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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 16, 2024
Headline for 10 Common Fish to Spot While Snorkelling in the Maldives - 10 Types of Fish You Will Come Across on a Snorkelling Trip
Joanna James Joanna James
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10 Common Fish to Spot While Snorkelling in the Maldives - 10 Types of Fish You Will Come Across on a Snorkelling Trip

As one of the top leading snorkelling hotspots in the world, the Maldives offers visitors the chance to spot a plethora of marine species. From vibrant parrotfish to all forms of snappers, here are 10 you are bound to cross paths with on a snorkelling expedition in the archipelago.

Top 10 Common Fish to Spot While Snorkelling in the Maldives - Ten Types of Fish You Will Come Across on a Snorkelling Tour in the Maldives


Convict Surgeonfish

Usually discovered around large shoals, Convict Surgeonfish are a small variation of surgeonfish that are different from the more commonly spotted yellow and black striped surgeonfish that are found in reefs. In spite of their size, their shiny exterior and striking stripes make the creatures easily identifiable.


Pennant Coralfish

The Pennant Coralfish is another species that combines yellow and black to create a big impression on onlookers and snorkellers. Sometimes referred to as the Longfin Bannerfish, this particular variety is easily identifiable thanks to its lengthy fin head.



Commonly called Flutemouths, Cornetfish are divided into four species that resemble one another with only slight variations. Known for their impressive length, the Cornetfish occupies Maldivian waters in large schools.


Powder Blue Surgeonfish

Snorkellers delving beneath the waves during a holiday in the Maldives are likely to find these majestic creatures on stones and corals. Usually found feeding on the sides of both corals and stones, the Powder Blue Surgeonfish is one of 75 types of surgeonfish found in the world. Also identified as Blue Tang, they are among the most visually stunning fish species you will come across.


Emperor Angelfish

As one of the most popular and well-loved fish species on the planet, angelfish are found in abundance off the coast of the Maldivian islands. The Emperor Angelfish is noticeable due to the yellow and blue stripes that decorate its body.



With more than 95 types of parrotfish occupying the globe's oceans, you can bet a dozen of them can be spotted on a snorkelling excursion in the Maldives. The Steelhead Parrotfish is the most visible variety in the Maldives as the creatures are large and vibrant in colour. The "beaks" also set them apart while they are known to consume sand on Maldivian beaches.


Moorish Idol

It was Finding Nemo that popularised the Moorish Idol with its gleaming black and yellow hues. The pouty lips and the dark definition on the stripes across its body make it easy to identify anywhere.


Oriental Sweetlips

Snorkellers exploring the house reef off the coast of Adaaran Club Rannalhi or any one of the Maldives luxury hotels with a house reef are likely to come across Oriental Sweetlips. Don't let their big yellow eyes frighten you; they are gentle creatures that mean no harm.


Picasso Triggerfish

As its pedigreed name suggests, the Picasso Triggerfish is among the most colourful fish species you will encounter in the Maldives.


Sixbar Wrasse

Although they may be minute in size, the pastel colours of Sixbar Wrasses include blue; pink and green are a sight to behold.

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