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 500 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


Shark

Sharks

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 (…)

Stingray

Rays

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

Angelfish

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

Clownfish

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

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

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

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

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

Parrotfish

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 (…)

Wrasse

Wrasse

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

Sweetlips and 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 (…)

Snapper

Snappers

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 (…)

Scorpionfish

Scorpionfish

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

Starfish

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 (…)

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 500 species, among the most oftenly 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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fish-id-guides

Have a look at the best identification fish guides to learn more about marine life!

Want to learn more about the species you observed or photographed under water? The identification guides are true treasures for those curious to know about the undersea world! These books show, in the form of images or drawings, the species of certain environments (such as coral reefs) or certain regions of the world (such as the Mediterranean, the Caribbean or the Red Sea). If some guides are limited to fish, others describe all the local underwater fauna and flora. True scientific works, the identification guides are also a beautiful way to prepare for our future snorkeling explorations!