11 Red Sea Fish Species List – Types – Images
Among the group of the vertebrate in the animal world, fish has the highest number of species, that exceeds 30,000 species. Fish exist in ocean, river, lake, stream in every corner of the world. They exist in many sizes, colors, and species. In the deep ocean, fish can be more various due to the wide range of depth where different fish occurs. The Red Sea is one the deep water where a thousand fish species can be found. The Red Sea is known for its rich underwater ecosystem. According to research, there are 1,200 species of fish, which 10% of them are nowhere else in the world. Consequently, this underwater’s diversity becomes one of the Red Sea’s exclusive attractions with highly various and colorful fishes below the surface or deep on the bottom.
Read Sea is an extension of the Indian Ocean, that starts from the south through the Gulf of Aden. The sea is located in the boundary of Middle Eastern Countries and Northern Africa. Saudi Arabia and Egypt share the most of the coastline of the Red Sea. The maximum depth of the sea is measured to 2,500 m with average depth is estimated to 500 m. The name for the Red Sea came from the fact that the color of the water turns red because of the seasonal blooms of a bacteria commonly called “sea sawdust”. The existence of these bacteria helps the process of ocean nutrition that certain small marine creatures hang their lives on.
The salinity of the Red Sea exceeds 3.6-4.1%. Hence, it makes the Red Sea one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world. The high salinity is due to the strong evaporation and little precipitation. The abundance of coral reefs around the southern Red Sea lets the juvenile fishes grow and thrive into adulthood. Coral reefs have been a fine habitat providing food and shelter for many living organisms, which are dependent on the reef ecosystem to maintain their lives.
Types of Red Sea Fish Species
Some types of fishes live on the bottom of the ocean, while some live near the surface. Some fishes like to wander alone, but some stay collective and swim together in the same direction. Although some fishes are good looking and peaceful, some others are poisonous and aggressive. Therefore, the abundance of fish species will never be enough to be learned about. These 11 Red Sea fish species explained below are aimed to represent some of the greatest underwater’s prosperity.
1. The Starry Triggerfish
The starry triggerfish (Abalistes stellaris) or flat-tailed triggerfish is a harmless and tropical species that lives and feeds on the bottom of the ocean, especially on mud or silty sand bottoms. This fish belongs to Balistidae family and is characterized by its white star-shaped spots along the spinal dark band.
Starry triggerfishes swim by undulating their second dorsal and anal fins. For the rapid burst, they will use their tail that is extending along the dorsal and ventral surface. In their eyes part, there is a deep groove which the background color is gray with olive green spots. Starry triggerfishes eat all kinds of meaty foods including crustaceans, mollusks, and fish.
2. Flat Needlefish
The flat needlefish (Ablennes hians) is the only known member of the genus Ablennes. It is a marine fish of the family Belonidae. Flat needlefishes are considered game fishes, frequently captured with the help of artificial lights. They are not edible due to their green-colored flesh. (see also: Ocean Problems)
Flat needlefishes lengths are up to 120 cm and their head and body are strongly compressed. Their long upper and lower jaws are forming a beak with small, sharp, needle-like teeth. Their habitat is inshore to oceanic pelagic in the depth of 0-12 m.
3. Indo-Pacific Sergeant
Indo-Pacific sergeant (Abudefduf vaigiensis) belongs to family Pomacentridae. They are white bluish with a yellow top and eyes. They have a black spot on their dorsal fin. Their maximum recorded size is 20 cm. Although their normal colors are mostly yellow, males turn more blue during spawning. They feed commonly on zooplankton, benthic algae, and small invertebrates.
On the other hand, adults spend their lifetimes around coral reefs, tide pools, and rocky reefs. Larvae of this species live in the open sea. People will encounter this fish at the water depth ranges from 1 to 15 m.
4. Goldsilk Seabream
Goldsilk Seabream (Acanthopagrus berda) is a member of family Sparidae. Adults maximum size recorded is 90 cm in length and 3.2 kg in weight. They live in the maximum water depth of 50 m. Their main foods are echinoderms, worms, crustaceans and mollusks. Artisanal fisheries exploit this fish in such a huge amounts to come freshly in markets. (see also: Deep Ocean Ecosystems)
Meanwhile, these fishes are protrandrous hermaphrodite. They were born male but can change to female at some point in their lifespan. Goldsilk seabream can live up to 4.5 years.
5. Whitecheek Surgeonfish
The whitecheek surgeonfish, also known as the golden rim surgeonfish or yellow-spotted surgeonfish (Acanthurus nigricans), is a reef-associated surgeonfish that belongs to family Achanturidae. They name surgeonfish exists as they possess erectable razor sharp spines.
In addition, the whitecheek surgeonfish normally grow to 21.3 cm in length. Furthermore, these beautiful fishes are occasionally found on sale for the aquarium objects.
6. Spotted Eagle Ray
Spotted Eagle Ray (Aetobatus narinari) is a part of eagle ray family, Myliobatidae. They belong to cartilaginous fishes as their skeletons are made of cartilage, rather than bone. They occasionally swim in groups and are most commonly seen alone.
Since they are ovoviviparous, the females retain the eggs then releases them as the young version of the parents. This ray has a dark dorsal surface covered in white spots or rings.
Behind their pelvic fins, near the long tail, there are venomous and barbed stingers. They feed on small fishes and crustaceans. But, they often seek for food buried in the sand using their snouts for digging.
7. Red Sea Mimic Blenny
Red Sea Mimic Blenny (Ecsenius gravieri) is a blenny from Western Indian Ocean. This member of family Blennidae is about 8 cm long and live around 0-15 m depth. They deposit demersal eggs under the bottom or in a prepared nest. (see also: Surface of Tension Liquids)
Since the eggs are adhesive, they contact easily to other eggs on filamentous, adhesive pad or pedestal. The male will keep them until they hatch. Larvae are planktonic and often found in shallow waters. However, this blenny is most commonly aimed for the aquarium trade.
8. Shadow Goby
Shadow Goby (Acentrogobius nebulosus) belongs to family Gobiidae. They live in freshwater, brackish, reef-associated environment at depth ranges 0-15 m. Their maximum length is approximately 18 cm. The shadow goby’s body color are typically pale gray with three large dark brown blotches on the side. (see also: Endangered Sea Turtles List)
Then, they are solitary and commonly found over silty and muddy bottoms around inner reefs. Toxin is concentrated in the skin. It contains some amounts of tetrodotoxin in the internal organ and smaller amounts in the flesh. Hence, this makes them poisonous and not edible for the human.
9. Shortpouch Pygmy Pipehorse
Shortpouch Pygmy Pipehorse (Acentronura tentaculata) is a pipefish and seahorse family, Syngnathidae. In etymology, Acentronura results from Greek where a means without, kentron means sting and oura means tail. (see also: Causes and Effects of Tsunami)
Then. this species most commonly occurs in the northern Red Sea at depth 0-20 m. Their maximum length is 6.3 cm. The skin is brown with blackish dermal flaps.
Meanwhile, females are slimmer and pipefish-like, while larger males are more seahorse-like. They casually live under a small and sparse seagrass or algae that grow next to reefs at shallow to medium depths. Although the females produce the eggs, the male carries the eggs in their brood pouches under the tail. Somehow, the males tend to mate with the larger females because they find them more ‘attractive’.
10. Black-barred Halfbeak
Black-barred halfbeak (Hemiramphus far), the halfbeak, black-barred garfish, barred halfbeak, barred garfish or spotted halfbeak, is a fish in the family Hemiramphidae. It has a laterally compressed body and a very long, beak-like lower jaw with a short upper jaw which is triangular and lacks scales. (see also: Differences Between Sea and Ocean)
Then, this fish is bathypelagic, living in the deep sea where the environment is dark and cold. The depth range is approximately 1,000 – 3,000 m below the water surface. Because they are schooling marine fishes, black-barred halfbeaks stay together in a group and swim in the same direction. (see also: Oceans in the World)
11. Pennant Coralfish
Pennant coralfish (Heniochus acuminatus) is a quite eye-catching kind of fish that swim in the depth range 2 – 178 m under the water surface. Seems like the beautiful combination of the shape and color has become an attraction to dive in around the coral under the Red Sea.
Since they own peaceful temperament makes it safe to be diving with those fishes swimming around. Their size can exceed 25 cm in the wild, while for the aquarium they are commonly 18-20 cm long.
On the otherh hand, the adults live in pairs, while the juveniles are often seen solitary. They feed on plankton and benthic invertebrates.
Those are complete explanation and full information about Red Sea Fish Species.