Caribbean Marine Life guide
Terry’s video guide to underwater life in the Caribbean.
Index to all pages:
► Almaco Jacks. ► Angelfish. ► Balloonfish. ► Banded Butterflyfish. ► Barracuda. ► Bicolor Damselfish. ► Black Durgons. ► Blue Tang. ► Boga. ► Channel Clinging Crab. ► Creole Wrasse. ► Foureye Butterflyfish. ► French Grunt. ► Glasseye Snapper. ► Green Filefish. ► Green Moray Eel. ► Green Turtle. ► Grey Reef Shark. ► Harlequin Bass. ► Hawsbill Turtle. ► Honeycomb Cowfish. ► Lionfish. ► Longlure Frogfish. ► Peacock Flounder. ► Pufferfish. ► Sand Diver. ► Sergeant Major. ► Smallmouth Grunt. ► Smooth Trunkfish. ► Spiney Lobster. ► Spotted Drum. ► Spotted Moray Eel. ► Squirrelfish. ► Trumpetfish. ► Tubeworms. ► Yellowline Arrow Crab.
Almaco Jacks, also known as Amberjacks are popular among game fisherman. A wide ranging oceanic fish they can grow as large as 6 ft.
They are commercially farmed in Hawaii and Mexico, sold as “Kampachi”.
Almaco jacks caught near coral reefs may cause Ciguatera poisoning, a stomach irritation that is sometimes fatal.
There are a number of species of Angelfish in the Caribbean, all are quite large and can grow up to 14 ins long.
Most species are easily recognizable by their coloring.
In the video you will see a French Angelfish (Pomacanthus paru) and a juvenile.
These are also a pair of Grey angelfish (Pomacanthus arcuatus).
The name comes from the shape, tail-down, the silhouette of the fish looks just like an angel.
Angelfish form very strong pair bonds so mature fish will most often be seen in pairs.
The Balloonfish is the smaller member of the Porcupine / Pufferfish family. They have the unique ability to inflate their stomachs with water when threatened. This and the spines that protrude are usually enough to ward off most predators. The bodies of all Porcupine fish contain glands that harbor Tetrodotoxin, a poison deadly to humans.
The Banded Butterflyfish, are an oval shaped fish growing to about up to 6 ins long.
The bands that give the fish its name act as camouflage on the reef.
They form very strong pair bonds early in life so will most often be seen with their mate.
The Great Barracuda is a large silver predatory fish which is best treated with respect! These fish have prominent sharp-edged, fang like teeth which gives them a ferocious look. They are attracted to shiny objects that they may mistake for prey.
Bicolour Damselfish, are a tiny fish growing to about 4 ins long.
This fish is a planktivore, it feeds only on plankton.
It is a very common fish, and also an important food source for larger fish.
Male bicolor damselfish, despite their small size will aggressively defend territories, especially when watching over young.
The Black Durgon is also known as the Black Triggerfish.
Although from a distance they look black, they are actually a mottled dark-blue green color with bright lines running along the fins.
They can also change color depending on their environment.
Growing up to 18 inches long, they feed on smaller fish, squid, shrimp and algae.
The Atlantic Blue Tang is a member of the Surgeonfish family.
Large oval fish, they can grow up to 15 in long.
Also in this video is the lighter colored Ocean Surgeonfish.
The Pacific Blue Tang was made famous by the character of “Dory” in the movie “Finding Nemo”
Boga are a species of Grunt also known as Bonnet mouths and Snit.
Usually found in large schools, they grow up to about 7 ins long.
They feed on smaller fish and zooplankton.
Bogas are fished for both food and bait fish.
Bogas are a favorite prey species for the Red Hind (Grouper).
Channel Clinging Crab
The Channel Clinging Crab, is a species of spider crab. Growing up to 10 in long, It is also known as a coral crab or reef crab.
Edible but too small to be of interest commercially.
The Creole Wrasse is a small species growing only to about 12 inches long. It lives in large groups and feeds on plankton, jellyfish and larvae.
Adults appear blue underwater, with the distinctive yellow patch at the rear. Juveniles are more of a violet-purple color.
The creole wrasse is a protogynous hermaphrodite; the largest fish in a group is a dominant breeding male, while smaller fish remain female. If the dominant male dies, the largest female changes sex.
Foureye Butterflyfish are small oval fish growing only to about up to 6 ins long.
The name comes from a large dark spot on the rear portion of each side of the body.
This spot is surrounded by a brilliant white ring, resembling an eye.The true eye, has vertical markings running through it, making it hard to see.
This fish is a very agile swimmer. They are able to find their way through the most intricate passages in and around coral heads and reefs by swimming sideways or upside down.
They are one of a few fish that mate for life so will most often be seen in pairs.