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state of
Syngnathidae +
Serranidae +++
Lutjanidae ++++
Chaetodontidae +
Pomacentridae ++
Labridae ++++
Scaridae ++++
Blenniidae ++
Labrisomidae *********
Chaenopsidae ++
Tripterygiidae ++
Gobiidae *********
Eleotridae *********
Microdesmidae *********
Monacanthidae +
Tetraodontidae ++
Other families in prep
and more family pages coming  


This webguide is a work in progress, with sporadic edits and in future additional family pages and photographs. I have started with a few large families that account for about a third of all reef fishes in the region: the gobies with about 150 species, the serranids with about 100 species, the labrisomids with about 50 species, and the chaenopsids with another 50 species. Most recent work has been on the early life history stages of labrisomids and chaenopsids in more detail than before.
Why keep my guide on the web? The main reason is that books and papers require that information be frozen in time: essentially a snapshot of knowledge at a particular moment. We used to accept this as inevitable and many of us probably don't even think about it. But it is clear that scientific information is continuously being updated and remodeled and it is somewhat discordant, and certainly inefficient, to produce and package the results in an occasional bolus. Unfortunately, most of us accept that authors will have their additions, changes, and errata somewhere on their desk and inaccessible (we hope only until the next edition). Even worse, when the subject is a compendium of information, such as a guide, authors often wait until it is in some form "complete" before submitting it to publication. Woe be unto the perfectionist in this case, for it may take a lifetime for some people to decide they are ready. That is all 20th-century thinking- there is no reason in the age of the internet not to have a work in progress made generally accessible.
Virtually all of the thousands of species of tropical reef fishes have a larval stage that spends weeks to months in the open ocean before returning to the reef to settle. This transition from pelagic larvae to settled juveniles is a profoundly important time for reef fishes. During this settlement transition, which usually occurs on moonless nights, the larvae have critical decisions to make: they need to select an appropriate habitat, avoid the ubiquitous predators, and change their shape and color for life on the reef. Understanding this early-life-history process is clearly important to understanding the population dynamics and, more broadly, the biogeography, ecology, and evolution of coral reef fishes.
Despite its undoubted importance, this transition has not been comprehensively studied and one of the reasons this may be true is the lack of information on late-stage larvae. I have been collecting these larvae, mostly by netting at a nightlight directly over the reef, but also with crest-nets and other techniques for many years. In addition, I have focused my daytime collecting on what some of us call "new recruits", the recently-transformed juvenile fishes that suddenly appear in the morning on the reef. key larval fishes
malacoctenus gilli juvenile
For some reason, almost all of the reef-fish larvae I collect at a nightlight are late-stage larvae ready to settle onto the reef. This is not an artifact of their attraction to the light: I have towed plankton nets in the area and I get a similar size complement of larvae. In addition, other techniques to collect incoming larval fish, such as crest nets, yield the same size categories of larvae.
collecting larval fishes
The simplest explanation for this phenomenon is that larval fish that are ready to settle somehow maneuver themselves into on-reef currents, perhaps just by rising to the surface water layer. There has been recent research indicating that reef-fish larvae are good swimmers and can actively orient towards reefs. Whichever way they manage it, almost all of the larvae I capture are around the particular settlement size range for their species. This can be very helpful in identifying larvae.
There are a number of excellent books on larval identification and the early life history stages of fishes. Most include copious drawings of reef-fish larvae and also focus on the earlier stages of fish larvae: Jeff Leis has multiple books with comprehensive coverage of the Indo-Pacific species of reef and shore fishes.
For the Atlantic, there is the massive larval fish book edited by Bill Richards:

Richards, W.J. (2005) Early Stages Of Atlantic Fishes: An Identification Guide For The Western Central North Atlantic, Vols. 1 and 2

It covers pelagic fishes and deepwater fishes as well as shore and reef species and captures the state of the art from a few years ago. Portions of this otherwise prohibitively expensive and hard-to-find book can be viewed on Google, but it is stark testimony to the limitations of spreading information with paper.
Lastly, the classic book by Michael Fahay (1983), the

Guide to the Early Stages of Marine Fishes Occurring in the Western North Atlantic Ocean
deals mostly with the temperate ichthyoplankton of the Atlantic coast of the US, but with some overlap of coverage.
Malacoctenus erdmani larvae

The Australian Museum Larval Fishes website: the center of fish larvae knowledge for the Indo-Pacific.
the innovative egg raising and DNA sequencing ID by the late Allan Connell for Fish Eggs and Larvae from South African waters (

larval fishes
tropical fish larvae
Larval descriptions have been illustrated with line drawings for many years and the vast majority of books and scientific papers use line drawings almost exclusively. There are a few benefits to the use of drawings for early stage fishes; for example, otherwise-transparent details such as head spines and pectoral fin rays can be highlighted. Nevertheless, it is most likely that the main reason for line drawings is the cost of printing photographs and the necessity to limit the number of pages and illustrations in the publishing process. As we all go digital and libraries merge into central databases and printing presses and paper go the way of the neighborhood bookstore, the situation reverses: line drawings become laborious and time-consuming and photographs become easily uploaded. Line drawings may become as quaint as the watercolors used for the illustrations in 19th century species descriptions. damselfishes
damselfish larvae
There are many limitations to line drawings. Perhaps the most problematic is that melanophores (the black spots usually prominent on fish larvae), especially small or delicate ones, disappear against a black line drawing and these melanophores are often the most critical element in larval identifications. The idealization of the drawing can also distort the real appearance of the larvae, emphasizing outlines and de-emphasizing shading, form, and especially color. Furthermore, there is usually marked variation in the appearance of fish larvae, both functional (such as melanophores expanded or pinpoint) and inherent (incomplete melanophore complements are common). This variation among individuals certainly argues against presenting an ideal. In addition, the development of metamorphic markings and morphological changes is a continuous process and it is, of course, impossible to pick one or two images to capture the information.
Now that digital photography and web publishing has streamlined the use of photography, it is possible to present many illustrations of a single larval type and get around the limitations of choosing a single or only a few diagnostic images. I hope to emulate the actual process of identification, which is to use a variety of views and backgrounds to create a gestalt that quickly identifies a larval type without following a key or character list to arrive at a diagnosis.
snapper larvae, lutjanidae

Along a similar vein, most of the literature to date bravely (or is it quixotically) tries to verbally describe larval shapes and melanophore patterns. More text is usually favored over more illustrations, probably because of the decreased costs of publication. This obviously limits the amount of information captured since it is technically impossible to render three-dimensional shapes and patterns into words. Furthermore, the location of markings and structures can only be given relative to other landmarks and is always limited in precision by the amount of text that can be printed, or even tolerated, by a reader. I therefore will try to avoid the temptation to add reams of description to the photographs, but I will insert a hopefully pithy verbal description when it is necessary to highlight relevant features.

larval scaled blennies
I present the photographs of larvae usually with a dark background, sometimes along with a matched photo taken against a light background so that the black melanophore pattern, and especially internal melanophores, can be seen. Photographs against dark backgrounds, like line drawings, can hide the small or edge melanophores that are often diagnostic for larval types. I also include detail photographs on pertinent features of the larvae that may be critical to identification or of specific interest. If there are transitional forms of interest, photographs of those are included. I also hope to add images of new recruits, especially for those groups with many similar species and distinctive juvenile markings.
larval pufferfish
Please note that most reef-fish biologists use the loose definition of the word "larvae", i.e. the stages of development before settlement to the reef, if they show a morphological difference from settled juveniles.
gobiidae fish larvae
This definition of early stage fishes excludes the pelagic juveniles of some species who are typically indistinguishable from reef-based juveniles and often float with drift objects: these fishes have essentially settled onto a drifting platform. As one can imagine, the few species that do this regularly are annoying to us mainly because they defy the usual interpretations of what defines "larvae", "settlement", and "pelagic larval duration". Reef fishes in this category include the Sargassum algal drift-associated juveniles, to some degree or another: the damselfishes of Abudefduf and Chromis (Pomacentridae), triggerfishes (Balistidae), filefishes (Monacanthidae), barracudas (Sphyraenidae), tripletails (Lobotidae), pipefishes and seahorses (Syngnathidae), and needlefishes (Belonidae).
Another intriguing discovery is the occasional pelagic adult reef fish. This is new information and may explain the sometimes contradictory findings of the degree of larval dispersal derived from study of larval pelagic durations versus the observed degree of gene flow in phylogenetic studies. The elusive pelagic adult is quite intriguing, and I hope to pursue this curious creature in future expeditions. Several sources of information indicate that this is happening, although to what degree is completely unknown. The original observation was by Ross Robertson who saw adults of the slingjaw wrasse, Epibulus insidiator, rising off of reefs and drifting away offshore (in Palau, a part of Micronesia, in the Western Pacific). Then there have been records of the rare adult reef fish caught in light traps far offshore (reports from the Great Barrier Reef) and observations of adult reef parrotfishes in schools in pelagic waters far from reefs (Enric Sala reports from diving in Cuba).
early life history of fishes
The significance of this phenomenon is unknown. Perhaps it is a way of relocating among reef systems for more advantageous feeding or reproduction, although this would require that the likelihood of returning to a reef outcrop be greater than the likelihood of being eaten by a tuna... somewhat hard to imagine. Alternatively, some pelagic adults may not be reef emigrants, but could be lost pelagic juveniles approaching maturity, perhaps associated with drift structure for protection, and haplessly waiting for a chance encounter with a reef. Larval mortality schedules must have a tail to the distribution and thus permit some small but real fraction of pelagic larvae to persist through transformation (if obligatory at some point) and even grow to adulthood offshore.
This is perhaps the most common question I am asked, since there is a bewildering variety of fish larvae in almost any collection. In addition, the possible candidates for any particular larva in the Caribbean or the eastern Pacific include a thousand reef-fish species, and perhaps another thousand other shorefish species and deepwater, midwater, and pelagic fishes as well. That total rises to many thousands as one approaches the center of diversity near Indonesia in the central Indo-Pacific. Fortunately, larval fishes, especially at later stages, are not uniform or even broadly similar; in fact, they can often have even more divergent characters than do the adults. For example, virtually all reef fishes have round eyes after settlement, while their larvae can have widely-varying eye morphologies, often narrowed or tilted and sometimes exhibiting bizarre shapes.
larval scorpionfish
In addition, some taxa have larvae with greatly-extended fin spines or rays, sometimes many times longer than the larva itself. There is also a great diversity in spine development, with many larvae having complex spine ornamentation on the head or fins, often lost or inconspicuous on adults. Finally, an important character at higher taxonomic levels for fishes is the number of myomeres, the muscle segments making up the body. These are hidden under pigment and skin in juvenile and adult fishes, but are clearly obvious and countable in most larval fishes.
Some taxa fortunately develop the typical juvenile appearance as late-stage larvae and are thus easy to identify from known-juvenile markings and coloration. Typically these larvae still do show some subtle adaptations to pelagic life, often a silvery sheen and shades of black, gray and brown or red instead of the usual bright colors. Red does not penetrate seawater well and would appear gray, especially in low-light conditions. Examples of fishes using this strategy include the angelfishes (Pomacanthidae), the butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae), and the squirrelfishes (Holocentridae). A larval Pomacanthus arcuatus, only 8.2 mm SL, is pictured at right. Pomacanthidae larvae
larval reef fishes
Others live among drift algae and are camouflaged by markings similar, but not identical, to those of settled juveniles. The camouflage is an adaptation to avoid being eaten by the ubiquitous pelagic predators which target floating objects in the open ocean, such as tunas and mahi-mahi (dolphinfish). Larvae following this strategy include some pipefishes and seahorses (Syngnathidae), triggerfishes (Balistidae), and filefishes (Monacanthidae).
larval Labrisomus albigenys
Identification to genus and species in larvae with a more generic appearance can be much more difficult. Most generic types of reef fish larvae are transparent and very small and, while they are alive, look just like tiny slivers of glass with eyes. When there are just a few genera or species in a group, the fin-ray counts are usually diagnostic to species. In some of the more speciose groups with large sets of closely related species, such as the gobies (Gobiidae) and the gobioids (Gobioidei), the scaled blennies (Labrisomidae), the snappers (Lutjanidae), the seabasses and groupers (Serranidae), as well as parrotfishes (Scaridae), wrasses (Labridae), and some damselfishes (Pomacentridae), the number of possible species can be overwhelming and I have to resort to some other method of identification. There are a variety of ways to do this, some simple and some using the latest molecular techniques.
Most reef fish larvae do resemble juveniles and adults in basic form, and, especially, in the number of fin spines and rays and myomeres. This is the primary method of identification for early life history stages and works almost all the time for family, most of the time for genus, and often for species.
Of course, this is essentially a process of elimination and it is much easier in the Caribbean, with only a few hundred possible candidates, versus the Indo-Pacific where there can be thousands of reef fish species occurring at one particular site. The eastern Pacific region is generally similar to the Caribbean in numbers of reef fish species. The majority of my specimens are Caribbean, most from the San Blas Islands of Panama, so I will start developing the guide for these fishes. Other Caribbean sites from which I have collected include Belize, Puerto Rico, and St. Thomas. I have also collected fishes at the Brazilian island of Fernando de Noronha, where there is an unusual complement of reef fishes, some endemic and some widespread Caribbean gobies Elacatinus
A particularly useful variant of the process of elimination is the examination of fishes from isolated regions where only a subset of the group is present (i.e. depauperate locations). This is a very useful method in some groups where the larvae of similar species can be very difficult to separate. For example, there are numerous very similar gobies of Coryphopterus in the Caribbean, but only one species occurs on the island of Noronha far off the coast of Brazil.
Another useful variant is using the similarity with sibling species in the eastern Pacific Ocean to refine the process of elimination. When identifications of larval types becomes difficult because there are several Caribbean species that all share fin ray counts, the situation may be different on the Pacific side of Central America. The isthmus of Panama rose about three million years ago, and there are numerous reef fish genera with species on both sides of the isthmus, often as very similar species pairs or "sibling species".
On the other hand, some genera occur on only one side, and the presence (or even absence) of a particular larval type onone side or the other can contribute to the process of elimination and confirm an identification. For example, the sleeper Erotelis smaragdus shares its fin ray counts with other Caribbean sleepers, making it a problem for identification. But, in the eastern Pacific, the sibling species Erotelis armiger has a unique fin ray count among the eastern Pacific sleepers. atlantic fish larvae
I now have collected a series of sleeper larvae with that fin ray count from near the Galapagos Islands, and they are almost identical to the putative Erotelis smaragdus larval type... thus confirming the identification for the Caribbean larval type. Another example is an unusual Caribbean goby larval type with a fin ray count matching several Ctenogobius, but also the monotypic Evorthodus lyricus. Again, I have collected an identical larval type from the eastern Pacific Ocean, where, fortuitously, there are only two Ctenogobius species (neither of which match the fin ray count), but there exists the sibling of the Caribbean Evorthodus species, Evorthodus minutus, with the appropriate fin ray count. That nicely confirms the identification of the Caribbean larval type as Evorthodus lyricus.
On close examination, many larval types have very characteristic and remarkably consistent patterns of melanophores. Often, they also have specific patterns of other chromatophores. Pigment cells in fishes include the classic melanophores which comprise black and brown spots, iridophores which are mirror-like spots that simply reflect light and often appear silvery, leukophores which are white, and xanthophores which range from yellow to orange to red. Unfortunately xanthophore pigments dissolve rapidly in solvents and are not usually preserved. fish larvae of the caribbean
larval halichoeres Now why would these markings be so prominent and so specific? I think pelagic larvae use these for species identification. Perhaps they prefer to travel together while in the open ocean and settle together. I have noticed that sometimes several new recruits of a particularly uncommon species will show up on the same rock on the same morning, with no other recruits for miles around. Interesting....
pelagic larvae ichthyology Fortunately, in most reef fishes the larval markings are quite different from the juvenile markings. Larval melanophores are typically large, often stellate, individual black spots that extend below the skin surface. These markings are replaced during the settlement transition by metamorphic melanophores in the patterns shown by juveniles on the reef. These arrays of additional melanophores (and sometimes leukophores and iridophores), are usually much smaller and right at the skin surface. In addition, they are typically numerous and in dense patches that often begin on the head and develop posteriorly following the pattern of the juvenile markings of the species. This transitional larva of a scaled blenny (Labrisomidae) shows the prominent three larval melanophores surrounded by the patches of fine metamorphic melanophores. In many species, this transition can take days and often the larval markings coexist with the developing juvenile patterns. These metamorphic melanophores are invaluable for identifications.
oceanography fish
So an excellent method of identifying larvae is to find the occasional pelagic larva that has started to transform and is developing the characteristic juvenile markings while still in the water column. Alternatively, I often have collected new recruits on the reef that still have some identifiable larval melanophore patterns, i.e. transitional recruits. Both of these forms of missing links can indicate what species that type of larvae represents.
The most recent advance is the use of DNA sequencing to identify larvae. This technique is rapidly becoming the gold standard for larval identification. Once a library of sequences is known for a group of species, then individual larvae can be sequenced and matched to the known species. This method requires a full set of species-specific sequences for a taxon, which is not always easy to assemble. Nevertheless, the Barcode of Life Project has rapidly accumulated a large set of fish reference sequences as part of the FISH-BOL campaign, in the BOLD database, at present about 75% complete for the tropical W. Atlantic shorefish fauna. Mitochondrial DNA sequence matching has resolved some of the more tricky ID situations, such as the damselfishes of Stegastes, the labrids of Halichoeres, the parrotfishes of Sparisoma, the snappers of Lutjanus, and the gobies of Bathygobius, Lythrypnus, and Coryphopterus. In addition to confirmatory IDs, sequence analyses are wonderful tools for discovering new and/or cryptic species; indeed, a number of recent publications have documented the additional new species, especially among the blennioids and gobies. Another benefit of sequencing reef fishes is discovering surprising and unexpected patterns of relatedness (although a long list of caveats should follow: "phylogenetic relationships require multiple loci and appropriate statistical analyses to ensure any robustness!"). My sequences for the labrids confirmed (in agreement with other published trees) that Halichoeres maculipinna is only distantly related to the other Halichoeres species and may be closer to the Thalassoma. In addition, with collections over wide geographic ranges, one can assess the degree of genetic divergence of isolated island populations. My sequences reveal that this divergence sometimes seems to show little relation to the duration of the pelagic larval phase. I cannot really explain this counter-intuitive finding and it surely indicates that the relationship between dispersal and speciation is not a simple one (to say the least). Clearly, a plethora of profound insights are about to arrive with the advent of widescale DNA sequencing of reef fishes.
Another method is to isolate the wild-caught larva and raise it in an aquarium tank until it develops identifiable juvenile markings. This method can be labor intensive and requires the larva not to be so delicate that it dies from handling. In addition, there is a piscine Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, which is that one cannot keep the larva in preservative and also raise it alive. If it is possible to examine the living larva close enough (and even photograph it) and then raise it, an identification can be made.
An alternative, although much more intensive and expensive, method to document the early life history of reef fishes is to raise the fish from the egg through the larval period in the laboratory. This is being achieved more recently as techniques for feeding notoriously delicate reef fish larvae are perfected (see for example the Red Snapper, Lutjanus campechanus). There are some indications, however, that laboratory-raised larvae may look somewhat different from "real" larvae since they are certainly living in unnatural conditions and may grow at different rates. In addition, they would be undoubtedly confused as to when and whether they should enter transition. larval fish identification
Identifications will be presented to the lowest taxonomic level of which I am reasonably sure. A question mark after the genus or species name indicates that I am not reasonably sure of the identification. This could mean that the identification is simply of the most likely species without any other good reason to choose it, or, less commonly, that the identification fits by some criterion but I am suspicious because it doesn't "look right". Some larval types may, of course, include other closely-related species that have identical larval features. If this is the case, it will be indicated by a plus sign after the species name. If the features of the larval type are unique, or all of the related species sharing the fin ray counts are accounted for, then there will be no plus sign.
Diagnosis: If necessary, I explain how the identification is made in a diagnosis paragraph. The critical features for the ID are highlighted. If it is needed, the methods I have used for larval identification, such as unique and specific morphology or fin ray counts (U), the process of elimination (PE), DNA sequence matching (DNA), or raising in captivity (R) are indicated at the end of the diagnosis paragraph. snapper larva
Analogues: For most larval descriptions, the diagnosis paragraph is sufficient to separate larval types, but, for some groups of species with similar-appearing larvae, such as the gobies, I often include an additional paragraph on how that larval type can be separated from other closely-allied larvae.
Terminology: In the text, larvae are immature fishes caught in waters above or off the reef (usually at night), typically with adaptations to open ocean dwelling, such as transparency or silvery coloration, extended spines and often a different set of markings from juveniles of the species. Transitional larvae are immature fishes caught in waters above or off the reef (also usually at night) who have started to develop juvenile markings and morphology. Transitional recruits are fishes associated with the reef substrate who have retained remnants of larval markings along with their juvenile markings and morphology. They typically are out during the day and behave as normal juveniles. Recruits are newly-settled fishes associated with the reef substrate (let's say less than a couple of weeks on the reef). Juveniles are young fishes on the reef who are no longer newly-settled.
Each photograph is associated with a caption including the identification to the lowest taxonomic level possible, the standard length (SL) in millimeters of the specimen, as well as the collection location and collection code number. Lastly, important features that need to be highlighted in the illustration are often included in parentheses following the collection information. The data associated with the collection numbers (specific location, date, etc.) can be found in my inventory files, which are progressively being updated and posted to the web. Caribbean fish larvae
Western Atlantic fish larvae PERMISSIONS
My photographs are freely available for reproduction and use in non-commercial applications. Please e-mail me for permissions, if warranted (e-mail ben followed by at sign, then The web versions posted here are mostly about 500 pixels wide and run from 20 to 120 kb. I have larger resolution versions, usually about 1.5 mb jpegs, available for uses that require better resolution.
flexion larvae recruitment of fish larvae recruitment of fish larvae replenishment of fish larvae
recruitment of coral reef fish larvae fish larval dispersal larval life history larval tuna


(including the Gulf of Mexico)

Fish families following Randall's book, but with updated, expanded, and revised species lists

excluding elasmobranchs

including numerous species found in non-reef habitats (if the family has reef-associated members)

but sometimes excluding sets of deep-water species (over ~30 m depth)


(click on the family name to jump down to species list)
Elopidae Megalopidae Albulidae Clupeidae Engraulidae Synodontidae Anguillidae Heterenchelyidae Moringuidae Chlopsidae Muraenidae Muraenesocidae Ophichthidae Congridae Antennariidae Ogcocephalidae Gobiesocidae Ophidiidae Bythitidae Carapidae Batrachoididae Belonidae Hemiramphidae Atherinidae Atherinopsidae Fistulariidae Aulostomidae Syngnathidae Anomalopidae Holocentridae Scorpaenidae Dactylopteridae Triglidae Serranidae Grammatidae Centropomidae Priacanthidae Apogonidae Malacanthidae Cirrhitidae Mugilidae Sphyraenidae Polynemidae Rachycentridae Echeneidae Carangidae Scombridae Lutjanidae Haemulidae Inermiidae Sparidae Sciaenidae Mullidae Pempheridae Lobotidae Gerreidae Kyphosidae Ephippidae Bothidae Paralichthyidae Achiridae Cynoglossidae Chaetodontidae Pomacanthidae Pomacentridae Labridae Scaridae Opistognathidae Blenniidae Labrisomidae Chaenopsidae Tripterygiidae Dactyloscopidae Gobiidae Ptereleotridae Eleotridae Microdesmidae Callionymidae Acanthuridae Balistidae Monacanthidae Ostraciidae Tetraodontidae Diodontidae
Elops saurus Ladyfish (US coastline to N Florida and Gulf of Mexico)
Elops smithi Caribbean Ladyfish (new cryptic species found in the Caribbean and S Florida)
Megalops atlanticus Tarpon
Albula conorhynchus (extra species aff. vulpes in Caribbean)
Albula goreensis (the "garcia" form, widespread Florida and Caribbean)
Albula nemoptera Threadfin bonefish (estuarine)
Albula vulpes Bonefish

Alosa alabamae Alabama shad (anadromous, Gulf of Mexico)
Alosa chrysochlorus Skipjack shad (anadromous, Gulf of Mexico)

Brevoortia gunteri Finescale menhaden (Gulf of Mexico)
Brevoortia patronus Gulf menhaden (Gulf of Mexico)
Brevoortia smithi Yellowfin menhaden (Gulf of Mexico)

Chirocentrodon bleekerianus Dogtooth herring (Pristigasteridae)

Dorosoma anale Mexican river gizzard shad (freshwater, Mexico to Belize)
Dorosoma cepedianum Gizzard shad (anadromous, Gulf of Mexico)
Dorosoma petenense Threadfin shad (anadromous, Gulf of Mexico to Belize)

Etrumeus teres Round herring

Harengula clupeola False herring
Harengula humeralis Redear herring
Harengula jaguana Scaled herring

Jenkinsia lamprotaenia Dwarf round herring
Jenkinsia majua Little-eye round herring (N. Caribbean)
Jenkinsia parvula Shortstriped round herring (NE Venezuela)
Jenkinsia stolifera Shortband or Florida round herring (widespread)

Lile piquitinga Atlantic piquitinga (Panama to Brazil)

Neoopisthopterus cubanus Cuban longfin herring (Cuba only?, Pristigasteridae)

Odontognathus compressus Caribbean longfin herring (Southern Caribbean, Pristigasteridae)
Odontognathus mucronatus Guiana longfin herring (Trinidad and south, Pristigasteridae)

Opisthonema oglinum Atlantic thread herring

Pellona harroweri Coastal pellona (Panama to Brazil, Pristigasteridae)

Sardinella aurita Round sardinella, Spanish sardine (Atlantic Ocean)
Sardinella janeiro (unresolved how it is different from S. aurita, widespread; S. brasiliensis is synonym)


Anchoa belizensis Belize anchovy (freshwater, Belize)
Anchoa cayorum Key anchovy
Anchoa colonensis Narrow-striped anchovy (Caribbean only, replaces A. hepsetus)
Anchoa cubana (widespread)
Anchoa filifera Longfinger anchovy
Anchoa hepsetus Broad-striped anchovy (Gulf of Mexico northwards, Venezuela southwards)
Anchoa lamprotaenia Big-eye anchovy
Anchoa lyolepis Shortfinger anchovy
Anchoa mitchilli Bay anchovy (Gulf of Mexico northwards)
Anchoa parva Little anchovy (Caribbean only, replaces A. mitchilli)
Anchoa spinifer Spicule anchovy (Panama to Brazil)
Anchoa trinitatus Trinidad anchovy (Gulf of Venezuela to Trinidad)

Anchovia clupeoides Zabaleta anchovy

Anchoviella blackburni (Gulf of Venezuela only)
Anchoviella elongata Elongate anchovy (Belize to Panama and Colombia)
Anchoviella perfasciata (widespread)

Cetengraulis edentulus Atlantic anchoveta

Engraulis eurystole Silver anchovy (Florida northwards and Venezuela southwards)

Lycengraulis grossidens Atlantic sabretooth anchovy (Gulf of Venezuela eastward plus Belize)

Saurida brasiliensis Largescale lizardfish
Saurida caribbaea Smallscale lizardfish
Saurida normani Shortjaw lizardfish
Saurida suspicio Suspicious lizardfish

Synodus bondi
Synodus foetens Inshore lizardfish
Synodus intermedius Sand diver
Synodus macrostigmus (US and GOM, new sp. 2013)
Synodus poeyi Offshore lizardfish
Synodus saurus Atlantic lizardfish (Bermuda, Bahamas, NE Caribbean and E Atlantic)
Synodus synodus Diamond lizardfish (E and W Atlantic)

Trachinocephalus myops Snakefish (worldwide warmer water, except E Pacific)

Anguilla rostrata Freshwater eel (pelagic larvae in the region)
Pythonichthys sanguineus
Moringua edwardsi Spaghetti eel

Neoconger mucronatus

(excluding several deep-water taxa from 20-500 m depth)

Catesbya pseudomuraena (Bahamas)

Chilorhinus suensonii Seagrass eel

Kaupichthys hyoproroides False moray
Kaupichthys nuchalis Collared eel

Anarchias similis Pygmy eel

Channomuraena vittata Broadbanded moray

Echidna catenata Chain moray

Enchelycore anatina Fangtooth moray (deep-water, Florida, Bermuda)
Enchelycore carychroa Chestnut moray
Enchelycore nigricans Viper moray

Gymnothorax conspersus Saddled moray (deep-water)
Gymnothorax funebris Green moray
Gymnothorax hubbsi Lichen moray (deep-water, Cuba north)
Gymnothorax kolpos Blacktail moray (Gulf of Mexico north)
Gymnothorax maderensis Sharktooth moray (deep-water)
Gymnothorax miliaris Goldentail moray
Gymnothorax moringa Spotted moray
Gymnothorax nigromarginatus Blackedge moray (Gulf of Mexico to Honduras)
Gymnothorax ocellatus Mottlemargin moray
Gymnothorax polygonius Polygon moray
Gymnothorax saxicola Honeycomb moray (Gulf of Mexico north)
Gymnothorax vicinus Purplemouth moray

Monopenchelys acuta Redface eel

Muraena retifera Reticulate moray
Muraena robusta
Stout moray

Uropterygius macularius Marbled moray


Cynoponticus savanna Pike-conger

(excluding numerous deep-water taxa from 20-500 m depth)

Ahlia egmontis Key worm eel

Aplatophis chauliodus Tusky eel

Aprognathodon platyventris Stripe eel

Apterichtus ansp Academy eel
Apterichtus kendalli Finless Eel (Florida, Bahamas, Venezuela)

Bascanichthys bascanium Sooty eel (Gulf of Mexico and Florida north)
Bascanichthys inopinatus (Puerto Rico +?)
Bascanichthys scuticaris
Whip eel (Gulf of Mexico and Florida north)

Callechelys bilinearis Twostripe snake eel
Callechelys guineensis Shorttail snake eel

Echiophus intercinctus Spotted spoon-nose eel
Echiophus punctifer Stippled spoon-nose eel

Ichthyapus ophioneus Surf eel

Myrichthys breviceps Sharptail eel
Myrichthys ocellatus Goldspotted eel

Myrophis anterodorsalis Longfin worm eel
Myrophis platyrhynchus Broadnose worm eel
Myrophis punctatus Speckled worm eel

Ophichthus cruentifer Margined Snake Eel (US, GOM, Venezuela)
Ophichthus cylindroideusTentacle-nosed Snake Eel (S. Caribbean)
Ophichthus gomesii Shrimp Eel
Ophichthus hyposagmatus Faint-saddled Snake Eel
Ophichthus melanoporus Spotted Snake Eel (Florida & GOM)
Ophichthus omorgmus Dotted-line Snake Eel (GOM)
Ophichthus ophis Spotted Snake Eel
Ophichthus puncticeps Palespotted Snake Eel
Ophichthus spinicauda Spikefin Snake Eel
Ophichthus rex Giant Snake Eel (Gulf of Mexico)

Quassiremus ascensionis Black-spotted snake eel

(excluding numerous deep-water taxa from 20-500 m depth)

Ariosoma anale Longtrunk conger
Ariosoma balearicum Bandtooth conger

Conger esculentus Grey conger
Conger oceanicus American conger (Gulf of Mexico, north)

Gorgasia sp. (larvae only, Western Caribbean)

Heteroconger longissimus Garden eel


Antennarius bermudensis Island frogfish
Antennarius multiocellatus Longlure frogfish
Antennarius ocellatus Ocellated frogfish
Antennarius pauciradiatus Dwarf frogfish
Antennarius striatus Striated frogfish

Histrio histrio Sargassumfish (worldwide tropical, except E Pacific)


(excluding some deep-water taxa from 40-1000 m depth)

Halieutichthys aculeatus Pancake batfish

Ogcocephalus corniger Longnose batfish (Gulf of Mexico and Florida)
Ogcocephalus cubifrons (Yucatan across to Bahamas)
Ogcocephalus declivirostris Slantbrow batfish (Gulf of Mexico and Florida)
Ogcocephalus nasutus Shortnose batfish (widespread)
Ogcocephalus notatus (Surinam south)
Ogcocephalus pantostictus (Gulf of Mexico)
Ogcocephalus parvus Roughback batfish
Ogcocephalus pumilis
Ogcocephalus radiatus Polka-dot batfish (synonym of O. cubifrons?)
Ogcocephalus rostellum
Ogcocephalus vespertilio Seadevil


Acyrtops amplicirrus
Acyrtops beryllinus Emerald clingfish

Acyrtus artius
Acyrtus rubiginosus Red clingfish

Arcos macrophthalmos (=Arcos nudus?)

Derilissus altifrons (Antilles, deep reefs)
Derilissus kremnobates (Arrowsmith bank, >100m)
Derilissus nanus (Bahamas, deep reefs)
Derilissus vittiger (Venezuela, >50m)

Gobiesox barbatulus (Belize and Brazil only?)
Gobiesox lucayanus (Bahamas)
Gobiesox nudus (lower FW drainages of S Caribbean, Antilles)
Gobiesox nigripinnis
Gobiesox punctulatus
Gobiesox strumosus Skilletfish

Rimicola brevis (= Acyrtops amplicirrus?)

Tomicodon briggsi (Belize, Grenadines, USVI)
Tomicodon clarkei (Belize holotype only)
Tomicodon cryptus (Cayman, Providencia, Bahamas & Antilles)
Tomicodon fasciatus Barred clingfish (USVI, Panama, Venezuela)
Tomicodon lavettsmithi (inshore Belize)
Tomicodon leurodiscus (Lesser Antilles)
Tomicodon reitzae (widespread)
Tomicodon rhabdotus (Lesser Antilles)
Tomicodon rupestris (Belize & San Andres across to Bahamas & USVI)


(excluding numerous deep-water taxa from 20-8000 m depth)

Brotula barbata

Petrotyx sanguineus

(excluding numerous deep-water taxa from 20-500 m depth)

Lepophidium brevivarbe

Ophidion beani (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)
Ophidion grayi (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)
Ophidion holbrookii (= Ophidion holbrooki)
Ophidion josephi (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)
Ophidion lagochila
Ophidion marginatum
Ophidion nocomis (Antilles)
Ophidion selenops (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)
Ophidion welshi (Florida and Gulf of Mexico, incl. Ophidion marginatum?)

Otophidium chickcharney (Bahamas)
Otophidium dormitator
Otophidium omostigma (= Otophidium omostigmum)

Parophidion schmidti

(excluding numerous deep-water taxa from 20-2000 m depth)

Calamopteryx goslinei (Antilles)

Dinematichthys minyomma

Grammonus claudei Reef-cave brotula

Gunterichthys longipenis Gold brotula (Gulf of Mexico)

Lucifuga dentata (Cuban caves)
Lucifuga simile (Cuban caves)
Lucifuga spelaeotes New Providence cusk eel (Bahamas caves)
Lucifuga subterranea (Cuban caves)
Lucifuga teresinarum (Cuban caves)

Ogilbia boehlki
Ogilbia cayorum Key brotula
Ogilbia jeffwilliamsi
Ogilbia mccoskeri
Ogilbia sabaji
Ogilbia suarezi
Ogilbia tyleri

Ogilbichthys ferocis
Ogilbichthys haitiensis
Ogilbichthys kakuki
Ogilbichthys longimanus
Ogilbichthys microphthalmus
Ogilbichthys puertoricoensis
Ogilbichthys tobagoensis


Carapus bermudensis

Echiodon dawsoni Chain pearlfish (deep-water, eastern Gulf of Mexico)

Snyderia canina (deep-water)

(excluding some deep-water taxa from over 100 m depth)

Amphichthys cryptocentrus (Panama to Brazil)
Amphichthys hildebrandi (Panama)

Batrachoides gilberti (coastal, Yucatan to Panama)
Batrachoides manglae (Venezuela)
Batrachoides surinamensis (coastal, Honduras south to Brazil)

Opsanus beta (Florida, Bahamas, and Gulf of Mexico)
Opsanus dichrostomus (coastal, western Caribbean)
Opsanus pardus (Gulf of Mexico)
Opsanus phobetron (Bahamas, Cuba)
Opsanus tau (Florida north)

Porichthys pauciradiatus
Porichthys plectrodon Atlantic midshipman (close to P. porosissimus from Brazil)

Sanopus astrifer (Mesoamerican Barrier Reef)
Sanopus barbatus (Honduras to Panama)
Sanopus greenfieldorum (Belize)
Sanopus johnsoni (Palancar at Cozumel, Mexico)
Sanopus reticulatus (Progreso, Yucatan)
Sanopus splendidus (Cozumel, Mexico)

Thalassophryne maculosa (Colombia, Venezuela, to Tobago)
Thalassophryne megalops (Panama, Colombia)
Thalassophryne nattereri (Tobago southwards)

Vladichthys gloverensis (Belize, Panama?)


Ablennes hians Flat needlefish (world-wide)

Platybelone argalus Keeltail needlefish

Strongylura marina (continental coastline)
Strongylura notata Redfin needlefish
Strongylura timucu Timucu

Tylosurus acus Agujon
Tylosurus crocodilus Hound needlefish

Euleptorhamphus velox Flying halfbeak

Hemiramphus balao Balao halfbeak
Hemiramphus brasiliensis Ballyhoo

Hyporhamphus meeki (Gulf of Mexico, Florida north)
Hyporhamphus mexicanus (freshwater, Guatemala/Veracruz)
Hyporhamphus roberti Slender halfbeak
Hyporhamphus unifasciatus Common halfbeak


Alepidomus evermanni Cuban silverside (Cuba only)

Atherinomorus stipes Hardhead silverside

Hypoatherina harringtonensis Reef silverside

(excluding freshwater species and numerous estuarine species with restricted geographic ranges)

Atherinella blackburni (continental coast, Belize to Brazil)
Atherinella milleri (Belize to Costa Rica)

Melanorhinus microps Querimana silverside

Membras martinica Rough silverside (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)

Menidia beryllina Inland silverside (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)
Menidia peninsulae Tidewater silverside (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)


Fistularia tabacaria Cornetfish
Fistularia petimba Red cornetfish

Aulostomus maculatus Trumpetfish

Amphelikturus dendriticus

Anarchopterus criniger (Bahamas, Florida, Gulf of Mexico)
Anarchopterus tectus Insular pipefish

Bryx dunckeri Pugnose pipefish
Bryx randalli

Cosmocampus albirostris
Cosmocampus brachycephalus Crested pipefish
Cosmocampus elucens Shortfin pipefish
Cosmocampus hildebrandi (Florida)
Cosmocampus profundus (deep)

Halicampus crinitus (=Micrognathus crinitus)(final=Brazil only)
Halicampus ensenadae Banded pipefish (=Micrognathus ensenadae)(Caribbean)
Halicampus vittatus (=Micrognathus vittatus)(final=Brazil only)

Hippocampus erectus Lined seahorse
Hippocampus reidi Longsnout seahorse
Hippocampus zosterae Dwarf seahorse (Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Cuba, Bahamas)

Minyichthys inusitatus

Oostethus brachyurus Opossum pipefish (= Microphis brachyurus)

Penetopteryx nanus Finless pipefish

Pseudophallus mindii

Syngnathus affinis (Gulf of Mexico, prob= S. scovelli)
Syngnathus caribbaeus Caribbean pipefish
Syngnathus dawsoni
Syngnathus floridae Dusky pipefish
Syngnathus fuscus (Florida to Canada)
Syngnathus louisianae (Florida and Gulf of Mexico, Jamaica)
Syngnathus makaxi (Isla Mujeres, Yucatan, local S. scovelli)
Syngnathus pelagicus Sargassum pipefish
Syngnathus scovelli Gulf pipefish (widespread)
Syngnathus springeri (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)

Kryptophaneron alfredi Flashlight fish (widespread, off deep dropoffs)
Holocentrus adscensionis Squirrelfish (also Holocentrus ascensionis)
Holocentrus rufus Longspine squirrelfish

Myripristis jacobus Blackbar soldierfish

Neoniphon marianus Longjaw squirrelfish

Plectrypops retrospinis Cardinal soldierfish

Sargocentron bullisi Deepwater squirrelfish (also Holocentrus bullisi)
Sargocentron coruscum Reef squirrelfish (also Holocentrus coruscus)
Sargocentron poco Saddle squirrelfish
Sargocentron vexillarium
Dusky squirrelfish (Bahamas, also Texas, Cayman Islands)

(excluding many deep-water taxa from over 50 m depth)

Pterois volitans Lionfish (introduced species, spreading rapidly)

Scorpaena albifimbria
Scorpaena bergii
Scorpaena brasiliensis
Scorpaena calcarata
Scorpaena dispar
Scorpaena grandicornis Plumed scorpionfish
Scorpaena inermis Mushroom scorpionfish
Scorpaena isthmensis
Scorpaena plumieri Spotted scorpionfish

Scorpaenodes caribbaeus Reef scorpionfish
Scorpaena tredecemspinosus Deepreef scorpionfish

Dactylopterus volitans Flying gurnard
Bellator brachychir
Bellator egretta (N Caribbean)
Bellator militaris
Bellator ribeiroi (S Caribbean)

Prionotus alatus (Gulf of Mexico and Florida north)
Prionotus beanii (S Caribbean)
Prionotus longispinosus (Gulf of Mexico)
Prionotus martis (Gulf of Mexico)
Prionotus murielae (Bahamas)
Prionotus ophryas
Prionotus paralatus (Gulf of Mexico)
Prionotus punctatus Bluewing searobin
Prionotus roseus
Prionotus rubio (Gulf of Mexico, Cuba and Florida north)
Prionotus scitulus
Prionotus stearnsi
Prionotus tribulus (Gulf of Mexico and Florida north)

larval serranid and hamlet larvae
larval serranid and hamlet larvae
larval serranid and hamlet larvae
Alphestes afer Mutton hamlet

Anthias asperilinguis
Anthias nicholsi
Anthias tenuis
Anthias woodsi

Baldwinella aureorubens (ex-Hemanthias & Pronotogrammus)
Baldwinella vivanus

Bathyanthias atlanticus (French Guiana, plus S. Carib?)
Bathyanthias cubensis (valid?)
Bathyanthias mexicanus (Gulf of Mexico only?) ex-Pikea

Bullsichthys caribbaeus

Centropristis fuscula (Cuba north)
Centropristis philadelphica (Gulf of Mexico north)
Centropristis ocyura (Gulf of Mexico, Florida Keys north)
Centropristis striata (Gulf of Mexico north)

Cephalopholis cruentata Graysby (= Petrometopon cruentatus)
Cephalopholis fulva Coney (= Epinephelus fulvus)

Dermatolepis inermis Marbled grouper (= Epinephelus inermis)

Diplectrum bivittatum
Diplectrum formosum (Florida and Gulf of Mexico, Colombia south)
Diplectrum radiale (S Caribbean to Brazil)

Epinephelus adscensionis Rock hind
Epinephelus drummondhayi (Texas to Bermuda)
Epinephelus flavolimbatus Yellowedge grouper
Epinephelus guttatus Red hind
Epinephelus itajara Jewfish or Goliath grouper
Epinephelus morio Red grouper
Epinephelus mystacinus Misty grouper
Epinephelus nigritus Warsaw grouper
Epinephelus niveatus Snowy grouper
Epinephelus striatus Nassau grouper

Gonioplectrus hispanus Spanish flag

Hemanthias leptus (Gulf of Mexico)
Hemanthias vivanus

Hypoplectrus aberrans Yellowbelly Hamlet
Hypoplectrus atlahua Jarocho Hamlet (new sp. Tavera & Acero 2013)
Hypoplectrus castroaguirrei Veracruz Hamlet (new sp. Del Moral-Flores et al. 2011)
Hypoplectrus chlorurus Yellowtail Hamlet
Hypoplectrus ecosur Contoy Barred Hamlet (Contoy, Yucatan only; new sp. 2012)
Hypoplectrus floridae Florida Barred Hamlet (S Florida; new sp. 2012)
Hypoplectrus gemma Blue Hamlet (S. Florida and Alacranes Reef)
Hypoplectrus gummigutta Golden Hamlet
Hypoplectrus guttavarius Shy Hamlet
Hypoplectrus indigo Indigo Hamlet
Hypoplectrus maculiferus
Hypoplectrus maya Maya Hamlet (MAB lagoon; new sp. 2011)
Hypoplectrus nigricans Black Hamlet
Hypoplectrus providencianus Masked Hamlet (San Andres, Providencia, W Caribbean)
Hypoplectrus puella Barred Hamlet
Hypoplectrus randallorum Tan Hamlet, new sp. 2011
Hypoplectrus unicolor Butter Hamlet

Jeboehlkia gladifer

Liopropoma aberrans (Cuba and Bahamas)
Liopropoma carmabi
Liopropoma eukrines (Gulf of Mexico)
Liopropoma mowbrayi Cave bass
Liopropoma olneyi Yellow-spotted Golden Bass, new sp. 2014
Liopropoma rubre
Liopropoma santi Spot-tail Golden Bass, new sp. 2014

Mycteroperca acutirostrus Comb grouper
Mycteroperca bonaci Black grouper
Mycteroperca cidi (Venezuela)
Mycteroperca interstitialis Yellowmouth grouper
Mycteroperca microlepis Gag (US to Yucatan, Brazil)
Mycteroperca phenax Scamp (US, Gulf of Mexico)
Mycteroperca tigris Tiger grouper
Mycteroperca venenosa Yellowfin grouper

Paralabrax dewegeri (Venezuela to Brazil)

Paranthias furcifer

Parasphyraenops atrimanus
Parasphyraenops incisus

Plectranthias garrupellus

Pronotogrammus martinicensis

Pseudogramma gregoryi Reef bass

Rypticus bistrispinus
Rypticus bornoi (includes Rypticus macrostigmus)
Rypticus maculatus (US and Gulf of Mexico)
Rypticus randalli (= Rypticus brachyrhinus)
Rypticus saponaceus Soapfish
Rypticus subbifrenatus

Schultzea beta

Serraniculus pumilio

Serranus annularis Orangeback bass
Serranus atrobranchus
Serranus baldwini Lantern bass
Serranus chionaraia
Serranus flaviventris Twinspot bass
Serranus luciopercanus
Serranus maytagi
Serranus notospilus
Serranus phoebe Tattler
Serranus subligarius Belted sandbass (US and Gulf of Mexico)
Serranus tabacarius Tobaccofish
Serranus tigrinus Harlequin bass
Serranus tortugarum Chalk bass


Gramma dejongi Dejong's basslet (new species 2010, S. Cuba only)
Gramma linki Yellowlined basslet
Gramma loreto Royal gramma
Gramma melacara Blackcap basslet

Lipogramma anabantoides
Lipogramma evides Banded basslet
Lipogramma flavescens Yellow basslet
Lipogramma klayi Bicolor basslet
Lipogramma trilineata Threeline basslet
Lipogramma regia Royal basslet
Lipogramma robinsi Yellowbar basslet
Lipogramma rosea Rosy basslet


Centropomus ensiferus Swordspine snook
Centropomus mexicanus
Centropomus parallelus Fat snook
Centropomus pectinatus Tarpon snook
Centropomus poeyi Mexican snook (Mexico to Belize)
Centropomus undecimalis Common snook
Cookeolus japonicus (deep-water)

Heteropriacanthus cruentatus Glasseye (= Priacanthus cruentatus)

Priacanthus arenatus Atlantic bigeye

Pristigenys alta Short bigeye (= Pseudopriacanthus altus)

Apogon affinis Bigtooth cardinalfish (deeper water)
Apogon aurolineatus
Apogon binotatus Barred cardinalfish
Apogon evermanni Oddscale cardinalfish
Apogon lachneri Whitestar cardinalfish
Apogon leptocaulus Slendertail cardinalfish (deeper water)
Apogon maculatus Flamefish
Apogon mosavi Dwarf cardinalfish (Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica +?)
Apogon phenax
Apogon pillionatus
Apogon planifrons Pale cardinalfish
Apogon pseudomaculatus Twospot cardinalfish
Apogon quadrisquamatus Sawcheek cardinalfish
Apogon robbyi Striped cardinalfish
Apogon robinsi Roughlip cardinalfish (Bahamas and Greater Antilles)
Apogon townsendi Belted cardinalfish

Astrapogon alutus Bronze cardinalfish
Astrapogon puncticulatus Blackfin cardinalfish
Astrapogon stellatus Conchfish

Phaeoptyx conklini Freckled cardinalfish
Phaeoptyx pigmentaria Dusky cardinalfish
Phaeoptyx xenus Sponge cardinalfish

Malacanthus plumieri Sand tilefish
Amblycirrhitus pinos Red-spotted Hawkfish
Agonostomus monticola Mountain mullet (freshwater adult)

Joturus pichardi Hognose mullet (freshwater adult)

Mugil cephalus Striped mullet (worldwide, but not Caribbean?)
Mugil curema White mullet
Mugil curvidens Dwarf mullet
Mugil gaimardianus
Mugil gyrans
Mugil hospes Hospe mullet (Belize and south)
Mugil incilis
Mugil liza Liza
Mugil trichodon


Sphyraena barracuda Great barracuda
Sphyraena guachancho
Sphyraena picudilla Southern sennet

Polydactylus octonemus Atlantic threadfin (US and Gulf of Mexico, and south?)
Polydactylus oligodon Smallscale threadfin
Polydactylus virginicus Barbu

Rachycentron canadum Cobia

Echeneis naucrates (often on reefs)
Echeneis neucratoides (W Atlantic)

Phtheirichthys lineatus Slender sharksucker

Remora australis Whalesucker (on cetaceans)
Remora brachyptera Spearfish remora (on billfishes)
Remora osteochir Marlinsucker (on billfishes)
Remora remora

Remorina albescens (on manta rays)


Alectis ciliaris African pompano

Carangoides bartholomaei Yellow jack
Carangoides crysos Blue runner
Carangoides ruber Bar jack

Caranx hippos Crevalle jack
Caranx latus Horse-eye jack
Caranx lugubris Black jack

Chloroscombrus chrysurus Atlantic bumper

Decapterus macarellus Mackerel scad
Decapterus punctatus Round scad
Decapterus tabl Roughear scad

Elagatis bipinnulatus Rainbow runner

Hemicaranx amblyrhynchus Bluntnose jack

Naucrates ductor Pilotfish

Oligoplites palometa (S Caribbean)
Oligoplites saliens Sauteur (S Caribbean)
Oligoplites saurus Leatherjacket

Pseudocaranx dentex White trevally

Selar crumenophthalmus Bigeye scad
Selene brownii Caribbean moonfish
Selene setapinnis Atlantic moonfish
Selene vomer Lookdown

Seriola dumerili Greater amberjack
Seriola fasciata Lesser amberjack
Seriola lalandi Yellowtail amberjack
Seriola rivoliana Almaco jack
Seriola zonata Banded rudderfish

Trachinotus carolinus Florida pompano
Trachinotus cayennensis Guiana pompano (S Caribbean)
Trachinotus falcatus Permit
Trachinotus goodei Palometa

Trachurus lathami Rough scad

Uraspis secunda Cottonmouth jack


Acanthocybium solandri Wahoo

Auxis rochei Bullet mackerel
Auxis thazard Frigate mackerel

Euthynnus alletteratus Little tunny

Katsuwonus pelamis Skipjack tuna

Sarda sarda Atlantic bonito (temperate/sub-tropical)

Scomber colias Atlantic chub mackerel (part? of Scomber japonicus)

Scomberomorus brasiliensis Serra Spanish mackerel (Belize south)
Scomberomorus cavalla King mackerel
Scomberomorus maculatus Spanish mackerel (Gulf of Mexico)
Scomberomorus regalis Cero

Thunnus alalunga Albacore tuna (temperate/sub-tropical)
Thunnus albacares Yellowfin tuna
Thunnus atlanticus Blackfin tuna
Thunnus obesus Bigeye tuna
Thunnus thynnus Northern bluefin tuna (temperate/sub-tropical)

red snapper larvae
larval grey snapper and lutjanid larvae
larval cubera snapper and lutjanid larvae
larval snappers and lutjanidae larvae
Apsilus dentatus Black snapper

Etelis oculatus Queen snapper

Lutjanus analis Mutton snapper
Lutjanus apodus Schoolmaster snapper
Lutjanus buccanella Blackfin snapper
Lutjanus campechanus Red snapper
Lutjanus cyanopterus Cubera snapper
Lutjanus griseus Gray snapper
Lutjanus jocu Dog snapper
Lutjanus mahogoni Mahogany snapper (sometimes L. mahogani)
Lutjanus purpureus Southern Red snapper (prob.= L. campechanus)
Lutjanus synagris Lane snapper
Lutjanus vivanus Silk snapper

Ocyurus chrysurus Yellowtail snapper

Pristipomoides aquilonaris Wenchman
Pristipomoides freemani Slender Wenchman (Florida/S Caribbean)
Pristipomoides macrophthalmus Cardinal snapper

Rhomboplites aurorubens Vermilion snapper


Anisotremus moricandi (Panama south)
Anisotremus surinamensis Black margate
Anisotremus virginicus Porkfish

Conodon nobilis Barred grunt

Genyatremus luteus (Colombia south)

Haemulon album White margate
Haemulon aurolineatum Tomtate
Haemulon bonariense Black grunt
Haemulon boschmae (Colombia to Venezuela)
Haemulon carbonarium Caesar grunt
Haemulon chrysargyreum Smallmouth grunt
Haemulon flavolineatum French grunt
Haemulon macrostomum Spanish grunt
Haemulon melanurum Cottonwick
Haemulon parra Sailor's choice
Haemulon plumieri White Grunt
Haemulon sciurus Bluestriped grunt
Haemulon steindachneri (Panama east, Pacific species)
Haemulon striatum Striped grunt

Orthopristis chrysoptera Pigfish (US to Mexico)
Orthopristis ruber (Honduras south)

Pomadasys corvinaeformis Roughneck grunt
Pomadasys crocro Burro grunt

Emmelichthyops atlanticus Bogita

Inermia vittata Boga

Archosargus probatocephalus Sheepshead seabream
Archosargus rhomboidalis Seabream

Calamus arctifrons (Gulf of Mexico)
Calamus bajonado Jolthead porgy
Calamus calamus Saucereye porgy
Calamus campechanus (Campeche only)
Calamus cervigoni (NE Venezuela)
Calamus leucosteus (Gulf of Mexico north)
Calamus nodosus (Gulf of Mexico north)
Calamus penna Sheepshead porgy
Calamus pennatula Pluma porgy
Calamus proridens (Gulf of Mexico north)

Diplodus argenteus Silver porgy
Diplodus holbrookii (Gulf of Mexico north)

Lagodon rhomboides Pinfish

Pagrus sedecim Red Porgy (= Pagrus pagrus)

Stenotomus caprinus Longspine porgy (Gulf of Mexico north)

Bairdiella batabana (= Corvula batabana)
Bairdiella chrysoura (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)
Bairdiella ronchus Ground croaker
Bairdiella sanctaeluciae Striped croaker (= Corvula sanctaeluciae)

Ctenosciaena gracilicirrhus (Nicaragua to Brazil)

Cynoscion acoupa (Panama to Argentina)
Cynoscion arenarius (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)
Cynoscion jamaicensis
Cynoscion leiarchus (Nicaragua to Brazil)
Cynoscion microlepidotus (Venezuela to Brazil)
Cynoscion nebulosus Spotted weakfish (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)
Cynoscion nothus Silver seatrout (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)
Cynoscion similis (S Caribbean)
Cynoscion virescens (Nicaragua to Brazil)

Equetus iwamotoi Blackbar drum (deep, = Pareques iwamotoi)
Equetus lanceolatus Jack-knife fish
Equetus punctatus Spotted drum

Isopisthus parvipinnis (Costa Rica to Brazil)

Larimus breviceps Shorthead drum
Larimus fasciatus (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)

Leiostomus xanthurus Spot (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)

Lonchurus elegans (S Caribbean)
Lonchurus lanceolatus (S Caribbean)

Macrodon ancylodon King weakfish (SE Caribbean)

Menticirrhus americanus Southern kingfish
Menticirrhus littoralis
Menticirrhus saxatilis (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)

Micropogonias furnieri
Micropogonias undulatus Atlantic croaker (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)

Nebris microps (Colombia to Brazil)

Odontoscion dentex Reef croaker

Ophioscion costaricensis (= Stellifer microps?, Costa Rica and Suriname)
Ophioscion panamensis (valid?, Belize to Panama)
Ophioscion punctatissimus (Panama to Brazil, and Puerto Rico)

Paralonchurus brasiliensis (Panama to Brazil)

Pareques acuminatus High-hat (= Equetus acuminatus)
Pareques umbrosus Cubbyu

Pogonias cromis Black drum

Sciaena bathytatus (S Caribbean, deep-water)
Sciaena trewavasae (=Protosciaena trewavasae, deep-water)

Sciaenops ocellatus Red Drum (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)

Stellifer chaoi (Colombia and Venezuela)
Stellifer colonensis Stardrum
Stellifer griseus (S Caribbean)
Stellifer lanceolatus (Florida and Gulf of Mexico)
Stellifer magoi (Venezuela)
Stellifer microps (Nicaragua to Brazil)
Stellifer naso (Venezuela to Brazil)
Stellifer rastrifer (Colombia to Brazil)
Stellifer stellifer (Venezuela to Brazil)
Stellifer venezuelae (Colombia and Venezuela)

Umbrina broussonnetii Striped Drum
Umbrina coroides Sand drum
Umbrina milliae (Colombia, deep water)

Mulloidichthys martinicus Yellow goatfish

Mullus auratus Red goatfish

Pseudupeneus maculatus Spotted goatfish

Upeneus parvus Dwarf goatfish


Pempheris poeyi Shortfin sweeper
Pempheris schomburgkii Copper or glassy sweeper (= P. schomburgki)

Lobotes surinamensis Tripletail

Diapterus auratus Irish pompano
Diapterus rhombeus Silver mojarra

Eucinostomus argenteus Spotfin mojarra
Eucinostomus gula Silver jenny
Eucinostomus harengulus Tidewater mojarra
Eucinostomus havana Bigeye mojarra
Eucinostomus jonesii Slender mojarra (= Eucinostomus jonesi)
Eucinostomus lefroyi Mottled mojarra (= Ulaema lefroyi)
Eucinostomus melanopterus Flagfin mojarra

Eugerres brasilianus (Belize, Cuba south to Brazil?)
Eugerres mexicanus (Mexico Guatemala FW, Rio Usumacinta)
Eugerres plumieri Striped mojarra (Florida, Gulf of Mexico to Cuba, Panama?)

Gerres cinereus Yellowfin mojarra


Kyphosus incisor Yellow sea chub
Kyphosus sectatrix Bermuda sea chub
Chaetodipterus faber Atlantic spadefish
Bothus lunatus
Bothus ocellatus Eyed flounder
Bothus robinsi

Chascanopsetta lugubris

Engyophrys senta

Monolene sessilicauda

Trichopsetta ventralis

Ancylopsetta antillarum
Ancylopsetta cycloidea (S Caribbean)
Ancylopsetta dilecta Three-eye flounder
Ancylopsetta kumperae (Colombia to Brazil)
Ancylopsetta microctenus (Honduras and Nicaragua)
Ancylopsetta quadrocellata (Gulf of Mexico, Florida north)

Citharichthys abbotti (S Gulf of Mexico to Honduras)
Citharichthys amblyregmatus (Nicaragua)
Citharichthys arctifrons (Gulf of Mexico, Florida north)
Citharichthys arenaceus
Citharichthys cornutus Horned whiff
Citharichthys dinocerus
Citharichthys gymnorhinus
Citharichthys macrops Spotted whiff
Citharichthys minutus (Venezuela)
Citharichthys spilopterus Bay whiff
Citharichthys uhleri
Citharichthys valdezi (S Caribbean)

Cyclopsetta chittendeni Mexican flounder
Cyclopsetta fimbriata

Etropus crossotus Fringed flounder
Etropus cyclosquamus (Gulf of Mexico, Florida north)
Etropus delsmani (Venezuela)
Etropus microstomus (Gulf of Mexico, Florida north)
Etropus rimosus (Gulf of Mexico, Florida north)

Gastropsetta frontalis Shrimp flounder

Paralichthys albigutta Gulf flounder
Paralichthys lethostigma (Gulf of Mexico, Florida north)
Paralichthys squamilentus (Gulf of Mexico, Florida north)
Paralichthys tropicus (S Caribbean)

Syacium gunteri
Syacium micrurum Channel flounder
Syacium papillosum Dusky flounder

Achirus declivis Plainfin sole
Achirus lineatus Lined sole

Gymnachirus melas Naked sole (Bahamas and Gulf of Mexico)
Gymnachirus nudus
Gymnachirus texae (Gulf of Mexico)

Trinectes inscriptus Scrawled sole
Trinectes maculatus Hogchoker
Trinectes paulistanus Southern hogchoker


Symphurus arawak Caribbean tonguefish
Symphurus civitatium Offshore tonguefish (Gulf of Mexico)
Symphurus diomedeanus Spottedfin tonguefish
Symphurus ommaspilus Ocellated tonguefish
Symphurus piger Deepwater tonguefish
Symphurus plagiusa Blackcheek tonguefish
Symphurus rhytisma Patchtail tonguefish
Symphurus tessellatus


Chaetodon capistratus Foureye butterflyfish
Chaetodon ocellatus Spotfin butterflyfish
Chaetodon sedentarius Reef butterflyfish
Chaetodon striatus Banded butterflyfish

Prognathodes aculeatus Longsnout butterflyfish
Prognathodes aya (deep-water, Gulf of Mexico, Florida north, also Jamaica)
Prognathodes guyanensis (deep-water, Caribbean basin)


Centropyge argi Cherubfish
Centropyge aurantonotus (SE Caribbean)

Holacanthus bermudensis Angelfish (= Holacanthus isabelita)
Holacanthus ciliaris Queen angelfish
Holacanthus tricolor Rock beauty

Pomacanthus arcuatus Gray angelfish
Pomacanthus paru French angelfish

larval fish damselfish and pomacentrid larvae
Abudefduf saxatilis Sergeant major
Abudefduf taurus Night sergeant

Chromis cyanea Blue chromis
Chromis enchrysura Yellowtail reeffish
Chromis flavicauda Cobalt chromis (Bermuda and Brazil, valid?)
Chromis insolata Sunshinefish
Chromis multilineata Brown chromis
Chromis scotti Purple reeffish

Microspathodon chrysurus Yellowtail damselfish

Stegastes adustus Dusky damselfish
Stegastes diencaeus Longfin damselfish
Stegastes leucostictus Beaugregory
Stegastes otophorus (freshwater)
Stegastes partitus Bicolor damselfish
Stegastes planifrons Threespot damselfish
Stegastes variabilis Cocoa damselfish

larval fish wrasse and labrid larvae
Bodianus pulchellus Spotfin hogfish
Bodianus rufus Spanish hogfish

Clepticus parrae

Decodon puellaris

Doratonotus megalepis Dwarf wrasse

Halichoeres bathyphilus
Halichoeres bivittatus Slippery dick
Halichoeres burekae (deep-water, Gulf of Mexico)
Halichoeres caudalis Painted wrasse
Halichoeres cyanocephalus Yellowcheek wrasse
Halichoeres garnoti Yellowhead wrasse
Halichoeres maculipinna Clown wrasse
Halichoeres pictus Rainbow wrasse
Halichoeres poeyi Blackear wrasse
Halichoeres socialis (Belize, midshelf reef)
Halichoeres radiatus Puddingwife wrasse

Lachnolaimus maximus Hogfish

Thalassoma bifasciatum Bluehead wrasse

Xyrichtys martinicensis Rosy razorfish
Xyrichtys novacula Pearly razorfish
Xyrichtys splendens Green razorfish


Cryptotomus roseus Bluelip parrotfish

Nicholsina usta Emerald parrotfish

Scarus coelestinus Midnight parrotfish
Scarus coeruleus Blue parrotfish
Scarus guacamaia Rainbow parrotfish
Scarus iseri Striped parrotfish (often S. iserti)
Scarus taeniopterus Princess parrotfish
Scarus vetula Queen parrotfish

Sparisoma atomarium Greenblotch parrotfish
Sparisoma aurofrenatum Redband parrotfish
Sparisoma chrysopterum Redtail parrotfish
Sparisoma griseorubrum (NE Venezuela, also S. griseorubra)
Sparisoma radians Bucktooth parrotfish
Sparisoma rubripinne Redfin parrotfish
Sparisoma viride Stoplight parrotfish


(excluding several deep-water species)

Opistognathus aurifrons Yellowhead jawfish
Opistognathus whitehursti
Opistognathus signatus
Opistognathus macrognathus
Opistognathus robinsi (Florida to Bahamas)
Opistognathus maxillosus
Opistognathus lonchurus
Opistognathus gilberti

Lonchopisthus micrognathus

larval fish blennies and blenniidae larvae
Chasmodes bosquianus (NE Florida and north)
Chasmodes longimaxilla (N. Gulf of Mexico)
Chasmodes saburrae (N. Gulf of Mexico)

Entomacrodus nigricans Pearl blenny

Hypleurochilus bermudensis (Bermuda, Bahamas to Florida)
Hypleurochilus caudovittatus (Florida)
Hypleurochilus geminatus (Florida north)
Hypleurochilus multifilis (N. Gulf of Mexico)
Hypleurochilus pseudoaequipinnis Oyster blenny (former part of H. aequipinnis)
Hypleurochilus springeri Orangespotted blenny

Hypsoblennius brevipinnis (Pacific species, invading Panama Canal)
Hypsoblennius exstochilus (Bahamas, Cayman, Bonaire)
Hypsoblennius hentz (often Hypsoblennius hentzi, US to Yucatan)
Hypsoblennius invemar
Hypsoblennius ionthas (N Gulf of Mexico, US east coast)

Lupinoblennius nicholsi (N Gulf of Mexico)
Lupinoblennius vinctus Mangrove blenny (= Lupinoblennius dispar)

Ophioblennius atlanticus Atlantic redlip blenny (Southern and Eastern Atlantic)
Ophioblennius macclurei Caribbean redlip blenny (Caribbean Sea)

Parablennius marmoreus Seaweed blenny

Scartella cristata Molly miller

larval fish blennies and labrisomid larvae larval fish scaled blennies larvae Labrisomus larvae larval labrisomidae malacoctenus larvae larval Malacoctenus and labrisomid larvae larval Malacoctenus and labrisomid larvae
Haptoclinus apectolophus (Arrowsmith bank, Yucatan, 300m)

Labrisomus albigenys Whitecheek blenny
Labrisomus bucciferus Puffcheek blenny
Labrisomus filamentosus Quillfin blenny
Labrisomus conditus (Brazil, Panama, Florida; cryptic sp. of L. nuchipinnis)
Labrisomus cricota (Brazil, Panama, Yucatan; cryptic sp. of L. nuchipinnis)
Labrisomus gobio Palehead blenny
Labrisomus guppyi Mimic blenny
Labrisomus haitiensis Longfin blenny
Labrisomus kalisherae Downy blenny
Labrisomus nigricinctus Spotcheek blenny
Labrisomus nuchipinnis Hairy blenny

Malacoctenus aurolineatus Goldline blenny
Malacoctenus boehlkei Diamond blenny
Malacoctenus delalandii (= M. delalandei; W and S Caribbean)
Malacoctenus erdmani Imitator blenny
Malacoctenus gilli Dusky blenny
Malacoctenus macropus Rosy blenny
Malacoctenus triangulatus Saddled blenny
Malacoctenus versicolor Barfin blenny

Nemaclinus atelestos Threadfin blenny (Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, deep)

Paraclinus barbatus Goatee blenny
Paraclinus cingulatus Coral blenny
Paraclinus fasciatus Banded blenny
Paraclinus grandicomis Horned blenny (Florida, Bahamas, Antilles; not "grandicornis")
Paraclinus infrons Bald blenny (Florida, Bahamas, Belize)
Paraclinus marmoratus Marbled blenny (Florida to Belize, NE Venezuela)
Paraclinus naeorhegmis Surf blenny (Bahamas, Belize, Providencia)
Paraclinus nigripinnis Blackfin blenny

Starksia atlantica Bahamas smootheye blenny (now part of a species complex; Bahamas)
Starksia culebrae Antillean checkered blenny (Antilles)
Starksia elongata Elongate blenny (widespread)
Starksia fasciata Blackbar blenny (Bahamas and Greater Antilles)
Starksia greenfieldi Tobago chessboard blenny (new species 2011, Testigos to Tobago)
Starksia guttata Southern checkered blenny (SE Caribbean)
Starksia hassi Ringed blenny (widespread Caribbean)
Starksia langi Bay chessboard blenny (new species 2011, Bay of Honduras and south)
Starksia lepicoelia Bahamas blackcheek blenny (part of a species complex; Bahamas)
Starksia leucovitta Whitesaddle blenny (new species 2003, Navassa)
Starksia melasma Blackspot blenny (new species 2003, PR and St.Croix)
Starksia nanodes Dwarf blenny (species complex)
Starksia ocellata Florida checkered blenny (now part of a species complex; Florida)
Starksia occidentalis Western checkered blenny (MAB to Panama)
Starksia rava (new species 2003, Tobago)
Starksia robertsoni Panama blackcheek blenny (new species 2011, Panama)
Starksia sella (new species 2003, Tobago)
Starksia sangreyae Bay smootheye blenny (new species 2011, Belize)
Starksia sluiteri Southern chessboard blenny (now part of a complex; S. Neth. Antilles)
Starksia smithvanizi Brokenbar blenny (new species 2003, Antilles)
Starksia springeri Southern smootheye blenny (new species 2011, S. Neth. Antilles)
Starksia starcki Key blenny (Florida to Belize)
Starksia variabilis Colombian checkered blenny (Colombia)
Starksia weigti Bay blackcheek blenny (new species 2011, Bay of Honduras)
Starksia williamsi Antillean blackcheek blenny (new species 2011, N. Antilles)
Starksia y-lineata Forkbar blenny (Cayman and Nicaraguan Shelf)

larval fish gobies and goby larvae
Acanthemblemaria aspera Roughhead blenny (widespread, not SE Caribbean)
Acanthemblemaria betinensis Speckled blenny (Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia)
Acanthemblemaria chaplini Papillose blenny (FL, Bahamas, Cuba, Yucatan)
Acanthemblemaria cubana (Cuba, Panama)
Acanthemblemaria greenfieldi False papillose blenny (Belize & W Caribbean Islands)
Acanthemblemaria harpeza (Navassa)
Acanthemblemaria johnsoni (Tobago, NE Venezuela)
Acanthemblemaria maria Secretary blenny (widespread, not Colombia, Neth Ant, or VZ)
Acanthemblemaria medusa (SE Caribbean)
Acanthemblemaria paula Dwarf spinyhead blenny (Belize and Panama)
Acanthemblemaria rivasi Spotjaw blenny (Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela)
Acanthemblemaria spinosa Spinyhead blenny (widespread, not mainland S. Amer?)

Chaenopsis limbaughi Yellowface pikeblenny (widespread, deeper sand/coral)
Chaenopsis megalops (deep-water, Colombia)
Chaenopsis ocellata Bluethroat pikeblenny (widespread, shallow seagrass)
Chaenopsis resh (NE Venezuela)
Chaenopsis roseola (deep-water, NE Gulf of Mexico)
Chaenopsis stephensi (deep-water, Venezuela and Yucatan, widespread?)

Coralliozetus cardonae Twinhorn blenny

Ekemblemaria nigra Moth blenny (Panama and Colombia)

Emblemaria atlantica Banner blenny (Bermuda, Florida, Bahamas, & Gulf of Mexico)
Emblemaria biocellata Twospot blenny (deep, Colombia to Suriname)
Emblemaria caldwelli Caribbean blenny (deep reef walls, Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica)
Emblemaria caycedoi Colombian blenny (W. Caribbean)
Emblemaria culmenis Ridge blenny (deep, Venezuela)
Emblemaria diphyodontis Venezuelan blenny (Colombia to NE Venezuela to Grenadines)
Emblemaria hyltoni Filament blenny (Utila and Roatan, Honduras)
Emblemaria pandionis Sailfin blenny (widespread)
Emblemaria piratula Pirate blenny (NE Gulf of Mexico)
Emblemaria vitta (MesoAm BR, PR, DR, USVI, Bahamas, Navassa)

Flagfin Glass Blenny complex (7 spp. presently)

Emblemariopsis arawak (Antilles, new sp. 2010)
Emblemariopsis carib Spikefin Glass Blenny (Antilles & Bahamas, new sp. 2010, not signifera)
Emblemariopsis dianae Orangeflag Glass Blenny (Belize midshelf & Honduras)
Emblemariopsis leptocirris Black Banner Glass Blenny (widespread, range uncertain)
Emblemariopsis occidentalis Flagfin Glass Blenny (Bahamas only?)

Emblemariopsis ramirezi Red Banner Glass Blenny (Venezuela & S. Lesser Antilles)
Emblemariopsis tayrona Tayrona Banner Glass Blenny (Colombia, Testigos)

Smoothhead Glass Blenny complex- ("Blackhead Blennies") (5 spp. presently)

Emblemariopsis bahamensis Bahamas Smoothhead Glass Blenny (Bahamas to Antilles)
Emblemariopsis bottomei Southern Smoothhead Blenny (="shorthead"; SE Caribbean)
Emblemariopsis diaphana Glass Blenny (Florida Keys, Gulf of Mexico)
Emblemariopsis pricei Bay Smoothhead Glass Blenny (="seafan"; Bay of Honduras only)
Emblemariopsis randalli Venezuelan Smoothhead Glass Blenny (= "hornless"; VZ only)

Bluegold Blenny complex (1 spp. presently)

Emblemariopsis ruetzleri Bluegold Glass Blenny (Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Panama, & VI)

Hemiemblemaria simulus Wrasse blenny

Lucayablennius zingaro Arrow blenny

Protemblemaria punctata (NE Venezuela)

Stathmonotus gymnodermis Naked blenny
Stathmonotus hemphilli Blackbelly blenny
Stathmonotus stahli Eelgrass blenny
Stathmonotus tekla Eelgrass blenny

Enneanectes altivelis Lofty triplefin
Enneanectes atrorus Blackedge triplefin
Enneanectes boehlkei Roughhead triplefin
Enneanectes jordani Mimic triplefin
Enneanectes pectoralis Redeye triplefin
Dactylagnus peratikos (Costa Rica to Panama)

Dactyloscopus boehlkei (Antilles)
Dactyloscopus comptus (Antilles)
Dactyloscopus crossotus Bigeye stargazer
Dactyloscopus foraminosus (Florida? and Brazil)
Dactyloscopus moorei Speckled stargazer (Florida to Texas)
Dactyloscopus poeyi Shortchin stargazer
Dactyloscopus tridigitatus Sand stargazer

Gillellus healae (deep-water)
Gillellus greyae Arrow stargazer
Gillellus inescatus (Navassa Island)
Gillellus jacksoni (Belize and Antilles)
Gillellus uranidea Warteye stargazer

Leurochilus acon Smoothlip stargazer (Antilles)

Myxodagnus belone Dartfish (Antilles)

Platygillellus rubrocinctus Saddle stargazer
Platygillellus smithi (Bahamas only)

larval fish gobies and goby larvae
larval fish coryphopterus and goby larvae
larval coryphopterus hyalinus and goby larvae
Akko dionaea (Colombia and Brazil)

Awaous banana (A. tajasica is the Brazilian sibling sp.)
Awaous flavus (Colombia eastward to Brazil)

Barbulifer antennatus
Barbulifer ceuthoecus

Bathygobius antilliensis (new species 2010, widespread, cryptic sp. of B. soporator)
Bathygobius curacao
Bathygobius geminatus (new species 2010, Florida to PR, Brazil, cryptic sp. B. soporator)
Bathygobius lacertus (new species 2010, widespread, cryptic sp. of B. soporator)
Bathygobius mystacium
Bathygobius soporator Frillfin goby, redescribed 2010 (Florida to Brazil)

Bollmannia boqueronensis
Bollmannia communis (Gulf of Mexico, plus)
Bollmannia eigenmanni (Gulf of Mexico, only?)
Bollmannia litura

Chriolepis benthonis (Gulf of Mexico)
Chriolepis fisheri
Chriolepis vespa (Gulf of Mexico)


Coryphopterus alloides Barfin goby
Coryphopterus bol Sand-canyon goby (new species 2008, widespread deeper offshore sibling of bridled goby)
Coryphopterus dicrus Colon goby
Coryphopterus eidolon Pallid goby (Wall sand-goby)
Coryphopterus glaucofraenum Bridled goby (widespread inshore species)
Coryphopterus hyalinus Glass goby
Coryphopterus kuna Kuna goby (new species 2007, Florida, Bonaire, Belize, San Andres, Panama, and Guadeloupe)
Coryphopterus lipernes Peppermint goby
Coryphopterus personatus Masked goby
Coryphopterus punctipectophorus Spotted goby (US Atlantic coast, Gulf of Mexico)
Coryphopterus thrix Bartail goby (Speckled-eye goby)(widespread, Florida to Brazil)
Coryphopterus tortugae Patch-reef goby (redescribed 2008, widespread shallow offshore sibling of bridled goby)
Coryphopterus venezuelae Venezuelan bridled goby (NE Venezuela; differs from C. bol by an additional dorsal and anal-fin ray)

Ctenogobius boleosoma (reef-associated; widespread)
Ctenogobius claytoni (freshwater/estuarine; Western GOM; often C. claytonii)
Ctenogobius fasciatus (freshwater/estuarine; widespread)
Ctenogobius phenacus (Venezuela south)
Ctenogobius pseudofasciatus Slashcheek goby (freshwater/estuarine; widespread)
Ctenogobius saepepallens (reef-associated; widespread)
Ctenogobius shufeldti (freshwater/estuarine; US waters)
Ctenogobius smaragdus (weedy shallows; Florida, Belize, and Greater Antilles plus Venezuela/Brazil)
Ctenogobius stigmaticus (silty marine; widespread)
Ctenogobius stigmaturus (freshwater/marine shallows; Bermuda, Florida, Cuba, Belize to Panama)
Ctenogobius thoropsis (Surinam, Brazil)

Elacatinus cleaner-type gobies (Gobiosoma)

Elacatinus atronasus Exuma goby (Exuma Sound endemic: hovering species over coral)
Elacatinus chancei Shortstripe goby (SE Bahamas, PR & Lesser Antilles, NE Venezuela: sponge)
Elacatinus evelynae complex, sharknose cleaner goby (coral):
         yellow-blue sharknose cleaner (SE Bahamas, PR & Lesser Antilles, to SE Caribbean)
         yellow sharknose cleaner (NW Bahamas to Cuba)
         white sharknose cleaner (Hispaniola, Jamaica to W Caribbean offshore islands)
Elacatinus genie (Bahamas, Cuba, Cayman: coral)
Elacatinus horsti Yellowline goby (NW Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola, S and W Caribbean islands: sponge)
Elacatinus illecebrosus Barsnout cleaner goby (Yucatan (white), Panama (yellow), Colombia (blue): coral)
Elacatinus jarocho Jarocho goby (S Gulf of Mexico only: hovering species over coral)
Elacatinus lori Linesnout goby (Mesoamerican Barrier Reef only: sponge)
Elacatinus louisae Spotlight goby (Bahamas, Cuba, W Caribbean: deep sponge)
Elacatinus oceanops Neon cleaner goby (Florida and GOM to Yucatan: coral)
Elacatinus lobeli MAB neon cleaner goby (Mesoamerican Barrier Reef: coral)
Elacatinus prochilos Broadstripe cleaner goby (Belize, Jamaica, Greater & Lesser Antilles: deeper coral)
Elacatinus randalli Yellownose cleaner goby (SE Caribbean: coral)(similar E. phthirophagus in Noronha, Brazil)
Elacatinus tenox Slaty goby (widespread: deep sponge)
Elacatinus xanthiprora Yellowprow goby (Florida Keys, GOM: sponge)
Elacatinus colini MAB Yellowprow goby (Mesoamerican Barrier Reef: sponge)
Elacatinus serranilla Whiteprow goby (Serranilla bank: sponge)

Elacatinus non-cleaner gobies (Tigrigobius)

Elacatinus dilepis Orangeside goby (widespread)
Elacatinus gemmatus Frecklefin goby (widespread)
Elacatinus macrodon Tiger goby (S Florida, Bermuda, Haiti (and Venezuela?)
Elacatinus multifasciatus Greenbanded goby (Bahamas to Antilles and SE Caribbean)
Elacatinus pallens Wall goby (widespread)
Elacatinus panamensis Panamanian Greenbanded goby (new species 2010, Panama)
Elacatinus redimiculus Cinta goby (SW Gulf of Mexico only)
Elacatinus rubrigenis Redcheek goby (new species 2010, Utila, Honduras endemic)
Elacatinus saucrus Leopard goby (widespread)
Elacatinus zebrellus (NE Venezuela, Trinidad, and Panama)

  larval fish masked goby and goby larvae
larval bathygobius larvae
larval coryphopterus and goby larvae
larval coryphopterus personatus and goby larvae
larval microgobius signatus and goby larvae
larval awaous banana gobies and goby larvae
larval psilotris and goby larvae
larval evermannichthys gobies and goby larvae
larval bathygobius gobies and goby larvae
larval fish coryphopterus and goby larvae

Evermannichthys bicolor (Jamaica, Haiti & Navassa)
Evermannichthys convictor (Green Cay, Bahamas)
Evermannichthys metzelaari (widespread Bahamas & Caribbean)
Evermannichthys silus (Samana Cay, Bahamas)
Evermannichthys spongicola (Florida and GOM)

Evorthodus lyricus

Ginsburgellus novemlineatus

Gnatholepis cauerensis (Atlantic and Indian Oceans), was G. thompsoni

Gobioides broussoneti
Gobioides grahamae (Guyana to Brazil)

Gobionellus oceanicus

Gobiosoma bosc (US east coast and Gulf of Mexico)
Gobiosoma ginsburgi (US east coast)
Gobiosoma grosvenori (Florida, Bahamas, Jamaica, NE Venezuela)
Gobiosoma hemigymnum (West Indies)
Gobiosoma hildebrandi (Panama Canal and environs)
Gobiosoma longipala (N Gulf of Mexico)
Gobiosoma robustum (Gulf of Mexico)
Gobiosoma schultzi (Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela)
Gobiosoma spes (Panama, Jamaica, PR)
Gobiosoma spilotum (Panama Canal Zone)
Gobiosoma yucatanum (Yucatan to Honduras)

Gobulus myersi

Lythrypnus crocodilus Mahogany goby
Lythrypnus elasson
Lythrypnus heterochroma Diphasic goby
Lythrypnus minimus
Lythrypnus mowbrayi (Bermuda)
Lythrypnus nesiotes
Lythrypnus okapia
Lythrypnus phorellus (Florida)
Lythrypnus spilus

Lophogobius cyprinoides Crested goby

Microgobius carri Seminole goby (widespread)
Microgobius gulosus Clown goby (GOM and US east coast)
Microgobius meeki
Microgobius microlepis Banner goby (widespread)
Microgobius signatus
Microgobius thalassinus Green goby (GOM and US east coast)

Nes longus Orangespotted goby

Oxyurichthys stigmalophius Spotfin goby

Palatogobius paradoxus Mauve goby
Palatogobius grandoculus (deep-water)

Pariah scotius

Parrella macropteryx

Priolepis dawsoni (SE Caribbean and Brazil)
Priolepis hipoliti Rusty goby
Priolepis robinsi (Colombia)

Psilotris alepis
Psilotris amblyrhynchus (Mesoamerican Barrier Reef only?)
Psilotris batrachodes Toadfish goby
Psilotris boehlkei
Psilotris celsus
Psilotris kaufmani

Pycnomma roosevelti

Risor ruber

Robinsichthys arrowsmithensis (deep-water)

Sicydium adelum (Costa Rica)
Sicydium altum (Costa Rica-Panama-Colombia)
Sicydium antillarum (Antilles only?)
Sicydium buscki (Dominican Republic)
Sicydium caguitae (Puerto Rico)?
Sicydium gilberti (Dominican Republic)
Sicydium gymnogaster (Mexico-Honduras)
Sicydium montanum (Venezuela?)
Sicydium plumieri (Panama-Colombia, and Puerto Rico?)
Sicydium punctatum (Panama-Colombia, and Dominica?)
Sicydium vincente (West Indies?)

Varicus bucca
Varicus imswe Whiteband goby
Varicus marilynae (Florida)

Vomerogobius flavus (Bahamas and Antilles)

n. sp.: saber goby (deep walls, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Belize)

larval ptereleotris and gobioid larvae
Ptereleotris calliura blue dartfish (Florida and N Gulf of Mexico)
Ptereleotris helenae Hovering dartfish (widespread)
Ptereleotris randalli bluestripe dartfish (SE Caribbean to Brazil)


larval fish sleepers and gobioid larvae
larval eleotris and gobioid larvae
Dormitator maculatus Fat sleeper (Cuban version= D. cubanus?)

Eleotris amblyopsis Spinycheek sleeper (continental coastline)
Eleotris perniger (Antilles and Central America)
Eleotris pisonis (Orinoco, Brazil only)

Erotelis smaragdus Emerald sleeper

Gobiomorus dormitor Bigmouth sleeper

Guavina guavina

Leptophilypnus fluviatilis (anadromous; Honduras to Panama, =Leptophilypnus mindii)
Leptophilypnus guatemalensis (freshwater populations; Guatemala, upper Rio Usumacinta)

larval fish wormfishes and microdesmid larvae
Cerdale floridana Pugjaw wormfish

Microdesmus bahianus
Microdesmus carri
Microdesmus lanceolatus
Microdesmus longipinnis Pink wormfish
Microdesmus luscus

(excluding deep-water species)

Callionymus bairdi (= Paradiplogrammus bairdi)

Chalinops pauciradiatus (= Diplogrammus pauciradiatus)


larval fish surgeonfishes and acanthurid larvae
Acanthurus bahianus Ocean surgeon
Acanthurus chirurgus Doctorfish
Acanthurus coeruleus Blue tang

Balistes capriscus Gray triggerfish
Balistes vetula Queen triggerfish

Canthidermis maculata Rough triggerfish
Canthidermis sufflamen Ocean triggerfish

Melichthys niger Black durgon

Xanthichthys ringens Sargassum triggerfish


Aluterus heudelotii
Aluterus monoceros Unicorn leatherjacket
Aluterus schoepfii Orange filefish
Aluterus scriptus Scrawled filefish

Cantherhines macrocerus American whitespotted filefish
Cantherhines pullus Orangespotted filefish

Monacanthus ciliatus Fringed filefish
Monacanthus tuckeri Slender filefish

Stephanolepis hispidus Planehead filefish (ranges unclear)
Stephanolepis setifer Pygmy filefish (ranges unclear)


Lactophrys bicaudalis Spotted trunkfish (= Rhinesomus bicaudalis)
Lactophrys polygonius Honeycomb cowfish (= Acanthostracion polygonius)
Lactophrys quadricornis Scrawled cowfish (= Acanthostracion quadricornis)
Lactophrys trigonus Buffalo trunkfish
Lactophrys triqueter Smooth trunkfish (= Rhinesomus triqueter)

Canthigaster figueiredoi (SE Caribbean to Brazil)
Canthigaster jamestyleri (deep Gulf of Mexico)
Canthigaster rostrata Sharpnose Puffer

Colomesus psittacus Banded Puffer (brackish water, S American coastline)

Lagocephalus laevigatus Smooth Puffer
Lagocephalus lagocephalus Oceanic Puffer

Sphoeroides dorsalis
Sphoeroides georgemilleri (Colombia)
Sphoeroides greeleyi Green Puffer (Belize to Brazil)
Sphoeroides nephelus Southern Puffer
Sphoeroides pachygaster (worldwide, pelagic, deep-water)
Sphoeroides parvus (Gulf of Mexico)
Sphoeroides spengleri Bandtail Puffer
Sphoeroides testudineus Checkered Puffer
Sphoeroides tyleri (Colombia to Brazil)
Sphoeroides yergeri Speckled Puffer (Belize to VZ)



Chilomycterus antennatus
Chilomycterus antillarum Web Burrfish
Chilomycterus reticulatus (= Chilomycterus atinga or atringa) Spotted Burrfish
Chilomycterus schoepfii Striped Burrfish (Florida and GOM)

Diodon eydouxii (worldwide, offshore pelagic only)
Diodon holocanthus Balloonfish (circumtropical)
Diodon hystrix Spot-fin Porcupinefish (circumtropical)


awaiting inclusion

Coryphaena equiselis Pompano dolphinfish
Coryphaena hippurus Common dolphinfish

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All rights reserved by Benjamin Victor