11 Common Galapagos Fish (How to Identify Them)

Galapagos Islands Animals, Galapagos Marine Life

Wondering what you can see underwater on a Galapagos vacation? The short answer is A LOT!

There is so much diversity underwater, it’s hard to keep track of it all.

11 Common Galapagos Fish & How to Identify Them

Here are some of the more common fish you can see, and their names. Study up on your Galápagos fish identification and see if you can name that fish!

1. Stone Scorpionfish

They are very well camouflaged, so be careful not to step on them!

2. Rainbow Wrasse

Tiny fish with brilliant stripes of blue, yellow and purple.

3. Hieroglyphic Hawkfish

Likes to rest along rocky areas. This fish isn’t exactly camouflaged, which makes it a little easier to spot.

4. Salemas

Swim in enormous, dense schools! Swimming through them is surreal.

5. Pufferfish

You can see many different species of pufferfish in the Galápagos.

6. King Angelfish

They have beautiful bluish-black coloring with orange and white accents.

7. Sergeant Major

Cute little fish with some military-esque stripes.

8. Parrotfish

They come in lots of different iridescent colors.

9. Bumphead Parrotfish

Some parrotfish look like they hit their head on something.

10. Mexican Hogfish

Iridescent fish with a bump on its head. You can tell it apart from the bumphead parrotfish by the long tail streamers.

11. Yellowtail Surgeonfish

The most common fish in the Galápagos, with a day-glow yellow tail!

Yellowtail surgeonfish

Read more about the amazing things you can see on snorkeling and diving adventures in the Galápagos.

What’s your favorite fish? Mine is the hieroglyphic hawkfish!

Meet the Author

Lisa Cho is an expat living in Ecuador, originally from San Francisco, California. She writes about the Galapagos Islands on this site and about her mainland Ecuador adventures on CuencaCultureShock.com

1 comment… add one
  • Jeanne Feb 17, 2017, 10:11 am

    Great photos and remarks about fish here! Excellent quickie-reference for snorkeling.


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