Species and Frequency Reports, Diving in Belize

  • Ambergris Cay to Cay Caulker
    • Victoria Canyon
    • Hol Chan Marine Park
    • Mata Canyon
    • Tre Soro
    • Boca Del Rios
    • Tres Cocas
    • San Pedro Cut
    • Tackle Box Canyon
    • Ramon's Canyon
    • Mermaid's Lair
  • Cay Chapel to English Cay
    • Secret Garden (Golf Cay)
    • The Bowl (Golf Cay)
  • Turneffe Islands
    • Tobacco Reef
    • Elbow Reef
    • Sayonara
    • Caye Bokel
    • Grand Boque
    • Mauger Caye
    • NW Crawl Caye
    • Vincente Bight
    • Drowned Cayes/Gallows Point
    • Hole in the Wall
    • Rendevous Point
    • Tunnels and Barrels
    • Dead Mans Point
    • Amberhead
  • Lighthouse Reef
    • Halfmoon Cay
    • Critter Site
    • Blue Hole
    • Que Brada
    • North Wall
    • Finger Cut
    • NW Point
    • Silver Cave
    • Aquarium
    • Halfmoon South Cut
    • Eagle Landing
    • Chain Wall
    • Westpoint II
    • Long Cay
    • Long Cay Ridge
    • Elkhorn Forest
    • Coco Solo
    • The Cathedral

Fish of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef

This is not an exhaustive list, but it's a good start for the most common fish that can be seen on the reef.

Family: Butterflyfish – Chaetodontidae
Chaetodon striatus – Banded Butterflyfish photo
Chaetodon capistratus – Foureye Butterflyfish photo
Chaetodon ocellatus – Spotfin Butterflyfish photo
Chaetodon sedentarius – Reef Butterflyfish photo
Chaetodon aculeatus – Longsnout Butterflyfish photo

Family: Angelfish – Pomacanthidae
Centropyge argi - Cherubfish photo
Holacanthus ciliaris – Queen Angelfish photo
Holacanthus tricolor – Rock Beauty photo
Pomacanthus paru – French Angelfish photo
Pomacanthus arcuatus – Gray Angelfish photo

Family: Surgeonfish – Acanthuridae
Acanthurus coeruleus – Blue Tang photo
Acanthurus bahianus - Ocean Surgeonfish photo
Acanthurus chirurgus - Doctorfish photo

Family: Jack – Carangidae
Caranx ruber – Bar jack photo
Caranx bartholomaei – Yellow jack photo
Caranx latus – Horse-eye jack photo
Caranx crysos – Blue runner photo
Alectis ciliaris – African pompano photo
Trachinotus goodie – Palometa photo
Trachinotus falcatus - Permit photo

Family: Mackerel – Scombridae
Scomberomorus regalis - Cero photo
Scomberomorus maculates – Spanish Mackerel photo

Family: Needlefish – Belonidae
Ablennes hians – Flat Needlefish photo
Tylosurus crocodiles - Houndfish photo

Family: Barracuda – Sphyraenidae
Sphyraena barracuda – Great Barracuda photo

Family: Bonefish - Albulidae
Albula vulpes - Bonefish photo

Family: Snook – Centropomidae
Centropomus undecimalis – Common Snook photo

Family: Porgy – Sparidae
Calamus calamus – Saucereye Porgy photo

Family: Chub - Kyphosidae
Kyphosus sectatrix/incisor - Chub photo

Family: Mojarra – Gerreidae
Gerres cinereus – Yellowfin mojarra photo

Family: Tarpon - Elopidae
Megalops atlanticus - Tarpon photo

Family: Spadefish - Ephippidae
Chaetodipterus faber - Atlantic Spadefish - photo

Families: Silversides, Herrings, Anchovies – Atherinidae, Clupeidae, Engraulididae
Click Below For Features
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Underwater photos
Shark Ray Alley/ Hol Chan Pics
General Diving Information
Reef Information
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Ambergris Caye Field Guide
Diving the Ambergris Caye Area
Turneffe Islands
Lighthouse Reef
Great Blue Hole
Belize Barrier Reef
National Parks

Family: Grunt – Haemulidae
Haemulon flavolineatum – French grunt photo
Haemulon striatum – Striped grunt photo
Haemulon chrysargyreum – Smallmouth grunt photo
Haemulon plumieri – White grunt photo
Haemulon sciurus – Bluestriped grunt photo
Haemulon carbonarium – Caesar grunt photo
Haemulon aurolineatum - Tomtate photo
Haemulon melanurum - Cottonwick photo
Haemulon macrostomum – Spanish grunt photo
Haemulon parra – Sailor's choice photo
Haemulon album – White margate photo
Anisotremus virginicus - Porkfish photo
Anisotremus surinamensis – Black margate photo

Family: Snapper – Lutjanidae
Lutjanus analis – Mutton snapper photo
Lutjanus griseus – Gray snapper photo
Lutjanus cyanopterus – Cubera snapper photo
Lutjanus jocu – Dog snapper photo
Lutjanus mahogoni – Mahogany snapper photo
Lutjanus apodus - Schoolmaster photo
Lutjanus synagris – Lane snapper photo
Ocyurus chrysurus – Yellowtail snapper photo

Family: Chromis/Damselfish – Pomacentridae
Stegastes diencaeus – Longfin damselfish photo
Stegastes planifrons – Threespot damselfish photo
Stegastes variabilis – Cocoa damselfish photo: juvenile; photo: adult
Stegastes leucostictus - Beaugregory photo
Stegastes partitus – Bicolor damselfish photo
Stegastes adustus – Dusky damselfish photo
Microspathodon chrysurus – Yellowtail damselfish photo: juvenile
Abudefduf saxatilis – Sergeant major photo
Chromis enchrysurus – Yellowtail reeffish photo
Chromis cyanea – Blue chromis photo
Chromis multilineata – Brown chromis photo
Chromis scotti – Purple reeffish photo
Chromis insolata - Sunshinefish photo: juvenile

Family: Hamlet/Seabass – Serranidae
Hypoplectrus unicolor - Butter hamlet photo
Hypoplectrus puella – Barred hamlet photo
Hypoplectrus indigo – Indigo hamlet photo
Hypoplectrus guttavarius – Shy hamlet photo
Hypoplectrus aberrans – Yellowbelly hamlet photo
Hypoplectrus gummigutta – Golden hamlet photo
Hypoplectrus chlorurus – Yellowtail hamlet photo
Hypoplectrus nigricans – Black hamlet photo
Hypoplectrus gemma – Blue hamlet photo

Family: Grouper/Seabass – Serranidae
Epinephelus itajara – Goliath grouper photo
Epinephelus striatus – Nassau grouper photo
Cephalopholis cruentatus - Graysby photo
Epinephelus adscensionis – Rock hind photo
Cephalopholis fulvus - Coney photo
Epinephelus guttatus – Red hind photo
Mycteroperca venenosa – Yellowfin grouper photo
Mycteroperca bonaci – Black grouper photo
Mycteroperca tigris – Tiger grouper photo
Mycteroperca interstitialis – Yellowmouth grouper photo

Family: Seabass – Serranidae
Serranus tigrinu – Harlequin bass photo
Serranus tabacarius - Tobaccofish photo
Serranus tortugarum – Chalk bass photo
Paranthias furcifer – Creole fish photo
Rypticus saponaceus – Greater soapfish photo

Family: Basslet – Grammatidae
Gramma loreto – Fairy basslet photo
Gramma melacara - Blackcap basslet photo

Family: Parrotfish – Scaridae
Scarus coeruleus – Blue parrotfish photo
Scarus coelestinus – Midnight parrotfish photo
Scarus guacamaia – Rainbow parrotfish photo
Scarus vetula – Queen parrotfish photo: initial phase; photo: terminal phase
Scarus taeniopterus – Princess parrotfish photo
Scarus inserti – Striped parrotfish photo
Sparisoma aurofrenatum - Redband parrotfish photo
Sparisoma chrysopterum – Redtail parrotfish photo
Sparisoma rubripinne – Yellowtail parrotfish photo
Sparisoma atomarium – Greenblotch parrotfish photo
Sparisoma radians – Bucktooth parrotfish photo
Sparisoma viride - Stoplight parrotfish photo

Family: Wrasse – Labridae
Clepticus parrae – Creole wrasse photo
Halichoeres radiatus - Puddingwife photo
Halichoeres garnoti – Yellowhead wrasse photo
Halichoeres bivittatus – Slippery dick photo
Halichoeres maculipinna – Clown wrasse photo
Halichoeres poeyi – Blackear wrasse photo
Halichoeres pictus – Rainbow wrasse photo
Thalassoma bifasciatum – Bluehead wrasse photo

Family: Hogfish, Razorfish/Wrasse – Labridae
Lachnolaimus maximus - Hogfish photo
Bodianus rufus – Spanish hogfish photo
Xyrichtys martinicensis – Rosy razorfish photo
Xyrichtys novacula – Pearly razorfish photo

Family: Squirrelfish – Holocentridae
Holocentrus adscensionis - Squirrelfish photo
Holocentrus rufus – Longspine squirrelfish photo
Sargocentron coruscum – Reef squirrelfish photo
Sargocentrons vexillarium – Dusky squirrelfish photo
Neoniphon marianus – Longjaw squirrelfish photo
Sargocentron bullisi – Deepwater squirrelfish photo
Myripristis jacobus – Blackbar soldierfish photo

Family: Bigeye – Priacanthidae
Heteropriacanthus cruentatus – Glasseye Snapper photo
Priacanthus arenatus - Bigeye photo

Family: Goby – Gobiidae
Gobiosoma oceanops – Neon goby photo
Gobiosoma prochilos – Broadstripe goby photo
Gnatholepis thompsoni – Goldspot goby photo
Coryphopterus dicrus – Colon goby photo
Coryphopterus eidolon – Pallid goby photo
Coryphopterus glaucofraenum – Bridled goby photo
Coryphopterus personatus/hyalinus – Masked/Striped goby photo
Coryphopterus lipernes – Peppermint goby photo

Family: Blenny – Blenniidae
Ophioblennius atlanticus – Redlip blenny photo

Family: Blenny - Chaenopsidae
Lucayablennius zingaro – Arrow blenny photo
Acanthemblemaria maria – Secretary blenny photo

Family: Blenny- Labrisomidae
Malacoctenus triangulatus – Saddled blenny photo

Family: Jawfish – Opistognathidae
Opistognathus aurifrons – Yellowhead jawfish photo

Family: Lefteye Flounder – Bothidae
Bothus lunatus – Peacock flounder photo

Family: Lizardfish – Synodontidae
Synodus intermedius – Sand diver photo

Family: Hawkfish – Cirrhitidae
Amblycirrhitus pinos – Redspotted hawkfish photo

Family: Trumpetfish – Aulostomidae
Aulostomus maculatus - Trumpetfish photo

Family: Tilefish – Malacanthidae
Malacanthus plumieri – Sand tilefish photo

Family: Smooth and Spiny Puffer – Tetraodontidae
Sphoeroides splengleri – Bandtail puffer photo
Canthigaster rostrata – Sharpnose puffer photo

Family: Porcupine - Diodontidae
Diodon holocanthus - Balloonfish photo
Diodon hystrix - Porcupinefish photo

Family: Boxfish – Ostraciidae
Lactophrys triqueter – Smooth trunkfish photo
Acanthostracion polygonus – Honeycomb cowfish photo
Acanthostracion – Scrawled cowfish photo
Lactophrys bicaudalis – Spotted trunkfish photo

Family: Triggerfish and Filefish – Balistidae
Balistes vetula – Queen triggerfish photo
Canthidermis sufflamen – Ocean triggerfish photo
Melichtys niger – Black durgon photo

Family: Filefishes – Monacanthidae
Aluterus scriptus – Scrawled filefish photo
Cantherhines pullus – Orangespotted filefish photo
Cantherhines macrocerus – Whitespotted Filefish photo

Family: Goatfish - Mullidae
Pseudupeneus maculatus – Spotted goatfish photo
Mulliodichthys martinicus – Yellow goatfish photo

Family: Drum – Sciaenidae
Equetus punctatus – Spotted drum photo
Equetus acuminatus - High-hat photo
Equetus lanceolatus – Jackknife fish photo

Family: Sweeper – Pempheridae
Pempheris schomburgki – Glassy sweeper photo

Family: Remora – Echeneidae
Echeneis naucrates – Sharksucker photo

Family: Scorpionfishes – Scorpaenidae

Scorpaena plumieri - Spotted scorpionfish photo

Family: Moray – Muraenidae
Gymnothorax funebris – Green moray photo
Gymnothorax moringa – Spotted moray photo
Gymnothorax miliaris – Goldentail moray photo

Family: Conger Eel - Congridae
Heteroconger halis – Brown garden eel photo

Family: Stingray – Dasyatidae
Dasyatis americana – Southern stingray photo

Family: Round Stingray - Urolophidae
Urolophus jamaicensis – Yellow stingray photo

Family: Eagle Ray – Myliobatidae
Aetobatus narinari – Spotted eagle ray photo

Family: Electric Ray – Torpedinidae
Narcine brasiliensis – Lesser electric ray photo

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