Pufferfish

Pufferfish Family The boxfish the porcupinefish and the pufferfish are members of an order called Tetraodontiformes. The latter is from a family called the Tetraodontidae. One subdivision with the sharp-nosed pufferfish is called Canthigasterinae. The puffer connotation reflects the amazing ability of the pufferfish to pump itself up like a balloon to fool potential predators. Many members of this family are spiny spiky and prickly. This effectively turns predators off to swallow them. But there...

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Pufferfish

Goatfish

Goatfish Family The goatfishes belong to the Mullidae family and rank among the common and proverbial features in the Red Sea. Not common though are their peculiar barbels they are equipped with. These barbels can be spotted beneath the chin on either side of the mouth. It is as if these barbells function as sensitive filaments to trace benthic items on the daily menu such as molluscs crustaceans and worms. The goatfishes are diurnal or nocturnal depending on the species. The goatfish isn t your...

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Goatfish

Requiem Sharks

Requiem Sharks Family The Red Sea requiem sharks are part of the family of the Carcharhinidae. The family features household names like the white-tip reef shark the Red Sea lemon shark and the ocean white-tip shark. Sharks have a reputation of being dangerous to humans aggressive and harmful. It isn t quite fair. Respect a shark and its environment and it this respect will be mutual. Family Members Blacktip Reef Shark Size up to 180 cm (5 9 ft). Depth up to 75m (246 ft) It has a slender physique...

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Requiem Sharks

Hawkfish

Hawkfish Family The hawkfish is a member from the Cirrhitidae family. They have distinctive features typified by their small size and thickened lower pectoral fin rays. One other characteristic element are their tiny filaments on their single dorsal fin. Filaments means cirrhi in Latin. They can stand among corals using them as a watchtower. It s is a bottom-dweller and hunts like a hawk perched on coral columns or rocky towers. it does so hawk-like patiently waiting blended in with the reef awa...

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Hawkfish

Filefish

Filefish Family The filefish is related to the triggerfish from the Balistidae family and are members of the Monacanthidae family. They have a more elongated body and flatter body than the triggerfish. Its monikers are leatherjackets and foolfish. Peculiar of note is that the first dorsal fin consists virtually of only one thin ray. You will find that the skin is covered with scales of a smaller size. The habitats or living environments of a filefish varies; from lagoons with seaward reefs and t...

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Filefish

Surgeonfish

Surgeonfish Family Members of the Acanthuridae family are the surgeonfish and the unicornfish. Both have gruesome spines and agonisingly sharp bony blades at the sides. These scalpel-like weapons can cause injuries with surgical accuracy. On top of that these blades can fold into a groove and used both used both offensively and defensively. In essence the diurnal members of this family are herbivorous. Some are planktivorous. Please bear in mind the spines are potentially dangerous to humans. Th...

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Surgeonfish

Unicornfish

Unicornfish Family Members of the Acanthuridae family are the surgeonfish and the unicornfish. Both have gruesome spines and agonizingly sharp bony blades at the sides. These scalpel-like weapons can cause injuries with surgical accuracy. On top of that these blades can fold into a groove and used both offensively and defensively. In essence the diurnal members of this family are herbivorous. Some however are planktivorous. Please always bear in mind the spines are potentially dangerous to human...

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Unicornfish

Sea Breams

Sea Breams Family The stout and proud sea bream with its relatively massive body is a member of the family of Sparidae. The Sparidae boast fair-sized scales similar to the snappers of the Lutjanidae bunch. It operates either solitary or in smaller schools and aggregations of insignificant size. They live a sheltered life appreciating the taste of echinoderms like sea urchins and other invertebrates. Family Members Doublebar Sea Bream Size up to 50 cm (1 64 ft) . Depth up to 25m (82ft) The diurna...

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Sea Breams

Sweetlips/Grunts

Sweetlips/Grunts Family Grunts belong to the Haemulidae family. Their moniker or sobrquet is sweetlip because of their prominent thick lips. The grunt reference alludes to their ability to produce grunt-like noises. The sweetlips are nocturnal meaning its active during the night. During the day the sweetlips finds refuge in rubble areas and coral caves. The young grunt is in essence solitary but once having reached the adult state they are part of larger schools. Sweetlips are colourful and thei...

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Sweetlips/Grunts

Batfish/Spadefish

Spadefish/Batfish Family Characteristics Now here we have the family of the Ephippidae with its spade-shaped and laterally compressed members. They have a lovely shiny silvery appearance broken by vertical faded black or lemon chiffon bands. Serving as camouflage the bars will often obscure the eyes of a spadefish. The term bat alludes to their yellow and black fins conjuring visions of wings. Its laterally compressed body is equipped with scales of the smaller size and a snout sticks out like a...

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Batfish/Spadefish

Cornetfish

Cornetfish/Flutemouth Family Other names for the cornetfish not to be confused with the needlefish from the Fistulariidae family are the flutefish or trumpetfish. Its greenish to grey body is what is called elongate and cylindrical standing for stretched and long. The snout is exceptionally long ending in a tiny mouth. The cornetfish is perfectly built to dig and poke in corals in order to find small fish and crustaceans. It isn t uncommon for Fistulariidaens to appear in large congregations nav...

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Cornetfish

Bigeyes

Bigeyes Family The bigeyes from the Priacanthidae family have well big eyes. They are active only during the night which accounts for their unusual ocular dimensions It will probably not escape your attention that apart from their phenomenal ocular setting they possess a stout compressed body a continuous dorsal fin and extremely large beaks. The bigeyes are carnivorous; more specifically omnivorous feasting on fish cephalopods and crustaceans. When they gorge on fish only they do so after sunse...

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Bigeyes

Groupers

Grouper Family The grouper the anthias and the fairy basslet have been affectionately labelled as the Queens of the Red Sea . They are part of the royal family of the Serranidae. The grouper has been subcategorized as the Epinephelinae. Some of them are truly heavyweights with 300 kg on the scale. The colourful grouper is territorial to the bone. As territorial as they are the grouper is also solitary. The carnivorous diet of a grouper comprises crustaceans cephalopods and fishes. They are noctu...

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Groupers

Rays

Rays Family Rays belong to the class of the Chondrichthyes the so-called cartilaginous fishes such as manta rays from the Mobulidae branch and the eagle ray member of the Miliobatidae. They so graciously fly through the waters of the Red Sea hovering over seabeds conjuring visions of a flying carpet. Various of these species can be observed in locomotion in the Red Sea. Their disk-like flat and roundish bodies seem to have been designed in a wind tunnel for aerodynamic purpose. Rays like to dwel...

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Rays

Anthiases/Fairy Basslet

Anthiases Family The grouper the soapfish and the diurnal anthias have been affectionately labelled as the Queens of the Red Sea . They are part of the royal family of the Serranidae. Within this family the tropical anthias or the fairy basslet. has been assigned to the family of Anthiinae. It s a common and typical reef fish their bodies regular shaped and oval. They are planktivores and circulate in school formations. A planktivore feeds on floating organic particles and planktonic food includ...

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Anthiases/Fairy Basslet

Soapfish

Soapfish Family The grouper and the anthias and the soapfish have been affectionately labelled as the Queens of the Red Sea . They are part of the royal family of the Serranidae. The beautiful soapfish has been assigned to the subfamily of Grammistinae. They have a slimy skin that is capable of producing a bitter toxic substance called grammistin. It comes in the substance of mucus protecting the fish from predation. So the soapfish exudes a mucus coating that is toxic to other fish. The poisono...

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Soapfish

Cardinalfish

Cardinalfish Family The cardinalfishes belong to a very large family called the Apogonidae and oh the irony are very small in size. The cardinals are carnivorous. The cardinal label alludes to their predominantly red colouration but strangely enough it s only a minority that is beautified by distinctive red. In general we see rather dull and hardly exciting additional tones tinges and hues. The cardinalfish isn t particularly picky in habitat preference. To spot them we name rocky regions and co...

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Cardinalfish

Angelfish

Angelfish Family Until 1979 the butterflyfishes from the Chaetodontidae family and the angelfishes from the family of Pomacanthidae were classified as one and the same family. They have since been distinguished as related but not assigned to one and the same family. They do share though their fascinating colouration small scales and brush-like teeth. The Pomacanthidae are very charismatic in terms of their splendid chromatic spectrum. They are aquatic transgenders turning into male after a femal...

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Angelfish

Butterflyfish

Butterflyfish Family Among the most bright colourful and conspicuous creatures from the Red Sea are the butterflyfishes from the family of Chaetodontidae. The name alludes to an ancient Greek word meaning bristle teeth . Their bodies conjure up visions of discs thrown by field athletes in training or at contests. They have a layer of small scales and a distinguished protractile or protrusible snout. Their tail is rounded and has the shape of an eyelash fan brush. Butterflyfishes are hard core di...

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Butterflyfish

Wrasses

Wrasses Family Wrasses belong to the family of Labridae. Wrasses come in every shape size and colour. Their colouration is simply stunning as is the complexity of their brilliant patterns. What wrasse have in common generally speaking are their elongate bodies and their fleshy thickened lips; as if they are swimming against a strong current the whole day The world of the Labridae is the world of aquatic transgenders. The majority of the family members go through a first stage of being female tur...

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Wrasses

Turtle Watch Project

The advanced Turtle Watch Program is based on the principle of Observe to Conserve . This concept is designed to collect and vital information from professional and recreational divers on the movements abundance and distribution of Red Sea s turtles community. The monitoring sessions will be conducted by Dr. Agnese Mancini in Blue Ocean Diving Centre at Abu Dabbab Bay. Completing our leading role in protecting marine life we re so delighted to host a new version of HEPCA s TurtleWatch program. T...

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Turtle Watch Project

Damselfish & Chromis

Damselfish/Chromis/Sergeant Family The damselfish sergeantfish the anemonefish and the puller aka as chromis are related and all of them are happy members of the family of the Pomacentridae. This family is well-represented in the subtropical waters of the Red Sea and boasts ten species that are endemic to the Red Sea. The damselfish are small and colourful creatures. You will find them venturing in the environments of rocky and coral reefs. Their appetite for food ranges from plants and algae so...

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Damselfish & Chromis

So You Think You Can Fly

How agonising. Does it feel familiar? You re on holidays and you ve just been told a rare species of marine life is roaming an isolated dive spot. And guess what? You never had an encounter before. It s on your bucket list. And have another guess. Today s your final day of an exciting diving trip and you want to top it off. And you re flying tomorrow... The thought it makes you sick by figure of speech. Diving and flying are not a happy combination unless you take your precautionary and effectiv...

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So You Think You Can Fly

Emperorfish

Emperorfish Family The medium-sized emperor from the Lethrinidae dynasty is your typical middle-of-the road Red Sea fish. Their robust bodies are equipped with oversized scales and a high-set ocular system. Here we see another Red Sea species with prominent lips as if it has been permanently swimming against forceful currents The emperor is not territorial and is a friend of a friend of a friend as in gregarious and sociable circulating in sometimes pretty large schools. The emperor is your typi...

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Emperorfish

Anemonefish/Clownfish

Anemonefish Family Like the sergeantfish the puller aka as chromis and the damselfish the anemonefish is a member of the family of the Pomacentridae. This family is well-represented in the subtropical waters of the Red Sea and boasts ten species that are endemic to the Red Sea. The intriguing anemonefish or clownfish or Nemo is your Red Sea poster reef fish and deserves special praise. The adorable Red Sea anemonefish lives in harmony and in symbiosis with anemones seeking shelter in its urticat...

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Anemonefish/Clownfish

Sweepers/Glassfish

Sweeper/Glassfish Family It s extremely unlikely not to cross path with the glassfish and the sweepers from the Pempheridae family in the Red Sea. They are what you call household names. The sweeper has a compressed body tapering and relatively large eyes. It enables them to detect miniscule planktonic invertebrates and smaller fish during the night. Their frequent visits to crevices and reef caves are like an open invitation for their predators. During the day they socialize in large congregati...

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Sweepers/Glassfish

Snappers

Snapper Family The snapper from the Lutjanidae family has a robust and scaled body. Their firm dentition sharp and very effective is feared by crustaceans fish and zooplankton. The snapper label alludes to their dental phenomenon. During the day the Lutjanidaes operate in pretty large numbers hovering over coral reefs or exploring estuaries and off-shore coastal waters. The numbers dissolve during the night announcing a feeding mission focused on benthic invertebrates. All family members are car...

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Snappers

Porcupinefish

Family The porcupinefish or burrfish belongs to the family of the Diodontidae. They are part of an order called Tetraodontiformes. The porcupinefish is related to the boxfish and the pufferfish. By the way the Greek word Tetraodontiformes alludes to the dentition comprising four teeth. The teeth of the pufferfish the boxfish and the porcupinefish are fused forming a lethal scalpel enabling them to crush the shells of molluscs and crustaceans. In contrast to the members of the Tetraodontidae bunc...

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Porcupinefish

From Zero to Hero

You see people preparing very relaxed for a dive with the easiest of routine as if they brush their teeth. You on the other hand are struggling with your gear and you feel nervous. You feel like you have already consumed oxygen from your cylinder and you haven t touched the water yet. You may be a nervous diver and you could do with more confidence to really enjoy your dive. Now what could be helpful to join the ranks of relaxed and stress free divers? Planning your dive Let s kick in an open do...

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From Zero to Hero

Parrotfish

Parrotfish Family The parrotfish belongs to the Scaridae family. They do resemble wrasses but for their fused dentition resulting in beak-like plates the parrots on land are renowned for. It enables them to scrape and rasp and break and crush filamentous algae herbivorous as they are from dead coral rock. Some parrotfish also gorge on particles from the surface of coarse sand and feast upon living corals seagrass and leafy algae. Sounds are characteristic for the habitats of the parrotfish creat...

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Parrotfish