Friday, 25 May 2012

Maldives Marine Life

We saw hundreds of new species in the Maldives. Most were in the water and as we didn't have an underwater camera I only photographed those that could be seen from the boardwalks and jetties. Apologies in advance for the quality of the photographs.

Black-tip reef sharks:

Sea cucumber:

Feathertail sting-ray:


A species of halfbeak:

Blackspot snapper:

Klein's butterflyfish with humbug dascyllus:

Either a goby or a blenny:

Bluespine unicornfish:

Unknown species:

Of the fish we saw whilst snorkelling we identified the following:
  • Grey-streak lizardfish
  • Flutemouth
  • Lionfish
  • Redmouth grouper
  • Peacock rock cod
  • White-spotted grouper
  • Jacks
  • Harlequin sweetlips
  • Black pyramid butterflyfish
  • Double-saddled butterflyfish
  • Longnose butterflyfish
  • Reef bannerfish
  • Schooling bannerfish 
  • Regal angelfish
  • Sergeant major
  • Blue-green chromis
  • Batu wrasse
  • Bird wrasse
  • Blackeye thicklip wrasse
  • Checkerboard wrasse
  • Jansen's wrasse
  • Bridled parrotfish
  • Roundhead parrotfish
  • Several other species of parrotfish
  • Longfin batfish
  • Coral rabbitfish
  • Convict surgeonfish
  • Eye-stripe surgeonfish
  • Lined surgeonfish
  • Powder blue surgeonfish
  • Thompson's surgeonfish
  • Orangespine unicornfish 
  • Filefish
  • Indian triggerfish
  • Picasso triggerfish
  • Red-toothed triggerfish
  • Titan triggerfish
  • Black-spotted pufferfish
Ian also saw a moray eel and we both saw a couple of turtles on our last day, but it was quite murky and we don't know what species they were.

My favourite fish were the batfish as they were really friendly. A group of them came right up to us and followed us around for several minutes. They were about 30cm long and were nearly close enough to touch (not that we would). Some of my other favourites were the parrotfish, the wrasses and the titan triggerfish. I really enjoyed snorkelling and am looking forward to doing it again sometime in the future.


  1. Wow! I think your photos are terrific. The water is such a gorgeous colour, and what a terrific variety of marine life. What a treat for a pair of biologists to be able to spend time there. Sounds as if you had a wonderful time. :o) xox

  2. No need to apologise for the quality - they are great. Not sure which is my favourite but the sharks and jellyfish have to be the most impressive.

    What a long list of species you identified. I hope you get the chance to go snorkelling again soon.

  3. Thank you both. We did have a wonderful time and were very lucky to see such beautiful species up close.

  4. Beautiful. After this post, I have this idea that there should be a TV show for children showing them how much life there is in the ocean, or perhaps a movie shot here with all these fish in the background.
    Sorry, this was such a visual treat, I think that is why I thought of the above!

  5. I agree with Cj that there is no apology needed at all. I'd have been over the moon to capture some of those shots. I found with the photos of friends in Christchurch after the quakes that their photos were more believable and had a greater impact than the TV news. I can't explain why but the same is true here for me. The personal element makes it much more real.

    You also made me look up about Moray Eels which I thought were huge and vicious. Another myth exploded.