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Fish ID

Although fish look and behave differently there are many outer common denominators that may help in identifying the fish you just saw on a dive. The below Humphead photo is a poor example as the 1st dorsal fin is lowered but it is still useable when reading descriptions.

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Fish ID chart with a Napoleon wrasse

  Instead of trying to remember every single detail of a fish on a dive you could focus on a a few things in order to determine the species (of course, apart from obvious colour patterns and features)

The pectoral and ventral fins come in pairs and are actually remnants of legs.

Some species boast spectacular pectoral fins like the flying gurnard shown on the right and perhaps most of all the lionfish.


  On the lump sucker both ventral fins have grown into a suction disc.

Of things to look for underwater is placement of the 1st or 2nd dorsal fins compared to the ventral or anal fins.

Is the caudal peduncle narrow like that of the trevally or broad as in the case of the humphead.

  Another way of trying to identify a fish is to compare the size of the eye to the snout (the distance from the eye to the mouth).

How many times can you place the eye on the snout before you reach the mouth?



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