A short snorkel on a healthy tropical coral reefs gives you the opportunity to see more vertebrates in a shorter time than any other ecosystem...

Family Carangidae

Includes the fast and predatory 'Trevally', known as 'Jacks' in the Americas.

Caranx ignobilis, 'Giant Trevally' (Aitutaki Fiji).

Family Mullidae, 'Goatfish'

Goatfish have barbels that hang down from their 'chin'.

Mulloidichthys vanicolensis, 'Yellowfin Goatfish',  (Aitutaki Fiji).

Family Pomacentridae, 'Damselfish'

Abudefduf sexfasciatus, 'Scisor-tail Sergeant', (Aitutaki Fiji).


Barred Wrasse (Bali Barat NP, Indonesia).

Family Chaetodontidae, 'Butterflyfish'

Butterflyfish are medium sized fish that are extremely laterally compressed; that is, they have the shape of plate. They are usually dominated by black and yellow colours, but there are many variations. Butterflyfish are usually found in pairs.

This is my favourite group of fish! There are many species to identify, but all are distinct and relatively easy to ID.  

Forcipiger flavissimus, Long-nosed Butterflyfish (Aitutaki Fiji).

Chaetodon citrinellusSpeckled Butterflyfish (Aitutaki Fiji).

Family Pomacanthidae, 'Angelfish'

Like Butterflyfish, Angelfish are also rather plate-shaped. However, they are more squarish in profile. 

Centropyge flavissima, 'Lemonpeel Angelfish' (Aitutaki Fiji).

Regal Angelfish (Bali Barat NP, Indonesia).

Family Acanthuridae, 'Surgeonfish'

Zebrasoma veliferum, 'Sailfin Tang', (Aitutaki Fiji).

Acanthurus triostegus, 'Sailfin Tang', (Aitutaki Fiji).


Pink- tailed Triggerfish  (Bali Barat NP, Indonesia).