algae from reef –listen for the scraping sounds when they feed Dramatic change in appearance from juvenile adult phase
Midnight Parrotfish Parrotfish beak All phases are dark blue BIG
Rainbow Parrotfish Parrotfish beak BIG! Juveniles green, adults more colorful
Stoplight Parrotfish Adult stage Notice the yellow dot on operculum Juvenile:
Striped Parrotfish Dark blue/purple tail has yellow markings Gold stripe behind operculum stops abruptly Juveniles with three black stripes and white belly
Princess Parrotfish Yellow or orange stripe on lateral side fades gradually Immature: Black and white stripes along body; often confused with striped parrotfish
Queen Parrotfish Blue/Green “make- up” around mouth Blue bar on pect. fin Immature: broad white stripe on lateral surface
Greenblotch Parrotfish Deep on reef Green blotch behind gill cover Small Juvenile:
Redband Parrotfish Note reddish band from mouth Note black & yellow spot above pectoral fin Juvenile:
Puffer Fish Ingest water when agitated –Many have spines that erect when they do this
Sharpnose Puffer Pointed nose Blue lines seen around eyes
Bandtail Puffer 2 bands on tail, but tail is rarely flared Row of blotches on pure white side
Porcupinefish Spots covering body Spots on fin
Balloonfish or Spiny Puffer Long Spines on head Dark spots on body Clear fins
Southern Stingray Snout & tips of “wings” pointed Note barb on tail 3-5 feet
Yellow Stingray Size of a dinner plate Body is round Stinger on tail
Spotted Eagle Ray Dolphin-like head Several venomous spines at base of tail ½ feet
Dorsal Fin Caudal Fin Anal Fin Pelvic Fin Pectoral Fin Operculum.
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