Welcome to Snorkeling Report’s marine life identification guide!

Because we believe that a knowledge and appreciation of marine life will make your underwater experiences more exciting, we developed this guide, where you can easily identify more than 650 fish and other underwater creatures species. Before starting enjoying it, you can get more info about how this guide is designed and how you can help us to improve it at the bottom of the page.

Fish families



The biggest predators in the oceans can be object of fear or fascination. More than 450 species of sharks are found in the world’s seas and oceans, and about fifteen of (…)



Rays are majestic fish, which can be distinguished by their flattened bodies and their winglike fins. While some rays, such as the oceanic manta ray, generally “fly” (…)



Angelfish are among the most iconic of the coral reef fishes. With their bright colors, captivating patterns and flat, tall in structure body, they surely are the most majestic (…)



Anemonefish (or clownfish) are certainly the most popular of reef fish. They are known for their ability to live among the tentacles of sea anemones. Clownfish color varies from (…)


Butterflyfish & bannerfish

Butterflyfish are some of the most beautiful and colored reef fish. They are among the most common sights on reefs throughout the world, especially at low depth. The 120 (…)

Sergeant major

Damselfish & sergeants

Widespread throughout warm and temperate seas in the world, damselfish are small and generally colorful fish. They are very easy to observe: they often are the first fish you (…)


Surgeonfish & unicornfish

Surgeonfish are named after the scalpel-like thin sharp blades located at the base of their tail. In case of danger, they draw those blades and use their tail to defend themselves (…)


Triggerfish & filefish

Triggerfish are hard to confuse with other reef fish. Their massive diamond-shaped body is easy to identify, and their colorful geometric patterns make some of them emblematic (…)


Pufferfish & boxfish

Pufferfish and porcupinefish are very easy to identify. They have the ability to “puff up” in a few seconds by swelling water if they are threatened or stressed. With this (…)



Parrotfish are emblematic to coral reefs. About 90 species populate tropical and subtropical areas on the Planet. They are characterized by a long body and a mouth that is more (…)



With about 500 species, the wrasse family is the second largest family of marine fishes. Wrasse species appear in a diverse range of size, shape and color, sometimes varying (…)


Sweetlips & grunt

Members of the Haemulidae family are generally called grunts in the Caribbean and sweetlips in the Indo-Pacific. There are more than 130 species distributed in warm (…)



Snappers are part of the Lutjanidae family, which comprises more than a hundred species. These fish can be easily spotted at reef, alone or in large schools. Snappers are generally (…)



This page presents the species of the Mullidae family, commonly called goatfish or red mullets. 77 species have been identified around the world. Characterized by a pair of chin barbels, an elongated…



You’ll find on this page the species related to groupers, which are attached to several subfamilies of Serranidae. These species are included in Epinephelinae (groupers, hinds, seabasses)…



A general characteristic of scorpionfish is to have venomous spines, mainly situated in their dorsal fin, which can cause very serious injuries and be potentially lethal. These (…)

Moray eel

Moray eels

Moray eels are a big family encompassing about 200 species. Those snake-shaped fish with impressive teeth often scare swimmers. Yet most of the time moray eels are fearful (…)

Invertebrates families



Starfish (or sea stars) are one of the symbols of the oceans. Their star-shaped body and their bright colors make them one of snorkeler’s favorite sightings. Starfish occurs in all (…)

Sea urchin

Sea urchins

Like sea stars, sea cucumbers and brittle stars, sea urchins are part of the Echinoderms phylum. With their spherical body covered moveable spines, they are among the most (…)

Sea cucumber

Sea cucumbers

Sea cucumbers are probably one of the least attractive of the marine species, but they perform a vital role in the ecology of reef ecosystems, feeding on seafloor detritus (…)

Reptiles families

Sea turtle

Sea turtles

Turtles are among the most emblematic sea creatures. There are 7 species of sea turtles in the world, three of which can be easily observed by snorkelers: the green (…)

How is Snorkeling Report’s marine life identification guide designed?

  1. This guide is not complete, but already includes more than 650 species, among the most often seen while snorkeling in the Caribbean, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
  2. This guide displays families based above all on the resemblance between species, in order to facilitate their identification. This means that these families do not always fit the scientific classification. Explanations are given at the top of each page on the composition of the family (which may actually include several families or only part of a family).
  3. This guide is the perfect companion for your snorkeling explorations. Indeed, you will find for each described species a gallery with photos taken exclusively by snorkelers. For each photo is indicated the name of the exact spot where the photo have been taken.
  4. This guide is collaborative. If you have a photo of a species that doesn’t appear in the guide yet, you can send it to us and we’ll add it. Similarly, do not hesitate to share the photos of the fish you have photographed while snorkeling in the photo galleries of the related spots, or to send them to us. Feel also free to send us any suggestion about improving this guide via the contact form.

You can find out more about Snorkeling Report’s project here.

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