Tropical Fishes of the Philippine Seas

In all my snorkeling trips at Balayan Bay of Anilao and Bauan in the province of Batangas and at Misamis Occidental in Mindanao, I have accumulated several pictures of fishes. I have planned for so long to make a sort of “database” that lists their common names and scientific names (haha sorry it’s one of my compulsions and passions). Finally I got the chance to do it and here is the preliminary list πŸ˜€


 Amphiprion sp. It is the males that are tasked to guard and aerate the eggs.

Moon Wrasse

Thalassoma lunare – notice the yellow crescent-shaped (lunate) tail of an adult moon wrasse

Black Blotch Foxface

Siganus unimaculatus– very similar to the Foxface Rabbitfish, except for the black spot on the upper posterior portion of the body

Regal Angelfish


Pygoplites diacanthus – This is my favorite fish! πŸ™‚ But this is the most difficult one to photograph though.

Bicolor Parrotfish

Cetoscarus ocellatus – Notice the beautiful rainbow colors πŸ˜€

Orange-lined Triggerfish

Balistapus undulatus– notice the orange rays of the dorsal, caudal and pectoral fins

Pinktail Triggerfish

Melichthys vidua – this one has pink rays on the caudal fin, blue rays on the dorsal and anal fins, and yellow pectoral fins

Moorish Idol

Zanclus cornutus – it is characterized by a very long white sickle-shaped extension of the dorsal fin. It looks very similar to the Schooling Bannerfish and the Pennant Coralfish, but if you look very closely you can tell the difference. Plus the Moorish Idols’ are kind of loners, haha I mean you don’t usually find them in schools or in big groups.

 Yellowtail Blue Damselfish


Chrysiptera parasema – these fishes are relatively small, the smallest one among the fishes here



Aulostomus sp. – it has a long tubular body with a rounded tail fin


Fistularia sp.– Belongs in the same family with the trumpetfish and the seahorse; it’s difference from the trumpetfish can visibly be noted on the shape of the tail

Klein’s Butterflyfish

Chaetodon kleinii – such friendly fishes ❀

To Be Identified… Here are a couple of fishes I couldn’t identify yet, but will soon. I’ll just post it here so that anyone who knows can comment πŸ˜€

All the pictures in this post were taken by Jamie and me. Identification of fish species was made through the help of the following resources:

  1. Philippine Coral Reefs: A Natural History Guide by Alan T. White

9 thoughts on “Tropical Fishes of the Philippine Seas

  1. venusmarierojas says:

    Hi!!! I’m so glad you noticed the cornetfish πŸ˜€ When I saw it for the first time, I too was so amazed and intrigued. I thought it looked like a pipe and thought it must be a trumpetfish. It wasn’t at all shy and I was able to take several pictures of it. I’m not sure how common it is, but I only saw it at one reef. I didn’t see it on Anilao. All the other fishes were common cause they could be found in the other coral reefs I went to.


  2. cheloniidae says:

    The first pic with four laterally-compressed-bodied fish is, I think, Golden Spadefish (Platax boersii). Then those fishes with four distinct black vertical stripes and forked caudal fins are Indo-pacific sergeants (Abudefduf vaigiensis). And the photo below it, I think is Chromis viridis (or Chromis sp.) haha.

    Liked by 1 person

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