Puffer, grouper,and cowfish


Is this puffer a checkeredor bandtail? The cowfish looks like a scrawled but I think its a honeycomb since their known for changing colors and this was taken in Aruba.

My Opinion

I am more an asker than an answerer, but I think #1 is a smooth trunkfish, #4 is a black grouper and #5 is a cowfish, but I am not sure if it is a scrawled cowfish or a honeycomb cowfish. I will be interested to see the definitive answers.

after uploading I realized

after uploading I realized the first one was a trunkfish. The second and third photo are both the same fish but I don't know if it's a band tail or checkered. How positive are you about the grouper?


Sometimes, even when I am confident, I am wrong.  But, that fish does look like a grouper to me, and, because of the rectangular spots, I am still leaning toward black grouper.  I looked through all the groupers in the interactive DVD, and the only other one that looks similar to me is the yellowfin grouper.

Eventually, some knowledgeable person will review your post and reply with a definitive reliable answer.  I still think it is a black grouper, but, despite more than 40 years of diving, and being retired in Key Largo for the last eight years, I am still mistaken.


The puffer in image two and

The puffer in image two and three is either a bandtail or checkered 


#1 - Smooth trunkfish - notice no anal horns

#2 - Bandtail puffer - see below

#3 - Bandtail puffer - notice light/dark banding on tail and series of black spots along lower body

#4 - Yellowfin grouper - imo the most beautiful grouper on the reef, body spots NOT rectangular like Black grouper and much more defined/contrast

#5 - Honeycomb cowfish - slightly unusual pattern in that that polygons aren't clearly defined

Helps Everyone

This is another example of one answer helping many people.  I made some guesses at the IDs -- some right, some wrong.  This is how I learn, also.  Thank you.

Learning to ID fish

Glad to help, we all need it sometimes. 

I constantly send photos in to the fish cognescenti for help!  

Thanks I knew something was

Thanks I knew something was different about that grouper. Most of these fish were seen snorkeling around Aruba. I'm not a diver but a snorkeler and I have a big eye on spotting fish in the tropical atlantic. As for the cowfish I knew it had to be a honeycomb since it changed color so frequently I had to chase it down to get that picture and it was near a seagrass bed close to a small inshore reef.

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