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Author: Dr. Marvin

Wrasse

Wrasses comprise an amazingly large and diverse family of fish. Over 600 species divided into 9 subgroups include fish from popular home aquarium species a few inches long to the Humphead Wrasse, a member of the Parrotfish family that lives in the Indo-Pacific and can grow up to 8 feet in length. In fact, all […]

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Spotted Eagle Ray

The Spotted Eagle Ray is a large, dramatically-patterned Ray with species distributed in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide. These wide, diamond-shaped Rays can reach over 9 feet in width and have been measured at 16 feet in length including the long whip-like tail. Spotted Eagle Rays are easily recognized by the many white spots […]

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Nurse Shark

The various species of Nurse Shark are typically inshore tropical and subtropical bottom-dwelling Sharks. Nurse Sharks are brownish colored, quite sedentary, and commonly spotted lying on the bottom near shallow coral reefs, on sea grass flats, and around mangrove islands. They have tough skin that is well-suited to lying and hunting among sharp corals. Nurse […]

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Hogfish

Hogfish are large members of the Wrasse family of reef fishes. Like other Wrasses species, Hogfish undergo changes in coloring and body structure as they mature. The common Hogfish Lachnolaimus maximus seen around Key West are usually between 1-2 feet in length. They are pinkish-white in the juvenile stage, with the first three rays of […]

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Grunts

Grunts are a very wide-spread family of fish with about 133 species found in tropical fresh, brackish, and salt waters around the world. Grunts get their name from the sound they produce by grinding their teeth. They are bottom-feeding predators that are distinguishable from Snappers by their thick, prominent lips. The Grunts most commonly seen […]

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Damselfish

A great number of species of Damselfish inhabit tropical rocky and coral reefs around the world. A few species live in fresh or brackish waters and some live in warm temperate climates. Damselfish are generally small (4-8in) but a few species can reach lengths of 14 inches. They are oval-shaped fish with large, rear-oriented dorsal […]

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Yellowtail Snapper

The Yellowtail Snapper is an abundant member of the Snapper family. Yellowtails are found along the western Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to Bermuda, southward to southeastern Brazil, and in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Large adult Yellowtails live over sandy patches near reefs at depths of 32-230 feet, while smaller adults gather over […]

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Red Grouper

The Red Grouper is restricted to the coastal waters of the western Atlantic Ocean, where it is a dominant predator of the coral reef environment. Red Groupers are non-migratory fish that are most abundant in water from 50 to 300 feet deep. They seek out shelters among rocks or in holes and are often seen […]

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Goliath Grouper

The giant Goliath Grouper is arguably one the most dramatic fish spotted on Key West scuba diving trips. Large mature specimens are kings of the reef, with no natural predators. Goliath Groupers range the shallow tropical waters of the western Atlantic Ocean from Florida, through the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, and south along […]

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Great Barracuda

The Great Barracuda is a big, aggressive, dangerous-looking apex predator that is capable of speeds up to 27 miles per hour. They are long, slim fish with silvery torpedo-shaped bodies, pointed heads, and mouths full of sharp, canine-like teeth. Large specimens have irregular dark blotches along their sides, while juveniles may have a tiger-striped appearance. […]

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Lemon Shark

The Lemon Shark is named for its pale yellow-brown coloring and rough skin that suggests the color and texture of a lemon. In the western Atlantic Ocean, Lemon Sharks range through the coastal inshore waters from New Jersey to the tropical waters of southern Brazil, including into the Gulf of Mexico. The Lemon Shark is […]

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Blacktip Shark

Blacktip Sharks are related to the Blue Shark, Bull Shark, and Tiger Shark. They are common in coastal tropical waters around the world, and may be found around river mouths, bays, mangrove swamps, and in other estuaries. The Blacktip Shark has a stout body, a pointed snout, relatively small eyes, and 5 pairs of long […]

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