Fintastic Fishes!

Location:Turneffe Islands Atoll - Belize

Day 6
by Wayne & Karen Brown

Yesterday we said that reefs and rainforests are similar because of the diversity of plants and animals that live there. Today we want to introduce you to some of the amazing fishes that live on the coral reef here. The coral reef provides homes for many different species of fishes and other sea creatures. Each creature has it own special way on surviving in the coral reef environment, called adaptation.

Spotted Drum: (7-9 inches long) lives under corals and ledges. It comes out at night to feed on small invertebrates. It has black and white stripes to blend in with the shadows underwater. This makes it hard for bigger fish to find it. It is called a spotted drum because of the spots on its tail and it makes a sounds like a drum.

Schoolmaster Snapper: (10-18 inches long) lives under corals and ledges. It comes out at night to feed on small fishes and invertebrates. It is called a schoolmaster because it sometimes swims in small schools.

Gray Angelfish: (10-18 inches long) swims around the reef during the day. Gray angelfish usually swim in pairs - one male and one female. It eats sea sponges. At night it usually finds a place on the reef to stop and rest. They are not afraid of scuba divers and often swim up to us. It is called a gray angelfish because it is gray and is beautiful and swims gracefully through the water like an angel.

Black Grouper: (2-3 feet long) large predator that lives under ledges and in caves. It day and night to feed on fishes, squid, crabs and lobsters. It is called a black grouper because of the black markings on its body and because during mating season they come together in large groups.

Spotfin Butterflyfish: (4-5 inches long) swims around the reef with its mate - one boy and one girl. It eats small invertebrates that hide between corals. At night they find a place among the corals to stop and rest. It is called a spotfin butterflyfish because it has a spot on its tail and it swims from coral to coral like a butterfly fluttering from flower to flower.

Best fishes,
Wayne & Karen Brown


Turneffe Islands Atoll, Belize

Position: 17º 09' N / 87º 55' W
Air Temp: 87ºF
Weather: light breeze, sunny with scattered clouds and calm seas.
Water Temp: 81ºF

We found this spotted drum (7 in ches long) swimming at the bottom of some corals.

We saw this schoolmaster snapper under a ledge

This gray angelfish
swam by us to see what we were doing underwater.

This black grouper swam by us to see what we were doing underwater.

Can you see the spot on the tail of spotfin butterflyfish we saw?


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