Barred Elagtail

SIZE to 24 cm (97 in.) Flagtails - Kuhliidae ID Silvery, perch-like fish with striped pattern on tail. Frequently form schools. Rocky surf zones. Juveniles often inhabit rocky tide pools. Indo-Pacific Red Sea to Central America. - S.W. Japan to Australia. Gerres oblongus blacktip silver eiDO SEE to 25 cm (10 in.) Mojanas - Gerreidae ID Silver with obvious scales unmarked except for a blackish margin on dorsal fin (more intense at front). Solitary or form small groups. Common along sandy beaches...

Bicolor Anthias

ID Orange with yellow fins pair of violet stripes run from eye to tail base. Form harems with dominant males. Socially dominant female capable of sex change over period of 2 3 weeks. Essentially identical to female Squarespot Anthias previous , distinguish by association with male of same species. SHEN'S ANTHIAS Pseudanthias sheni SEE to 20 cm (8 in.) Anthias - Serranidae Anthiinae ID Mole - Orangish red to magenta or violet 3rd dorsal spine of male elongate. Groups contain numerous females and...

Credits

Photography Editor Eric Riesch Copy Editors Ken and Tammy Marks Art Director & Drawings Michael O'Connell First Edition October 2003 ISBN 1-878348-36-1 Copyright New World Publications, Inc. 2003 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without prior written consent. Publishers New World Publications, Inc., 1861 Cornell Road, Jacksonville, FL 32207, (904) 737-6558, www.fishid.com,eric fishid.com - Odyssey Publishing, 11558 Rolling Hills Drive, El Cajon, CA 92020, (619)...

Emperors Seabreams

LONGFACE EMPEROR Lethrinus olivaceus SIZE to 100 cm (3 7 ft.) Emperors - Lethrinidae ID Elongate body with long pointed snout gray to olive with no distinctive markings often display mottled pattern. Largest species in family. Solitary or form groups highly active and fast swimming. Sand bottoms of lagoons and outer slopes in 1 -185 m. Indo-West Pacific Red Sea and E. Africa to Samoa. - S.W. Japan and Micronesia to Australia and New Caledonia. SPANGLED EMPEROR Lethrinus nebulosus SIZE to 80 cm...

Family Sea Basses Serranidae

As a group members of family Serranidae are difficult to define, but can be distinguished by three spines on their gill covers, a long, continuous dorsal fin, a complete lateral line, large mouths with more than one row of teeth, and typically rounded tail fins. Serranids, which include the species-rich grouper complex, has undergone dramatic alterations in recent years. For example, anthias, presented in ID Group 6. were previously classified in family Anthiidae, but are now included in...

Family Tunas Mackerels Scombridae Single Genus 6 Species Included

Tunas are streamlined, spindle-shaped open-water fishes with two dorsal fins that fold into grooves and finlets between the second dorsal and their deeply forked or lunate tails. At least two small keels extend from each side of the narrow tail base. Their upper bodies vary between shades of silvery iridescent blues and greens with countershadings of white on the belly. Pelagic species, built for speed and endurance are rapacious predators of squids and fishes in the near-surface zone of the...

Groupers Soapfishes

YELLOW-EDGED LYRETAIl Variola louti SEE to 55 cm (22 in.) Groupers - Serrariidae ID Violet to orange-red to brown with violet to blue spots on head, body and fins lyre-shaped tail with yellow margin. Solitary. Clear waters of lagoons and outer reefs in 3 -240 m. Indo-Pacific Red Sea and E. Africa to French Polynesia. -S.W. Japan to Australia. ID Reddish brown back and upper head, white below with broad black stripe between small blue spots on back and upper head, white stripe from middle of...

Grunters Tarpons Needlefishes Halfbeaks Archerfish

SAND BASS Psammoperca waigiensis SEE to47 cm (181 in.) Snooks - Centropomidae ID Slivery gray to brown eyes have glassy appearance. Solitary or small groups nocturnal. Often in dark recesses around weedy areas in 3 12 m. Asian Pacific Indonesia to Philippines. China to N. Australia. SILVER GRUNTER Mesopristes argenteus SEE to 30 cm (12 in.) Grunters Terapontidae ID Silvery gray with white belly white first spine on ventral and anal fins, yellow ins Smoll Juveniles White with 4 or 5 black...

I

FALSE FUSILIER Paracaesio sordida SEE to 40 cm (16 in.) Snappers - Lutjanidae ID Purplish biown to blue with faint dark stripes, lower lobe of tail red (dark brown underwater) slender elongate body with deeply forked tail similar to fusilier family (Caesionidae) Form schools. Steep outer reefs in 30-200 m. Indo-West Pacific Red Sea to S.W. Japan, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.

Info

DOTTYBACK ANTHIAS Pseudanthias venator SEE to 7 cm (2 ' < in.) Anthias - Serranidae Anthiinae ID Mole - Reddish orange with yellowish highlights small dark spots on upper body, yellowish tail borders. Form small groups. Lurk around caves and ledges on steep outer reef slopes in 20-50 m. North Asian Pacific Philippines to S.W. Japan. SEE to 13 cm (5 in.) Anthias - Serranidae Anthiinae ID Mole - Orange upper body, lavender to pale pink below long 2nd and 3rd dorsal fin spines with yellow tips....

Tunas Mackerels Chubs

LONG-JAWED MACKEREL Rastielligei kanagurta SIZE to 35 cm (14 in.) Tunas & Mackerels - Scombridae ID Silvery iaint spotting on upper back with narrow stripes below, black spot under pectoral fin. Form tightly bunched schools feed on plankton with widely opened mouths. Coastal, lagoons and seaward reefs, often in turbid water to 90 m. Indo-West Pacific Red Sea and E. Africa to Samoa. - S.W. Japan to Australia. 10WFIN DRUMMER Kyphosus vai0ensis SIZE to 45 cm (18 in.) Chubs - Kyphosidae ID...

Typical Shape

Snappers are medium-sized, oblong fishes with triangular heads. All have shallow, notched tails, and a single, continuous dorsal fin that is often higher in the front. They also have slightly upturned snouts, large mouths, and prominent canine teeth near the front of both jaws. Most species are active, nocturnal predators that primarily feed on fishes, but they also consume cephalopods, gastropods and crustaceans. The two smaller family members in genus Pinjalo pick drifting zooplankton from...

V

Pomacanthus imperator SIZE to 38 cm (15 in.) Angelfishes - Pomacanthidae ID Vivid alternating blue and yellow stripes and yellow tail blue-edged black eye mask, broad blue-edged black bar behind head. Solitary make loud drumming sound when alarmed. Coral reefs in 6-60 m. Indo-Pacific Red Sea and E. Africa to Indonesia, Philippines. Hawaii and French Polynesia. - S.W. Japan to N. & E. Australia. ID Blue-black with striking pattern of white concentric circular markings, tail transparent. The...

1

SEE to 25 cm (9 ' in.) Flagtails - Kuhliidae ID Silvery with no distinguishing markings may mix with Barred Flagtail, but lack of bold markings on tail. Form aggregations in surf zone of rocky shores or in tide pools. Central Pacific Phoenix Is. in Central Pacific and Marquesas Is. in French Polynesia. THREADFIN PEARL-PERCH Glaucosoma magwhcum SEE to 10 cm (4 in.) Pearl Perches - Glaucosomatidae ID Compressed oval body silver with greenish mottling on rear body brown eye bar. white spot below...

Tropical Fish Species Identification

Trying to identify a specific fish from the more than 2,000 tropical Pacific species included in this book can be a perplexing task. To help simplify the process, fish families with similar physical or behavioral characteristics have been arranged together into one of 20 color-coded and numbered ID Groups. This approach varies significantly from the traditional system that orders species chronologically by evolutionary development. Although there are a few anomalies, most families, genera and...

Photo Credits

The majority of the species images were taken by the four authors. However, several underwater photographers added their work to this collection. The authors appreciate their efforts and assistance in making this book as comprehensive as possible. Additional photographers include Jim Abemathy, 455tr Lyn Adrian, 43tr Mark Allen. 88ml Fred Bavendam, 366ml NateBartlett. 89mr Helmut Debelius, 114br, 118tr. 121br, 187br, 241mr, 244mr, 398br, 418br JL Earle, 187ml DieterEicbler, 109bl, lllbl, 112ml,...

Crosshatch Butterflyfish

YfllOWBACK BUTTERFLYFISH Chaetodon mertensii SIZE to 12.5 cm 5 in. Butterflyfishes Chaetodontidae ID White with chevron markings, outer tail yellow to orange broad yellow to orange bar across rear body, black eye bar and spot or smudge on nape. Solitary or in pairs. Lagoons and outer slopes in 10-120 m. Indo-Pacific E. Africa, Maldives. Indonesia, Philippines and New Guinea to French Polynesia. - S. W. Japan to E. Australia. SIZE to 14 cm 5 7.- in. Butterflyfishes Chaetodontidae ID White with...

Epinephelus Longispinis

Epinephelus Longispinis

Sweetlips are closely related to and resemble snappers, but are not quite as large, have smaller mouths, more prominent lips, and lack the snappers' canine teeth. The fishes are known in many regions as grunts because of a grunting sound produced by rubbing flat teeth plates together, which is amplified by adjacent air bladders. The nocturnal predators of bottom-dwelling crustaceans spend daylight hours hovering alone or in groups near the reef's structure. Boldly patterned and erratic swimming...

Pearl Perches Glaucosomatidae Ponyfishes Leiognathidae Silversides Atherinidae

Leiognathidae

AFRICAN POMPANO Alectis ciliaris SIZE to 130 cm 4' . ft. Jacks - Carangidae ID Silver, often have bluish or greenish tints deep body with steep head profile and deeply forked tail scales not obvious. Young form schools, large adults often solitary. Pelagic often near dropoffs to 100 m. Circum tropical. ID Fore lobes of rear dorsal and anal fins of young trail long filamentous rays that are lost with age. ID Diamond-shaped juveniles trail long thread-like filaments from dorsal and anal fins as...

Identification Group

Orange Striped Bristletooth Tang

Surgeonfishes - Moorish Idol - Rabbitfishes - Scats This ID Group consists of fishes that are fairly large, thin-bodied, have a basic oval shape, and are generally colorful. FAMILY Surgeonfishes - Acanthuridae Surgeonfishes have thin, oval bodies, with relatively long continuous dorsal and anal fins, small pointed mouths, and crescent tails. Lateral lines are continuous and scales are not conspicuous. A spine, or pair of spines in a few member of genus Naso, as sharp as a surgeon's scalpel and...

Typical Shape Typical Shape

Yellowback Fusilier Caesio Teres

Anthias, small sea basses classified in the subfamily Anthiinae, spend much of the day feeding on zooplankton just above the reef's protection. On many current-swept outer reef slopes in the tropical Pacific pulsating clouds of the small, brightly colored plankton-pickers represent the largest and most visually dramatic concentrations of fish life. The huge feeding aggregations, often numbering in the hundreds or even thousands, are made up of many small coexisting social units known as harems....

Coral Breams Emperors

Gymnocranius Frenatus

WHITECHEEK MONOCLE BREAM Scolopsis vosmeri SIZE to 25 cm 10 in. Coral Breams - Nemipteridae ID Deeper bodied than most members of the family purplish brown with dark scale centers broad white bar on head behind eye. Solitary or form small groups Sand and nibble bottoms of coastal reefs and lagoons in 2 - 25 m. Indo-Asian Pacific Red Sea and E. Africa to N. Australia, north to S.W. Japan. STRIPED URGE-EYE BREAM Gnaihodentex aureolineatus SIZE to 30 cm 12 in. Emperors - Lethrinidae ID Silvery...

Humphead Wrasse

Australian Harlequin Tuskfish

Cheilinus undulatus Humphead Wrasse - IP SIZE to 229 cm 7' -. ft. Wrasses - Labridae ID TP - BhS head with maze-like markings, green body with dark vertical streaks pronounced hump above eyes. Solitary or occasionally in pairs wary. Lagoon and outer reefs in to 60 m. Indo-Pacific Red Sea and E. Africa to Micronesia and Tuamotu Is. in French Polynesia. - S.W. Japan to Australia and New Caledonia. ID Olive to bluish or greenish gray with dark vertical streaks on body dark diagonal streak extends...

Snappers Coral Breams

Pentapodus Caninus Juvenile

SMAUTOOTH JOBFISH Aphaieus fuica SIZE to 40 cm 16 in. Snappers - Lutjanidae ID Blue-gray slender body with large mouth and strongly forked tail, pectoral fins long dark outline on rear edge and bar on gill cover. Solitary or form small groups. Lagoons and seaward reefs in 5 -100 m. Indo-Pacific Red Sea and E. Africa to Panama. - S.W. Japan to Australia. SIZE to 100 cm 3' lt ft. Snappers - Lutjanidae ID Dark green to blue to bluish gray slender cylindrical body with strongly forked tail,...

Mojarras Flagtails Ponyfishes Silversides

Gerres Acinaces

DEEP-BODIED SILVER BIDDY Gerres erythrouius SEE to 35 cm 14 in. Mojanas - Gerreidae ID Silver with dusky bars and darkish tail, yellow ventral fms. Form loose groups to small schools. Sand flats and slopes to 40 m. Indo-Asian Pacific Maldives to S.W. Japan. Palau and Yap in Micronesia. LONGTAIL SILVER BIDDY Gerres acinaces SIZE to 35 cm 14 in. Mojanas - Gerreidae ID Silver with obvious scales several rows of dusky usually oval markings on sides younq have 7-8 dusky bars. Solitary or form loose...

Barracuda Tunas Mackerels

Grammatorcynus Bilineatus

BRASS STRIPED BARRACUDA Sphyraena helleri YEUOWTAII BARRACUDA Sphyraena Bavicauda SEE to 50 cm 20 in. Barracudas Sphyraenidae ID Silvery, yellowish to yellow tail long cylindrical body with underslung jaw and pointed teeth a pair of diffuse brownish stripes on side. Form schools. Coastal reefs, lagoons and outer slopes to 20 m. Indo - West Pacific Red Sea and E. Africa to Samoa. - S.W. Japan to Australia. BRASS STRIPED BARRACUDA Sphyraena helleri SEE to 85 cm 3 ft. Barracudas Sphyraenidae ID...

F

Ashmore Reef

Dusky red with 3 narrow white or gray bars fins are same color as body. clown anemonefish Amphipnon percula SIZE to 9 cm 3 ' j in. Damselfishes - Pomacentndae ID Orange with 3 white bars, middle bar has foiward-pcojecong bulge variable amounts of black edging on bars and fins. Similar False Clown previous distinguished by location. Live with 3 anemone species to 15 m. West Pacific N. New Guinea, Solomon Is., Great Barrier Reef to Vanuatu spinecheek anemonefish...

Family Parrotfishes Scaridae 7 Genera 41 Species Included

Scarus Rubroviolaceus Male

Virtually every reef in the Indo-Pacific is home to a bustling community of parrotfishes. These robust assemblies are typified by foraging herds of nondescript, two- to six-inch females, and large, solitary, brightly colored males, which spend their day methodically taking bite after bite of algae from the bottom. Parrotfishes share many traits with their close relatives and forerunners, the wrasses. Members of both families swim primarily with their pectoral fins, change sex from females to...

Soapfishes Hawkfishes

Plectorhinchus Picus

SIX-LINED SOAPFISH Grammistes sexlineatus SIZE to27cm 10V lt in. Soapfishes Serranidae ID Black with 6-9 white to gold stripes. Solitary. Under ledges or in recesses of lagoons, reef flats or seaward reefs to 20 m. Indo-Pacific Red Sea and E. Africa to Marquesas Is. in French Polynesia. - S.W. Japan to Australia. MOTTLED SOAPFISH Pseudogramma polyacanthum SIZE to 7.5 cm 3 in. Soapfishes - Serranidae ID Mottled brown large pale-edged dark spot on gill cover. Similar Ocellated Soapfish previous...

Tropical Pacific

Aquarium Printed

Gerald Allen Roger Steene Paul Humann Ned DeLoach NEW WORLD PUBLICATIONS, INC. Jacksonville. Florida USA ODYSSEY PUBLISHING El Cajon, California USA Printed by This project has been a genuine team effort from the moment it was conceived. John Jackson of Odyssey Publishing provided the kick start by introducing us to the great team at New World Publications - Paul Humann, Ned DeLoach, and Erie Riesch. They have been tireless and incredibly efficient through all phases of the production. Paul and...

Wrasses Hogfishes

Like the closely related parrotfishes, wrasses have large, noticeable scales, swim primarily with their pectoral fins, are often quite colorful, and have the ability to change sex from female to male when certain age, growth or social criteria are met. But unlike parrotfishes, which scrape algae from rocks with fused beaks, most wrasses feed on hard-shelled invertebrates including crabs, shrimps, brittle stars and small gastropods. When discovered, the delicacies are seized or scissored free...

Pomacanthidae Hybrid

Fish With Blue Stripes Orange Tail

ID Black undercolor with 5-6 prominent white bars interspaced with narrower blue bars between. Juveniles usually begin color transformation to adult pattern between 8-15 cm. Chaetodontoplus septentrionalis SIZE to 20 cm 8 in. Angelfishes - Pomacanthidae ID Brownish orange with bold blue stripes, tail yellow. Uncertain status possibly the female Blue-stripe Angelfish or male Orange-faced Angelfish next . Rock or coral reefs in 5-60 m. Asian Pacific W. Pacific Rim including S. China, Taiwan and...

M

Chrysiptera Unimaculata Juvenile

Jewel damsel Plectroglyphidodon lacrymatus SIZE to 10 cm 4 in. Damselfishes Pomacentridae ID Brown with black scale margins, often gradating to tan or whitish on rear body and tail small blue spots scattered on head and body. Solitary or form loose groups. Lagoons and outer reefs in 2-12 m. Indo-Pacific E. Afnca to Marshall Is. in Micronesia and French Polynesia. S.W. Japan to E. Australia. lagoon damsel Herruglyphidodon ptagiometopon SIZE to 18 cm 7 in. Damselfishes - Pomacentridae ID Brown...

Pomacentrus Cuneatus

Spined Damselfish Ocellated

BROWN DAMSEL Pomacentws opisthostigma SEE to 8 cm 3 in. Damselfishes - Pomacentridae ID E. New Guinea Variation - Color variable from dark brown to yellowish tan most consistent identification feature on all variations is small dark wedge-shaped mark on upper pectoral fin base. Solitary. Turbid shores with coral in 3 -12 m. Asian Pacific Philippines and New Guinea. This variation from Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. Brown Damsel - W. New Guinea Variation ID Brown whitish blotch on rear dorsal fin....

Pomacentridae Red

Pomacentridae Blue Anal Fin

Chrysiptera caeruleolineata Damselfishes - Pomacentridae BLUEUNE DEMOISELLE SEE to 5.5 cm 2V in. ID Pale yellow to orange often with purplish tints bright neon-blue stripe from snout to rear dorsal fm. scattered blue spots on head. Usually form small groups. Rubble and rock outcroppings on steep outer slopes in 30 - 65 m. West Pacific Rowley Shoals, 260 km west of N.W. Australia to Samoa, north to S.W. Japan. Blueline Demoiselle - Rowley Shoals Variation ID Dark purplish blue neon-blue stripe...