Friday, 16 December 2011

Fishy friday picture quiz - can you ID these reef fish?

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Under the cunning disguise of a fishy picture quiz I'm hoping that someone can help me ID these fish. I believe that most are from either the Maldives or the Great Barrier Reef. For a cheeky bonus point ;-) which of these start their lives amongst the mangroves before migrating to the reefs.

Please comment below or on Twitter.

I'm not a marine biologist but I've listed my best guess in the comments section. The one's that I'm particularly having trouble with are C, D and E.

Thanks very much, your help is much appreciated. Paul

A. Quite an easy one to get you started - 'just say what you see'! 
B. One of the worlds most famous fish - well camouflaged

C. Now they get a little trickier...

D. Looks like a fishy mint humbug!

E. A purplish fish with a yellow spot on its back.

F. Another of the 'mint humbug' family and fairly distinctive
G. Purple and yellow - like a fishy rhubarb and custard


  1. A. Black Tipped Reef Shark
    B. Volitan Lion fish (Pterois volitans)
    C. Anthias of some sort.
    D. ?
    E. ?
    F. Butterfly Fish - Schooling bannerfish (Heniochus diphreutes)
    G. Royal Gramma Fish? (Gramma loreto)

  2. C is a scalefin anthias (but yes, it's an anthias and orange!)
    D: I'm not entirely sure at all. Looking at the shape it could be a fusilier
    E: is really too fuzzy for me to tell! I can't even tell the family - though my best guess is that it's a kind of snapper.
    F: Is a butterfly fish, more specifically probably a long-fin bannerfish.
    G: Think it's an anthias again. (never heard of gramma fish). Yellow backed?

    Can look up D and G in my reef books if you'd like!

  3. A. Black Tipped reef shark

    B. Lion fish

    C. PASS

    D. PASS

    E. PASS

    F. Idol Fish (Yes, I did google 'Finding Nemo, Gill' for that one. I'm not too proud to admit it).

    G. Royal Gramma Fish

  4. Ah yes - I meant Gamma fish, not Gramma Fish! I'm not convinced though. Anthias does sound like a better guess. I'll see if I can get a better image of E.

  5. Can't find my fish book. Certain about G being an anthias (behaviour - schooling, close to reef small etc - good for working out which direction the current is going). Don't think D is a fusilier any more. Tail not forked enough.
    F: schooling banner and longfin I think are the same fish (different common name). It's def. Not an idol (needs red on its nose for that).
    Really stumped about D & E! Frustrating me now! I feel that I 'should' know!

  6. a, black tip reef shark
    b, Red lionfish
    c, Orange Fairy Basslets, not sure on the other damselfish as colour is odd
    d, yellow tail
    e, snapper Lutjanus sp unknown
    f, Longfin Bannerfish
    g, Yellowtail Goldie (Mirolabrichthys evansi) and some damsel fish

  7. I have shared your quiz on a fish forum, we got some very knowledgeable fellas over there so they might be able to help :)

  8. A, Mark
    B, Steve
    C, Rupert
    D, Vanessa
    E, Definitely "Carl" without a doubt
    F, Ian
    G, Sarah....Not Anthia

    Bonus question, Mark starts life in the mangrove as a bus driver :)

    Sorry :) just having a laugh !