New at this and need help with a few.

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First one I believe is a common squirrelfish but maybe clearfin squirrelfish? Doesn't appear to have the yellow of the common.

Second one seems like it should be easy but I can't find anything that seems a dead on match.

Third one has me totally stumped. Not the best picture but it is White with horizontal black stripe down the side. Probably 5"-6" total length. Saw a few of them but never got a good shot.

All of these are off the coast of New Providence Island in the Bahamas in 40-60 ft.

Any help is appreciated as I'm getting bleary eyed searching the net for these!

Welcome to REEF

The first is a Longspine Squirrelfish.
The second is an Ocean Surgeonfish;
and the third is the ever popular Slippery Dick this one is a juvenile.

Second Fish

The second fish could be a doctorfish. Body bars are often not visible at certain times, especially when the surgeonfish is in a dark phase like the one in the photograph. Although fish can manipulate their tail to some extent, the caudal fin does not appear to be lunate enough to be an ocean surgeonfish. The clearity of the pectoral fin is difficult for me to discern in the photo.


can very well be a doctorfish, and on closer scrutiny of the tail it may very well be.

Possible Doctorfish

Thanks for the help!!

I cropped the pic of the second fish and included it in this post so you can see a bit closer look.

After looking closer and finding this
pic, I tend to agree with the ID of Doctorfish. Still perplexed about the lack of stripes but upon close inspection they may be there if very lightly.
Also found in Wikepedia:
"Black variety
There exists a black genetic variant of the Doctorfish tang. However, it is neither a subspecies nor a regional mutation. It has only been documented a limited number of times."

Do I have something rare here?

I don't know about rare

... best wait for someone with more expertise. In my opinion it is just a dark Doctorfish (which also has the common name Black doctorfish in some parts). They can change color quite dramatically to the point were they are dark enough to hide the body bars and even the blue circle around their tail spines. So it is not perplexing not to see those in the pic. Your pic seems to have the over all dark brown color that I've seen in other pictures. Maybe the one thing that I did notice as a bit different is I've never seen one with all those black spots in different parts of all the fins. Now oddly enough I do have one pic of the Ocean Surgeon with those spots...hmmm... but I totally agree as to the tail fin in your pic being very doctorfish. I would be curious to know just how transparent those pectoral fins were though.
I tried to find a picture of the black generic variant but did not turn up anything.


I would mark this as a doctorfish. The dark portion of the pectoral fin is the giveaway here. As for the dark spots on the body? I've seen this before on other surgeonfish -- both doctorfish and ocean surgeonfish. The spots are not an indicator of species.
Happy fish watching!

Kristi Draper

Is it normal to think about diving...all the time?

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