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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

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...

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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...

Info

Cirrhilabrus Walshi Coral Sea

RED-MARGINED WRASSE Cirrhilabrusrubhmarginatus SEE to 15 cm 6 in. Wrasses - Labridae ID TP - Blue to lavender to pink fine yellow lines on head, often rows of red spots on body, broad red margin on tail and rear half of dorsal fin. IP - Similar, but lack red tail margin. Form small groups. Sand and rubble with patch reefs in 25 -52 m. West Pacific Indonesia and Palau to Fiji and Tonga, north to S.W. Japan. SAMOA WRASSE Cirrhilabrus walshi SEE to 10 cm 4 in. Wrasses - Labridae ID TP - Blotchy...

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...

Typical Shape

Lutjanus Boutton

Emperors, close kin to snappers and sweetlips, are common, medium- to large-sized fishes. Most species inhabit the reef's fringes where they feed primarily on sand-dwelling invertebrates. A few species are nocturnal predators and larger species occasionally feed on fishes. Most members of genus Lethrinus have the ability to rapidly switch on and off dark mottled patterns, bars or spots. HUMPBACK SNAPPER Lutjanus gibbus SIZE to 50 cm 20 in. Snappers - Lutjanidae ID Shades of red to gray maroon...

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...