Tropical fish populate our marine environment and reefs, bringing vibrant colour and life to deep blue seas and ocean reefs or sandy shallows. Tropical fish such as Parrotfish help to create the stunning coral sand beaches that we so love to holiday on. Others, such as Clownfish form a symbiotic relationship with anemones and help to protect reef lifeforms. The array and diversity of fishes in our oceans is seemingly endless, bringing both beauty and wellbeing to our overall planetary eco-system, not just the sea.
Arc-Eye Hawkfish hiding in the reef
Arc-Eye Hawkfish perched amongst Acropora corals. Arc-eye Hawkfish come in a range of colours from greenish-brown to dark brown to reddish-orange, however they all have their distinctive arc behind the eye made up of three thin lines. They generally perch amongst small branching corals on exposed reef slopes, waiting for their prey.
Batfish (longfin spadefish)
Picture of a Batfish. Close-up of a Batfish hovering in the deep blue waters offshore. Batfish tend to form small groups, often near shipwrecks or reefs and sometimes in deep lagoons. Detailed close-up featuring the Eye of a Batfish. Batfish are graceful, spade shape fishes with round faces (also known as spadefishes).
Indian ocean steephead parrotfish
Tropical beaches are made by Parrotfish. Did you know that all those beautiful, perfect white sand beaches are actually created by fish? Or, to put it more mundanely – parrotfish pooh! Any doubt as to the truth in that remark? Well just take a look at those amazingly huge teeth on the aptly named parrotfish.
Lionfish resting on coral sands
Lionfish resting on the coral sands, deep on the seabed. Lionfish are nocturnal, finding safe places to rest during the day. Their colouring allows them to blend into the coral landscape as they sleep. The ethereal beauty of lionfish is deceptive. They awake at night to hunt for small fish and crustaceans, using their venomous fins to round up prey.
Clownfish perched on a flourescent anemone
Clownfish (Maldive Anemonefish) perched on the tentacles of a magnificent sea anemone. Maldive Anemonefish are a rusty orange colour with a single white stripe behind their eyes. They are able to hide in groups amongst the tentacles as Anemonefish have a thick coating of mucus which protects them from the sting of the anemone tentacles.
Scribbled unicornfish, colours echoing the azure blue sea
Scribbled Unicornfish swimming in an azure blue sea on the upper slopes of a deep drop-off, its varying fluorescent blue scribbles echoing the colours of the sea behind. Scribbled Unicornfish are also known as Zebra Unicornfish due to the style of their blue stripes or Bignose Unicornfish due to the shape of their snout.
Sunburst butterflyfish, sunshine in the deep blue
Sunburst butterflyfish providing vibrant yellow warmth against the cool blue of the ocean. Striking print of a Sunburst Butterflyfish skirting along the edges of the reef, its golden sunburst colour shining out against the deep blue. A red-toothed triggerfish casts a deeper blue shadow as it passes behind, patrolling the edge of the reef drop-off.
Yellowface angelfish deep under the reef drop-off
Yellowface Angelfish swimming deep within the varying textures of coral reef, timidly watched by a Crescent-tail Bigeye hiding among the underwater flora and fauna. Yellowface Angelfish have a beautiful blue face with a distinctive yellow face stripe that extends from eye to eye. Juveniles have completely different coloration, changing colour as they grow.