SIZE: 3-4 in. max. 6 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Three black bands; through eye, from foredorsal fin to pectoral fin, and rear.
Silver-gray. Black border on rear dorsal and anal fins. Three bands on base of tail.
SIZE: max. 18 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Two yellow bars on head.
Gray body with two yellow bars on face/head.
SIZE: 6-12 in. max. 1 1/2 ft.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. White bar behind pectoral fin. 2. Yellow tail.
Dark blue body. Yellow to orange markings on dorsal and anal fins. Round area, "crown" of light blue spots on forehead. Often solitary, also in large schools.
SIZE: 8-12 in. max. 20 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Yellow pectoral fin. 2. Yellow mask runs horizontal over eyes.
Light blue to dark purple; also known as the purple surgeonfish. Narrow, light blue to yellow stripe along base of dorsal and anal fins. Also known as the purple surgeonfish.
SIZE: 6-12 in. max. 18 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: Numerous black spots on body. 1. Yellow tail. 2. White band behind eye.
Gray to brown. Row of three retractile spines on base of tail. The similar yellowtailed surgeonfish (P. laticlavius) is only found in the Galapagos and lacks the black spots.
SIZE: 4-6 in. max. 9 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Long dorsal fin end with thread-like tip. 2. Long snout. 3. Three bold black bands over eye to ventral fins, rear body and on tail.
White with yellowish areas. Orange saddle outlined in black on snout. Short horns or spines over eyes. Common throughout region and the tropical Indo-Pacific.
SIZE: 1-2 ft. max. 2 1/2 ft.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Four pair of dark bars on body and two wide bars on base of tail. 2. Tubular nostrils extend beyond upper lip.
Deeper bodied than other snappers. Back dark greenish brown to brown, fading to lighter shades of copper, reddish brown or maroon sides and belly. Solitary, may mix with yellow snappers.
SIZE: 6-10 in max. 1 ft.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Several dark bars on back, which can pale or darken rapidly. 2. Eyes silvery (never golden).
Silvery gray with darkish scale markings; dusky spots on snout and gill cover.
SIZE: max. 9 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Dark spot on a clear tail (vs. the Cortez grunt that has a dark spot on a yellowish tail).
White spots on the body form horizontal rows (vs. the Cortez grunt that has white spots arranged in oblique rows).
SIZE: max. 18 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: Thin wavy lines on silvery body.
No spot at the base of the tail.
SIZE: 2 1/2-4 in. max. 5 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. White spot below rear of dorsal fin. 2. Scissortail has dark borders.
Greenish brown to brown to gray; belly lighter shades to white.
SIZE: 8-14 in. max. 21 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Large, white ovular blotches and small spots. 2. Black blotch upper base of tail.
Olive to reddish brown. Often rests on bottom.
SIZE: 3-5 in. max. 7 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Four to five dark paired bars on back, may join to form a wide, irregular stripe. 2. Row of reddish brown squares below bars.
Back gray to brown or yellow-brown; belly white; tail translucent with orangish spots. Often rests on bottom, sitting on pectoral and anal fins.
SIZE: 1-1 1/2 ft. max. 2 ft.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Bright green markings radiate from eye.
Green; fins marked and shaded with blue and salmon. Adult females and males light blue to gray-blue and dusky blue. Juveniles reddish brown. Tail is square, compared with the similar looking terminal blue-chin parrot that has a lunate tail.
SIZE: 4-6 in. max. 8 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Small green to blue spot above pectoral fin.
Can change colors rapidly and dramatically. Terminal phase head shades of salmon changing to shades of blue-green on body. Initial phase adults are light reddish brown to bluish white, with dark spot above pectoral fin.
SIZE: 1-1 3/4 ft. max. 2 1/2 ft.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Yellow midbody bar. 2. Long, streaming filamentous tips on dorsal, anal and lobes of tail fin.
Gray, tinted red to reddish brown or green to blue-green. Large bulbous bump develops on head with age. Also known as the streamer hogfish.
SIZE: TP: 4-5 in. max. 6 in. IP: 2 1/2-4 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: TP: 1. Wide yellow saddle patch behind head and above pectoral fin. 2. Blue to purple head. IP: 1. Bright yellow midbody stripe.
TP: Body varies from violet to reddish green; blue dorsal, anal and tail fins.
IP: Dark back, may display a second yellow stripe below dorsal fin. Belly white.
SIZE: 4-7 in. max. 9 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Dark ocellated spot behind eye. 2. Two or three wide irregular bars behind spot.
Olive to brown; reddish circle around eye. Blunt head with large lips and obvious cirri. Can lack bar markings (as shown in this picture).
SIZE: 10-16 in. max. 21 in.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: 1. Dark olive to brown bands and markings outlined in bright blue to blue-green. 2. Two white to pale spots below rear dorsal fin.
Medium to light olive to brown. Large, fat lips; tassels on tips of dorsal fin spines. Also known as the hieroglyphic hawkfish.
SIZE: 1 1/2-3 ft. max. 4 ft.
DISTINCTIVE FEATURES: Long, thin head and body. 1. Long tail filament.
Silvery with blue to blue-green to green tints on back; silvery white belly. Two thin blue lines on back and sides.