The 10 Most Common Fishes of the Canary Islands


Diving in the Canary Islands you can observe more than 700 marine species, at least theoretically. Of course there are many species that are shy, prefer deeper waters or just rarely pass by the Canary Islands. Therefore here is an overview of the 10 most common fishes of the Canary Islands. Most of these fishes can be seen on almost every dive.


Atlantic Damselfish

Atlantic Damselfish Azores Chromis limbata Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species atlantic ocean No reef in the Canary Islands without the Atlantic Damselfish. If you dive over a lava reef and look up, you will see hundreds of small orange dots swarming around from time to time. They are Atlantic Damselfish, which prefer to stay in loose swarms in medium water depth.

Atlantic Damselfish


Bastard Grunt

Bastard Grunt - Pomadasys incisus Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species atlantic ocean Although the Bastard Grunts are not common on all islands, they are all the more common in the large Canary Islands. The schools, of several hundred fishes, like to stay at rocky reefs and move comfortably their circles.

Bastard Grunt


Guinean Pufferfish

Guinean Pufferfish - Sphoeroides marmoratus Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species atlantic ocean The Guinean Pufferfish is more likely to be found in sandy reef areas. There are more than enough of them in the Canary Islands. The best conditions for an occasionally obtrusive contemporary. It is even always there on a try dive.

Guinean Pufferfish


Brown Garden Eel

Brown Garden Eel Heteroconger longissimus Image fish fishes scuba diving canary islands anguilliformes species Yes, eels and moray eels are also among the fish. The Brown Garden Eel is never seen alone. It sometimes forms small colonies, but in the majority of cases it can be seen by the hundreds. It is  very shy and disappears into its hole when a diver comes too close to it.

Brown Grarden Eel


Parrotfish

European or Mediterranean Parrotfish - Sparisoma cretense Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species atlantic ocean male Parrotfish are there in all colours around the globe. The European Parrotfish is the only representative in the Canary Islands, but it is very widespread. You can see it on every dive without exception. Usually it is a loner, but can also occur in larger swarms.

European Parrotfish


Black Moray Eel

 diving black moray eel Muraena augusti fish fishes canary islands diving

The Black Moray Eel is probably by far the most common member of the Muray eel family. Especially during a night dive it is exciting to meet it, as it then moves freely. During the day they are hidden in caves, holes and crevices. But it also makes a good photo motif then and always has a smile ready.

Black Moray Eel


White Sea Bream

White Seabream Sargo- Diplodus sargus Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species atlantic ocean White Sea Breams here, White Sea Breams there, what can I say, they are just everywhere. Sometimes alone, sometimes in small groups. Sometimes in schools with other fish species. A fish, which can be observed even during each try dive.

White Sea Bream


Salema

Salema - Sarpa salpa Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species atlantic ocean The Salemas are one of the schooling fish that can be observed while diving in the Canary Islands. They are less shy dive buddies and now and then you have the possibility to dive into a swarm. Their shiny silver and gold appearance is always beautiful to look at.

Salema


Madeira Rockfish

Scorpaena maderensis image picture photo Madeira Rockfish scuba diving canary islands Mediterranean Sea atlantic ocean species Although one does not necessarily notice the Madeira Rockfish at first glance, it is always there. Well camouflaged between algae, under rocks or on a reef. One should exercise caution when dealing with it. On its back there are poisonous spines, which it does not use actively.

Madeira Rockfish


Macaronesian Sharpnose-Puffer

Macaronesian Sharpnose-Puffer - Canthigaster capistrata Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species fishes A name that is unparalleled. Both in the common and the scientific name can become a tongue twister. The Macaronesian Sharnose-Puffer romps around on every reef, but is difficult to see up close.

Macaronesian Sharpnose-Puffer


Ornate Wrasse

Ornate Wrasse -Thalassoma pavo Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species atlantic ocean Also at every reef you will find the Ornate Wrasse and never alone. In groups of plus minus 20 fish they romp among the rocks. For one male you will see a whole harem of females. The sexes can be distinguished very well by different patterns.

Ornate Wrasse


Canary Damsel

Canary Damsel - Abudefduf luridus Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species atlantic ocean canaries The Canary Damsel becomes only 10 cm small, but often does for it like a really big one. If another fish approaches its precinct or its nest, it expels any intruder, no matter how big, on the spot. It doesn’t even stop at divers!

Canary Damsel


Redlip Blenny

Redlip Blenny - Ophioblennius atlanticus atlanticus Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species atlantic ocean The Redlip Blenny likes to stay in shallow water. It is the most common blenny in the Canary Islands. Unfortunately, you rarely get to see his eponymous quality, as it is simply very difficult to get close to it.

Redlip Blenny


Trumpetfish

trumpetfish trumpet fish fishes canary islands scuba diving The Trumpet Fish is long and slow. Also one of my favourites, as it is quite unique in its form. It is less common on the eastern islands. In the West, all the more often. Furthermore, it is one of the few fish in this list that can get a bit bigger.

Trumpetfish


Wide-Eyed Flounder

Wide-Eyed Flounder - Bothus podas Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species atlantic ocean Flat as a flounder and sand coloured, that one should find? Yeah, wherever there’s sand, so is the Wide-Eyed Flounder. Its shape and colour are perfectly adapted to its habitat, so that it is hardly noticeable.

Wide-Eyed Flounder


These were then the 10, yes well 15, most frequent fish of the Canary Islands. I just couldn’t make up my mind. The majority of them can be observed on every dive. With this, the Atlantic gives a colourful picture. Of course, there are other fish that you see very often. In addition to fish, there are also anthozoans, snails & slugs, echinoderms, crustaceans, etc.

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