University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
DAMSL - Digital Atlas Of Marine Species & Locations
New Search

Uncategorized

Trunkfish Species

Trunkfish are saltwater fish belonging to the Ostraciidae family.  The family contains boxfish, cofferfish, cowfish and trunkfish.  Trunkfish are also called boxfish at times, making the names interchangeable.  There exists at least 23 different species worldwide, divided over 6 genera.  Trunkfish are most abundant in temperate and tropical seas and tend to stay in shallower…

Read More

Sweetlips Information

Sweetlips are a genus of grunts, thus they belong to the Haemulidae family.  The specified subfamily is Plectorhinchinae and the actual genus name is Plectorhinchus.  There exists at least 29 different species of sweetlips.  These are largely a marine fish, but some species like the harlequin sweetlips can be found in brackish waters.  They inhabit…

Read More

Unicornfish Information

Unicornfish are marine fish making up the Naso genus of the Acanthuridae family.  They are closely related to tangs and surgeonfish, both belonging to the same family as unicornfish.  Sometimes unicornfish are referred to as unicorn tangs.  There are at least 20 species of unicornfish, and they are named after the horn-like protrusion on their…

Read More

Tilefish Information

Tilefish are a marine species of fish belonging to the family Malacanthidae.  They are sometimes called blanquillo, and there exist at least 5 genera and 45 species of tilefish.  Tilefish can be separated further into two subfamilies: Malacanthinae and Latilinae.  Some taxonomists believe that the Latilinae subfamily is distinct enough to make up its own…

Read More

Goatfish Information

Goatfish belong to the family Mullidae of the order Perciformes.  Sometimes referred to as surmullets, there are at least 6 genera and 60 species of goatfish.  They are primarily marine fish, but can sometimes be found in brackish water.  They have a wide distribution in warm and tropical regions of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific…

Read More

Hamlet Information

Hamlets are marine fish specifically belonging to the Hypoplectrus genus of the Serranidae family.  They are found in the western central Atlantic throughout the Caribbean and up the coast to Florida.  At least 13 different species of Hamlet exist.  Hamlets are carnivorous and prefer to consume fish, crustaceans and other invertebrates smaller than themselves.  These…

Read More

Scorpionfish Information

Scorpionfish are ray-finned fish belonging to the Scorpaenidae family.  There are 10 subfamilies of scorpionfish and at least 388 known species.  Some species are also called stonefish or rockfish, and  lionfish belong to this same family as well.  True scorpionfish belong to the Scorpaena subfamily.  Lionfish come from the Pterois genus, and stonefish from the…

Read More

Jack Information

Jacks are fish belonging to the Carangidae family.  The Carangidae family also includes the pompano, lookdown and trevally fish.  With more than 150 identified species of jacks, these fish are found primarily in marine waters but occasionally inhabit both brackish and freshwater.  They live in both temperate and tropical portions of the Atlantic, Pacific and…

Read More

Hogfish Information

Hogfish are a species of marine fish belonging to the Labridae family.  They are actually a type of wrasse with some species closely related to parrotfish.  While one of the larger species of hogfish, Lachnolaimus maximus, is referred to solely as “hogfish,” there are several other smaller species of hogfish such as the Spanish hogfish,…

Read More

Coney Information

Coney are a species of fish belonging to the family Serranidae.  As a result, they are also part of the grouper family and strictly a marine fish.  They inhabit only the western Atlantic Ocean from South Carolina to Bermuda, as well as south to southern Brazil.  They are common to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean.…

Read More

Dottyback Information

The dottyback fish species belongs to the order Perciformes and the family Pseudochromidae.  There are at least 4 subfamilies, 24 genera and 152 species of dottybacks.  Most of the popular dottybacks for humans belong to the Pseudochromis genus.  They are a marine species, but in rare cases have been found inhabiting brackish waters.  They can…

Read More

Cowfish Information

Cowfish are a marine fish that belong to the order Tetraodontiformes and the family Ostraciidae.  They are sometimes considered a type of boxfish, similarly to trunkfish.  Unlike trunkfish, cowfish have head spines that look like horns protruding from the front of their head.  Cowfish have two skeletons, including an exterior bony carapace and a reduced…

Read More

Dascyllus Information

Dascyllus are a specific genus of damselfish within the family Pomacentriade.  Pomacentridae consists of both damselfish and clownfish, and the damselfish known as dascyllus rest within the subfamily Chrominae.  There are about 11 species of dascyllus, all of which are marine fish that inhabit the tropical and sub-tropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific ocean.  This…

Read More

Boarfish Information

Boarfish are marine spiny-fined fish that belong to the order Perciformes.  Fish designated with this name actually occur in two different families: Caproidae and Pentacerotidae.  It should be noted that the majority of boarfish exist within the Caproidae family, while the family Pentacerotidae consists of fish mostly referred to as armorheads.  The Caproidae family contains…

Read More

Cardinalfish Information

Cardinalfish belong to the family Apogonidae.  There are over 200 different species of cardinalfish, with at least 66 nominal genera and 32 valid genera.  There are two major subfamilies.  The majority of cardinalfish are part of the Apologoninae subfamily, while the remaining few belong to the Pseudaminae family.  The fish may be freshwater, brackish or…

Read More

Dolphin Information

Dolphins are marine mammals belonging to the infraorder Cetacea.  These cetaceans are part of the family of toothed whales that also includes orcas and pilot whales.  Dolphins can be found worldwide in the shallow seas of continental shelves.  The oceanic dolphins belong to the Delphinidae family, but there are species of brackish and freshwater dolphins…

Read More

Dartfish Information

Dartfish are a species of fish belonging to the family Microdesmidae.  They are a saltwater species that share a strong resemblance with gobies and blennies.  Classification for dartfish species has changed over the years.  The fire dartfish, also known as a firefish, was originally classified as a blenny or goby prior to 1986.  Dartfish originate…

Read More

Chromis Information

Chromis fish belong to the family Pomacentridae.  They are specifically a genus of damselfish.  Like all damselfish, chromis are strictly a saltwater species.  Chromis originated from the Indo-Pacific Ocean and can be found near places sure as the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and the Philippines.  Some species have also been observed in the…

Read More

Basslet Information

Basslet fish belong to the family Grammatidae.  These saltwater fish are sometimes referred to as dottybacks, grammas or Anthias.  They are native to the western Atlantic Ocean, but they have also been spotted in other places like Indonesia.  This is a small species of fish that reaches no more than 4 inches at most in…

Read More

Iguana Information

Iguanas are reptiles belonging to the Iguanidae family.  There are at least 8 genera and 35 different species of iguana, and the marine iguana goes by the genus and species Amblyrhynchus cristatus.  Marine iguanas are believed to have evolved from land iguanas nearly 4.5 million years ago.  There are at least six similar subspecies of…

Read More

Seahorse Information

Seahorses are a type of fish belonging to the genus Hippocampus.  In ancient Greek, the name translates to “horse/sea monster.”  There are believed to be at least 54 different species of seahorses.  However, due to the seahorse’s ability to change its color patterns and shape to camouflage itself, there has been a lot of difficulty…

Read More

Nudibranch Information

Nudibranchs are a type of invertebrate species belonging to the Gastropoda class.  They are carnivorous bottom-dwellers and shell-less mollusks belonging to the same family as sea slugs.  Nudibranchs are primarily a saltwater species that can be found in all oceans from the intertidal zone to the deep ocean.  They do seem to prefer shallow tropical…

Read More

Tang Information

Tangs belong to the family Acanthuridae.  A purely saltwater fish at least 50 million years old, the name is interchangeable at times with surgeonfish and doctorfish species.  Fish labeled as tangs appear to more often have a sharper, pointier nose than a fish labeled as a surgeonfish.  All tang species are laterally compressed with a…

Read More

Surgeonfish Information

Surgeonfish belong to the family Acanthuridae.  There are at least 75 different species of surgeonfish, some of which are referred to as tang, doctorfish or unicornfish.  They have been around for more than 50 million years.  Surgeonfish only inhabit marine waters, but can be found in all tropical and subtropical seas with the exception of…

Read More

Triggerfish Information

Triggerfish belong to the family Balistidae.  Consisting of at least 40 different species, some of these carnivorous fish can grow up to 3.3 feet in length.  They’re found only in tropical and subtropical oceans, as opposed to freshwater.  The largest numbers are found in the Indo-Pacific, and their preferred habit is shallow waters along coral…

Read More

Hawkfish Information

Hawkfish belong to the family Cirrhitidae.  There are at least 33 different species of hawkfish, all of which live solely in marine waters.  They live in tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean.  Most species reside in the Indo-Pacific, while at least two species are recorded to have originated from the eastern and…

Read More

Bream Information

There are a variety of fish referred to as bream fish, but not all of them are as closely related to each other as most species.  Therefore, it is difficult to give a specific class, order or family that bream fall into.  This also means there are both freshwater and marine species.  Sunfish, bluegill and…

Read More

Lionfish Information

Lionfish belong to the Pterois genus.  Other common names for lionfish include fire fish, zebrafish, and turkey fish, and there are currently 8 recognized species of lionfish from the Pacific region.  Strictly a marine species, lionfish are native to the Indo-Pacific, but they are now found in the Atlantic where they are considered an invasive…

Read More

Cuttlefish Information

Cuttlefish are marine cephalopods belonging to the order Sephioidea.  There are at least 120 different species of cuttlefish, and the modern cuttlefish first appeared somewhere around 21 million years ago.  They get their name from their thick internal calcified shell known as a cuttlebone.  This cuttlebone assists with buoyancy by filling and emptying its various…

Read More

Barracuda Information

Barracuda fish belong to the Sphyraenidae family.  Consisting of more than 20 different species, Barracuda’s are predatory fish with long slim bodies, small scales, two separated dorsal fins, a jutting lower jaw and a large mouth with razor sharp teeth.  Their body is tapered at the ends and thicker in the middle.  Most species have…

Read More

Trumpetfish Information

Trumpetfish belong to the Aulostomidae family and the Aulostomus genus.  Strictly a marine fish, there are three species within the family: the Atlantic trumpetfish, the Atlantic cornetfish and the Chinese trumpetfish.  They’re found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian and western Pacific oceans.  They live in seagrass beds or among coral…

Read More

Bannerfish Information

Bannerfish belong to the genus Heniochus.  They are a type of butterflyfish, making them part of the Chaetodontidae family.   There are at least eight known species of bannerfish: pennant coralfish (or longfin bannerfish), threeband pennantfish, false moorish idol (or schooling bannerfish), Red Sea bannerfish, masked bannerfish, phantom bannerfish, singular bannerfish, and horned bannerfish.  All species…

Read More

Blenny Information

Blenny fish are part of the order Perciformes and the suborder Blenniodei.  “True blennies” exist within six different families of the suborder.  Blennies in the Blenniidae family include combtomb and scaleless blennies.  The Chaenopsidae family has flag and tube blennies.  The Clinidae family has kelpfishes and scaled blennies.  The Dactyloscopidae has sand stargazers.  The Labrisomidae…

Read More

Sea Turtle Information

Sea turtles are reptiles that belong to the order Testudines.  Seven different species of sea turtle exist today.  Sea turtles have been around for at least 110 million years.  Unlike tortoises, the shell of a sea turtle is more streamlined for swimming through the water, and they cannot retract their legs or neck into their…

Read More

Manta Information

Manta rays belong to the Mobulidae family.  They are elasmobranchs, cartilaginous fish, related to sharks and skates.  Their common name “manta” is also their genus name.  There are two species of manta ray, the giant manta ray (Manta birostris) and the smaller reef manta ray (Manta alfredi).  Both rays have a diamond-shaped body, long pectoral…

Read More

Anthias Information

Anthias are part of the Serranidae family, more specifically the subfamily Anthiinae.  Within the subfamily, there are at least 17 different genera and 170 different species of anthias.  The species can be found in all tropical oceans and seas.  Divers may also refer to them as reeffish, wreckfish, or jewelfish.  They mainly feed off of…

Read More

Whale Information

Whales are mammals that belong in the Cetacea order, alongside dolphins and porpoises.  There are two sub-orders of whales: baleen and toothed whales.  The baleen whales get the name from the comb-link fringe on their upper jaw.  This fringe, called baleen, is designed for filtering plankton and other small fish and crustaceans that may pass…

Read More

Angelfish Information

Angelfish belong to the order Perciformes, and marine angelfish in particular belong in the Pomacanthidae family.  There are at least 7 genera and 86 species of marine angelfish in this family.  Freshwater angelfish belong in the same order, but in the Cichlidae family instead.  Freshwater angelfish are found in South America in places like the…

Read More

Eel Information

Eels are teleost fish that belong to the order Anguilliformes.  Over 800 species of eels exist, some of which are classified as the more common freshwater eel, and others as marine eels.  The two types of marine eels are Moray eels and Conger eels.  The most apparent characteristic of eels is their elongated body.  Both…

Read More

Anemonefish Information

Anemonefish, otherwise known as clownfish, belong to the Pomacentridae family.  More specifically, they’re part of the genus Amphiprion.  Consisting of at least 30 different species, the most notable aspect of anemonefish is their association with large sea anemones.  The stinging cells, known as nematocysts, of sea anemones are fatal to most fish that come in…

Read More

Seal Information

Seals are semi-aquatic mammals belonging to the Pinnipedia family.  With more than 33 different species, these carnivorous pinnipeds include walruses, eared seals such as sea lions and furred seals, and earless seals such as elephant seals.  While seals may differ in size and color, all seals have a streamlined body with four fins that are…

Read More

Shark Information

Sharks are part of the Class Chondrichthyes.  They are a cartilaginous fish, so their skeleton is made up completely of a tissue lighter and more flexible than bone known as cartilage.  Currently, there are more than 500 known species.  Sharks are a prime example of evolutionary dominance, considering they have been around for at least…

Read More

Parrotfish Information

Parrotfish belong to the family Scaridae. At least 80 species have been identified, and all of the world’s oceans are known to hold some species of parrotfish around tropical reefs. They can live up to 7 years and grow to be anywhere between 1 to 4 feet in length. They are protogynous hermaphrodites, which means…

Read More

Snapper Information

Snappers belong to the order Perciformes in the Lutjanidae family. There are at least 17 different genera and 112 different species of snapper fish. Snappers are mainly a marine fish, rarely being found in estuaries. They will enter freshwater to feed though. More of a tropical and subtropical fish, many species are found in the…

Read More

Grouper Information

All Groupers fall under the family Serranidae, and the order Perciformes. They’re categorized in either of two genera, Epinephelus or Mycteroperca. Groupers are often recognized for their large mouth and heavy body. Their colors are usually dull tones of greens and browns, but there are a few with some more boldly colored bright patterns. The…

Read More

Frogfish Information

Frogfish are any members of the anglerfish family, Antennariidae, and the teleost order Lophiiformes.  There are at least 46 known species of Frogfish.  A rather complex design, this fish comes in a variety of color and color patterns.  Some distinguishing features include a large, anterodorsally directed mouth with more or less 2-4 rows of small,…

Read More

Butterflyfish Information

Butterflyfish belong in the Actinopterygii Class like most fish, and the Family Chaetodontidae. The name Butterflyfish may reference the wide variety of colors and patterns they come in, as well as the occasional spot near the tail end of the fish resembling an eye. Like actual butterflies, this fake eye serves as a way to…

Read More

Jellyfish Information

Jellyfish are a free-swimming marine invertebrate belonging to the scientific phylum Cnidaria.  The term comes from the Greek word for “sea nettle.”  Species that share this phylum include corals, sea anemones, and hydroids.  All Cnidarians contain stinging cells known as cnidocytes, which fire a structure known as a nematocyst.  This nematocyst contains a toxin that…

Read More

Pufferfish Information

Pufferfish belong to the family Tetradontidae and the order Tetradonitformes.  There are at least 200 known species of Pufferfish.  Pufferfish and Blowfish are one and the same, but Pufferfish are not to be confused with the Porcupine Fish or Balloon Fish of the family Diodontidae.  Pufferfish contain a beak like formation of four teeth, and…

Read More

Nurse Shark Information

Nurse Sharks, The Original Bottom Feeder Nurse sharks are commonly found in shallow, sub-tropical and tropical waters. Their range is from Rhode Island to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico, the Indo-Pacific in Philippines and the Caribbean Sea. Rarely are they found north of Cape Hatteras. They frequently dwell on rocky and coral reefs, and…

Read More