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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Maldivian Reef Fish – Colourful Butterflies of the Sea!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Maldivian Reef Fish – Colourful Butterflies of the Sea!

There are an abundant variety of fish, over 110 actually, in Maldives and before heading to the beautiful islands, it'll be good to know just what types of fish you're most likely to see.


Parrot fish

You're definitely going to see TONS of these. Easily identifiable by their green and purple colours and their parrot shaped beak, which usually show small tiny teeth. Parrotfish are also known to be the main suppliers of white sand! As they consume coral polyps, their faeces usually come out as grainy white sand, which makes up about 80% of most white sandy beaches around the world. Parrot fish are vital to maintaining the healthy marine eco system. Parrot fish grow up to about 4 feet in length and weigh around 100 pounds! In Maldives Island, 5 star hotels usually have their own house reef; some even make an effort to conserve the reefs and its eco system, such as Naladhu Maldives, which is great, as you can spend your entire day snorkelling without taking a boat trip to a reef, while also playing your part in saving the beautiful marine life and reefs!


Powder blue surgeon fish

Another common fish species that you can spot while swimming along the beautiful azure waters of the Maldives, is the Powder blue surgeon fish. They are usually only found swimming around the shallow waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Powder blues' are known to be extremely territorial, so when you're swimming around, keep an eye out and don't get too close to them! This striking electric blue fish is one of the prettiest you'll see while snorkelling.


Orange striped Trigger fish

Trigger fish are the main type of fish you will want to watch out for during snorkelling. The Orange striped trigger fish can get quite territorial, especially when protecting their nests or breeding grounds. When you notice this greyish black striped fish, remember to keep your distance as it tends to bite when agitated.


Orange spine unicorn fish

The Orange spine unicorn fish is another one of the most beautiful and colourful fish that you'll see while snorkelling in Maldives. Easily distinguishable by its electric blue or orange stripe along its spine, they are usually seen around the shallow waters but can also swim to a depth of 300 feet.


Clown fish

If you haven't heard of this type of fish, you really need to watch Finding Nemo first! Clown fish are known to live in anemones, which acts as a good protection against intruders and predators as the anemones are known to sting anything except clown fish. Clown fish can be identifiable by their orange and white stripes and are hard to miss while snorkelling in Maldives. You might also be able to see a black and white striped clown fish – which are also quite commonly found here.


Moorish Idol

After Clown fish, the Moorish Idol is another type that made it's debut in Finding Nemo movie. They are known to be from the same family as surgeon fish and are characterized by a vertically compressed body type, with black and yellowish stripes. They are usually found in flat reef areas, but can also be found swimming up to a depth of 500 feet.