Fish ID

One of my goals in moving to the Philippines was to learn the names of all of the fish commonly seen at my various locations. Back in Key Largo, FL I routinely taught a Fish Identification class and could confidently state the species of most fish in the mangrove, seagrass and reef habitats. Because the Pacific is a much older ocean than the Atlantic there is a significantly greater number of fish species. The Philippines is located in a region known as the Coral Triangle, a marine biodiversity hotspot. Currently, here in Sabang I am working on a list of the common, scientific and local names of all fish found on the local reef along with an estimate of abundance, notes on their ecological role and any distinguishing features. This list will be utilized with other materials for the future establishment of an MPA along Sabang’s coast. Thus far I have identified 104 species of fish. I continue to snorkel everyday and without fail find a new fish each time. My next goal will be coral identification!

Check out my list:

Common Name Scientific Name
Vagabond Butterflyfish Chaetodon vagabundus
Threadfin Butterflyfish Chaetodon aunga
Black-Backed Butterflyfish Chaetodon melannotus
Raccoon Butterflyfish Chaetodon lunula
Blacklip Butterflyfish Chaetodon kleinii
Latticed Butterflyfish Chaetodon rafflesi
Eastern Triangular Butterflyfish Chaetodon baronessa
Speckled Butterflyfish Chaetodon citrinellus
Ornate Butterflyfish Chaetodon ornatissimus
Pennant Bannerfish Heniochus chrysostomus
Humphead Bannerfish Heniochus varius
Longnose Butterflyfish Forfipiger flavissimus
Convict Surgeonfish Acanthurus triostegus
Mimic Surgeonfish Acanthurus pyroferus
Lined Bristletooth Ctenochaetus striatus
Japanese Surgeonfish Acanthurus japonicus
Striped Surgeonfish Acanthurus lineatus
Brushtail Tang Zebrasoma scopas
Moorish Idol Zanclus cornutus
Barred Rabbitfish Siganus doliatus
Virgate Rabbitfish Siganus virgatus
Vermiculate Rabbitfish Siganus vermiculatus
Black-tail Sergeant Abudefduf lorenzi
Scissortail Sergeant Abudefduf sexafasciatus
Indo-Pacific Sergeant Abudefduf vaigiensis
Red and Black Anemonefish Amphiprion melanopus
False Clown Anemonefish Amphiprion ocellaris
Saddleback Anemonefish Amphiprion polymnus
Black Damsel Neoglyphidodon melas
Blackbar Damsel Plectroglyphidodon dickii
Jewel Damsel Plectroglyphidodon lacrymatus
Whiteband Damsel Plectroglyphidodon leucozonus
Springer’s Demoiselle Chrysiptera springeri
Onespot Demoniselle Chrysiptera unimaculata
Three-spot Dascyllus Dascyllus trimaculatus
Twospot Demoiselle Chrysiptera biocellata
Bicolor Chromis Chromis margaritifer
Humbug Dascyllus Dascyllus aruanus
Neon Damsel Pomacentrus coelestis
Threespot Damsel Pomacentrus tripunctatus
Obsure Damsel Pomacentrus adelus
Blackspot Snapper Lutjanus ehrenbergii
Blacktail Snapper Lutjanus fulvus
Checkered Snapper Lutjanus decussatus
Bridled Monocle Bream Scolopsis bilineatus
Three-lined Monocle Bream Scolopsis trilineatus
Striped Monocle Bream Scolopsis lineatus
Diamondfish Monodactylus argenteus
Blacktip Silver Biddy Gerres oyena
Silversides spp.
Peacock Grouper Cephalopholis argus
Honeycomb Grouper Epinephelus merra
Marbled Hawkfish Cirrhitus pinnulatus
Arc-Eye Hawkfish Paracirrhites arcatus
Striped Sweetlips Plectorhinchus lessonii
Dotted Sweetlips Plectorhinchus picus
Blackeye Thicklip Hemigymnus melapterus
Floral Wrasse Cheilinus chlorourus
Bird Wrasse Gomphosus varius
Cigar Wrasse Cheilio inermis
Sixbar Wrasse Thalassoma hardwicke
Argus Wrasse Halichoeres argus
Nebulous Wrasse Halichoeres nebulosus
Checkerboard Wrasse Halichoeres hortulanus
Pinstriped Wrasse Halichoeres melanurus
Dusky Wrasse Halichoeres marginatus
Seagrass Wrasse Halichoeres papilionaceus
Crescent Wrasse Thalassoma lunare
Redshoulder Wrasse Stethojulis bandanensis
Fourline Wrasse Stethojulis trilineata
Sixstripe Wrasse Pseudocheilinus hexataenia
Saddleback Hogfish Bodianus mesothorax
Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse Labroides dimidiatus
Reef-Flat Cardinalfish Apogon taeniophorus
Reef Lizardfish Synodus variegatus
Clearfin Lizardfish Synodus dermatogenys
Ornate Goby Istigobius ornatus
Filamentous Blenny Cirripectes filamentosus
Fine-Spotted Blenny Salarias guttatus
Jeweled Blenny Salarias fasciatus
Common Lionfish Pterois volitans
Zebra Lionfish Dendrochirus zebra
Raggy Scorpionfish Scorpaenopsis venosa
Longhorn Cowfish Lactoria conuta
Spotted Boxfish Ostracion meleagris
Manybar Goatfish Parupeneus multifasciatus
Dash-Dot Goatfish Parupeneus barberinus
Cornetfish Fistularia commersonii
Razorfish Aeoliscus strigatus
Striped Catfish Plotosus lineatus
Vanikoro Sweeper Pempheris oualensis
Starry Triggerfish Abalistes stellatus
Flagtail Triggerfish Sufflamen bursa
Orange-lined Triggerfish Balistapus undulatus
Blackpatch Triggerfish Rhinecanthus verrucosus
Picasso Triggerfish Phinecanthus aculeatus
Bristle-Tailed Filefish Acreichthys tomentosus
Striped Puffer Arothron manilensis
Blackspotted Puffer Arothron nigropunctatus
Papuan Toby Canthigaster papua
Black-Saddled Toby Canthigaster valentini
Messmate Pipefish Corythoichtys intestinalis
Snowflake Moray Echidna nebulosa
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3 thoughts on “Fish ID”

  1. I have a field guide for Reef Fish Identification for the Tropical Pacific which I use to look up each fish I see. Look for a field guide for animals or plants in your area! It’s fun. That is awesome about your helicopter, it is so cool!!!

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