Catch of the day S/V Hoku Pa'a
Photos - Fish Identification

...click on the small photos for larger versions...   All photos by Barb Peck & Bjarne Hansen. Non-commercial reuse OK with photo-credit to us.    click here for the Hoku Pa'a home page.


Here are 144 fish we have seen while snorkeling or diving along the Baja coast and in the Sea of Cortez. You'll note that some species have youngsters or phases with markedly different appearances. We've also included some non-fish marine life that seemed interesting. It's amazing underwater - get out there and explore if you can!

We list the common English, Spanish and taxonomic names (where known) for each. Most of the identifications were made with the help of this beautiful book: Reef Fish Identification: Baja to Panama, Paul Humann & Ned Deloach (2004). Any errors are our own fault - Please let us know of any mis-identified fish!

Show only fish of this type:
Hint: you can filter for words like "ray", "Wrasse", or "Blue". Places and dates (in MMM YYYY form) are also OK. Case doesn't matter.
Bullseye Electric Ray

Bullseye Electric Ray
Ray Eléctrica Diana
Diplobatis ommata
Ensenada el Gallo Feb 2016
Cortez Stingray

Cortez Stingray
Ray Redonda de Cortés
Urobatis maculatus
Ensenada el Gallo Feb 2016
Giant Electric Ray

Giant Electric Ray
Ray Eléctrica Gigante
Narcine entemedor
Ensenada el Gallo Feb 2016
Reef Stingray

Reef Stingray
Ray Redonda de Arrecife
Urobatis concentricus
Ensenada el Gallo Feb 2016
Round Stingray (absent markings)

Round Stingray (absent markings)
Ray Redonda Comùn
Urobatis halleri
Ensenada el Gallo Feb 2016
King Angelfish (juvenile)

King Angelfish (juvenile)
Ángel Real
Holacanthus passer
Caleta Nopolo Feb 2016
King Angelfish

King Angelfish
Ángel Real
Holacanthus passer
Los Islotes Jan 2016
Spotted Sharpnose Puffer

Spotted Sharpnose Puffer
Botete Bonito
Canthigaster punctatissima
Bahia Marquer Mar 2016
Redhead Goby (gold stripe variant)

Redhead Goby (gold stripe variant)
Gobio Cabeza Roja
Elacatinus punticulatus
Caleta Nopolo Feb 2016
Redhead Goby

Redhead Goby
Gobio Cabeza Roja
Elacatinus punticulatus
Agua Verde Mar 2016
Coral Hawkfish

Coral Hawkfish
Halcón de Coral
Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus
Caleta Nopolo Feb 2016
Cortez Damselfish (juvenile)

Cortez Damselfish (juvenile)
Jaqueta de Cortés
Stegastes rectifaenum
Mangle Solo Feb 2016
Cortez Damselfish

Cortez Damselfish
Jaqueta de Cortés
Stegastes rectifaenum
San Evaristo Jan 2016
Mexican Barnacle Blenny

Mexican Barnacle Blenny
Tubícola Mexicano
Acanthemblemaria macrospilus
Isla San Francisco Feb 2016
Giant Damselfish (juvenile)

Giant Damselfish (juvenile)
Jaqueta Gigante
Microspathodon dorsalis
Los Frailes Dec 2015
Giant Damselfish

Giant Damselfish
Jaqueta Gigante
Microspathodon dorsalis
Isla Coronados Mar 2016
Giant Damselfish (breeding male)

Giant Damselfish (breeding male)
Jaqueta Gigante
Microspathodon dorsalis
Puerto Ballandra Mar 2016
Tinsel Squirrelfish

Tinsel Squirrelfish
Candil Sol
Sargocentron suborbitalis
Isla San Francisco Feb 2016
Kelp Bass

Kelp Bass
Cabrilla Sargacera
Paralabrax clathratus
Santa Cruz I Oct 2015
Yellowtail Surgeonfish (juvenile)

Yellowtail Surgeonfish (juvenile)
Cochinito Punteado
Prionurus punctatus
Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Yellowtail Surgeonfish

Yellowtail Surgeonfish
Cochinito Punteado
Prionurus punctatus
Los Islotes Jan 2016
Moorish Idol

Moorish Idol
Idolo Moro
Zanclus cornutus
Isla San Francisco Jan 2016
Blue and Gold Snapper

Blue and Gold Snapper
Pargo Azul-Dorado
Lutjanus viridus
Los Islotes Jan 2016
Reef Cornetfish

Reef Cornetfish
Corneta Pintada
Fistularia commersonii
Los Frailes Dec 2015
Convict Surgeonfish

Convict Surgeonfish
Cirujano Reo
Acanthurus triostegus
Los Frailes Dec 2015
Mexican Hogfish (initial phase)

Mexican Hogfish (initial phase)
Vieja Mexicana
Bodianus diplotaenia
Isla Danzante Feb 2015
Mexican Hogfish (young terminal phase)

Mexican Hogfish (young terminal phase)
Vieja Mexicana
Bodianus diplotaenia
Calete El Candelero Dec 2015
Mexican Hogfish (terminal phase)

Mexican Hogfish (terminal phase)
Vieja Mexicana
Bodianus diplotaenia
Isla Danzante Feb 2016
Wounded Wrasse

Wounded Wrasse
Señorita Herida
Halichoeres chierchiae
Calete El Candelero Dec 2015
Cortez Rainbow Wrasse (initial phase)

Cortez Rainbow Wrasse (initial phase)
Arcoiris de Cortés
Thalassoma lucasanum
Ensenada el Embudo Jan 2016
Cortez Rainbow Wrasse

Cortez Rainbow Wrasse
Arcoiris de Cortés
Thalassoma lucasanum
Isla Danzante Feb 2016
Sunset Wrasse

Sunset Wrasse
Señorita Crepúsculo
Thalassoma grammaticum
Los Frailes Dec 2015
Guineafowl Puffer (spotted phase)

Guineafowl Puffer (spotted phase)
Botete Aletas Punteadas
Arothron meleagris
Los Frailes Dec 2015
Guineafowl Puffer (intermediate phase)

Guineafowl Puffer (intermediate phase)
Botete Aletas Punteadas
Arothron meleagris
Ensenada Grande Jan 2016
Guineafowl Puffer (yellow phase)

Guineafowl Puffer (yellow phase)
Botete Aletas Punteadas
Arothron meleagris
Ensenada el Embudo Jan 2016
Bluechin Parrotfish (initial phase)

Bluechin Parrotfish (initial phase)
Loro Barbazul
Scarus ghobban
Isla Danzante Mar 2016
Bluechin Parrotfish

Bluechin Parrotfish
Loro Barbazul
Scarus ghobban
Los Islotes Jan 2016
Skate (Ray) Eggs (unsure)

Skate (Ray) Eggs (unsure)


Caleta Partida Jan 2016
Nudibranch

Nudibranch


Caleta Partida Jan 2016
Nudibranch

Nudibranch


Puerto Ballandra Mar 2016
Stone Scorpionfish

Stone Scorpionfish
Escorpión Roquero
Scorpaena mystes
Caleta Partida Dec 2015
Stone Scorpionfish

Stone Scorpionfish
Escorpión Roquero
Scorpaena mystes
San Evaristo Jan 2016
Stone Scorpionfish

Stone Scorpionfish
Escorpión Roquero
Scorpaena mystes
Agua Verde Mar 2016
Threebanded Butterflyfish

Threebanded Butterflyfish
Mariposa Muñeca
Chaetodon humeralis
Calete El Candelero Dec 2015
Soft Corals

Soft Corals


Ensenada Grande Jan 2016
Buffalo head coral :)

Buffalo head coral :)


Ensenada Grande Dec 2015
Panamic Sergeant Major

Panamic Sergeant Major
Petaca Banderita
Abudefduf troschelii
Calete El Candelero Dec 2015
Mexican Night Sergeant

Mexican Night Sergeant
Petaca Mexicana
Abudefduf declivifrons
Puerto Ballandra Mar 2016
Crab

Crab


Ensenada Grande Dec 2015
Nudibranch

Nudibranch

Glossodoris sedna
Ensenada Grande Jan 2016
Nudibranch

Nudibranch

Glossodoris sedna
Caleta Partida Jan 2016
Spottail Grunt

Spottail Grunt
Burro Rasposo
Haemulon maculicauda
Isla San Francisco Jan 2016
Christmastree Worm

Christmastree Worm


Isla San Francisco Jan 2016
Bigeye Trevally

Bigeye Trevally
Jurel Voraz
Caranx sexfasciatus
Los Frailes Dec 2015
Goldrim Surgeonfish

Goldrim Surgeonfish
Cirujano Cariblanco
Acanthurus nigricans
Isla San Francisco Jan 2016
Mexican Goatfish

Mexican Goatfish
Chivo Barbón
Mulloidichthys dentatus
Isla San Francisco Jan 2016
Jellyfish

Jellyfish


Isla San Francisco Jan 2016
Jellyfish (disk 5-10 mm dia)

Jellyfish (disk 5-10 mm dia)


Playa Bonanza Jan 2016
Tribbles (...ok - Urchins)

Tribbles (...ok - Urchins)


Playa Bonanza Jan 2016
Zooplankton (approx 3mm long)

Zooplankton (approx 3mm long)


Punta Salinas Jan 2016
Featherduster Worm (unsure)

Featherduster Worm (unsure)


San Evaristo Jan 2016
Tube Blenny (unsure)

Tube Blenny (unsure)


Caleta Partida Jan 2016
Octopus

Octopus


San Evaristo Jan 2016
Barred Pargo (intermediate)

Barred Pargo (intermediate)
Pargo Coconaco
Hoplopagrus guentherii
Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Barred Pargo

Barred Pargo
Pargo Coconaco
Hoplopagrus guentherii
Mangle Solo Feb 2016
Pencil Urchin

Pencil Urchin


San Evaristo Jan 2016
Amarillo Snapper (juvenile)

Amarillo Snapper (juvenile)
Pargo Amarillo
Lutjanus argentiventris
Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Burrito Grunt

Burrito Grunt
Burro Bacoco
Anisotremus interruptus
Agua Verde Mar 2016
Mojarra Grunt (possibly Burrito G.)

Mojarra Grunt (possibly Burrito G.)
Burro Pecoso
Haemulon scudderii
Agua Verde Mar 2016
Blenny (unsure)

Blenny (unsure)


San Evaristo Jan 2016
Scissortail Chromis

Scissortail Chromis
Castañeta Cola de Tijera
Chromis atrilobata
Los Islotes Jan 2016
Orangeside Triggerfish

Orangeside Triggerfish
Cochito Naranja
Sufflamen verres
Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Flag Cabrilla

Flag Cabrilla
Cabrilla Piedrera
Epinephelus labriformis
Los Islotes Jan 2016
Panamic Fanged Blenny (juvenile)

Panamic Fanged Blenny (juvenile)
Borracho Mono
Ophioblennius steindachneri
Ensenada el Embudo Jan 2016
Panamic Fanged Blenny

Panamic Fanged Blenny
Borracho Mono
Ophioblennius steindachneri
Isla Danzante Feb 2016
Graybar Grunt

Graybar Grunt
Burro Almejero
Haemulon sexfasciatum
Caleta San Juanico Apr 2016
Cortez Angelfish

Cortez Angelfish
Angel de Cortés
Pomacanthus zonipectus
Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
California Sealion

California Sealion


Los Islotes Jan 2016
Barberfish

Barberfish
Mariposa Barbero
Johnrandallia nigrirostris
Los Islotes Jan 2016
Needlefish

Needlefish
Agujas
Belonidae sp.
Los Islotes Jan 2016
Yellowfin Surgeonfish (juvenile)

Yellowfin Surgeonfish (juvenile)
Cirujano Aleta Amarilla
Acanthurus xanthopterus
Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Yellowfin Surgeonfish

Yellowfin Surgeonfish
Cirujano Aleta Amarilla
Acanthurus xanthopterus
Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Rainbow Chub

Rainbow Chub
Chopa Salema
Sectator ocyurus
Caleta Partida Jan 2016
Leopard Grouper

Leopard Grouper
Cabrilla Sardinera
Mycteroperca rosacea
Isla Danzante Feb 2016
Leopard Grouper (Golden variation)

Leopard Grouper (Golden variation)
Cabrilla Sardinera
Mycteroperca rosacea
Caleta San Juanico Apr 2016
Spotted Sand Bass (marking phase)

Spotted Sand Bass (marking phase)
Cabrilla de Roca
Paralabrax maculatofasciatus
Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Wrasse (unsure)

Wrasse (unsure)


Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Octopus in burrow

Octopus in burrow


Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Octopus (leaving same burrow)

Octopus (leaving same burrow)


Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
click here for video
Octopus

Octopus


Punta Mangles Apr 2016
Round Stingray

Round Stingray
Ray Redonda Común
Urobatis halleri
Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Bullseye Puffer

Bullseye Puffer
Botete Diana
Sphoeroides annulatus
Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Beaubrummel (juvenile)

Beaubrummel (juvenile)
Jaqueta de Dos Colores
Stegastes flavilatus
Agua Verde Mar 2016
Pacific Dog Snapper

Pacific Dog Snapper
Pargo Prieto
Lutjanus novenfasciatus
Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Pacific Mutton Hamlet

Pacific Mutton Hamlet
Guaseta del Pacifico
Alphestes immaculatus
Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Flag Cabrilla (unsure)

Flag Cabrilla (unsure)


Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Sea Cucumber

Sea Cucumber


Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Spotfin Burrfish

Spotfin Burrfish
Pez Erizo Enano
Chilomycterus reticulatus
Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Crab in burrow

Crab in burrow


Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Barred Porcupinefish

Barred Porcupinefish
Pez Erizo Mapache
Diodon holocanthus
Caleta el Candelero Dec 2015
Barred Porcupinefish (with yellow splotch; several similar seen)

Barred Porcupinefish (with yellow splotch; several similar seen)
Pez Erizo Mapache
Diodon holocanthus
Ensenada de la Raza Feb 2016
Panamic Green Moray

Panamic Green Moray
Morena Verde Panámica
Gymnothorax castaneus
Ensenada Grande Jan 2016
Panamic Green Moray

Panamic Green Moray
Morena Verde Panámica
Gymnothorax castaneus
Agua Verde Mar 2016
Chameleon Wrasse (terminal phase and initial phase (lower left))

Chameleon Wrasse (terminal phase and initial phase (lower left))
Señorita Camaleón
Halichoeres dispilus
Mangle Solo Feb 2016
Largemouth Blenny

Largemouth Blenny
Chalapo
Labrisomus xanti
Puerto Ballandra Mar 2016
Banded Wrasse

Banded Wrasse
Señorita Listada
Halichoeres notospilus
Mangle Solo Feb 2016
Barred Serrano (solid stripe (can change colour to paired bars))

Barred Serrano (solid stripe (can change colour to paired bars))
Serrano Guaseta
Serranus psittacinus
Mangle Solo Feb 2016
Barred Serrano (paired bars (can change colour to solid stripe))

Barred Serrano (paired bars (can change colour to solid stripe))
Serrano Guaseta
Serranus psittacinus
Timbabiche Feb 2016
Jack of some kind? (est 30cm long)

Jack of some kind? (est 30cm long)


Mangle Solo Feb 2016
Seaslug

Seaslug


Mangle Solo Feb 2016
Hermit Crab

Hermit Crab


Mangle Solo Feb 2016
Diamond Stingray

Diamond Stingray
Ray Latigo Diamonte
Dasyatis dipterura
Timbabiche Feb 2016
Zebra Moray

Zebra Moray
Morena Cebra
Gymnomuraena zebra
Timbabiche Feb 2016
Blue and Yellow Chromis

Blue and Yellow Chromis
Castañeta Mexicana
Chromis limbaughi
Isla Danzante Feb 2016
Stripebelly Puffer (said to be absent Gulf of California)

Stripebelly Puffer (said to be absent Gulf of California)
Botete Panza Rayada
Arothron hispidus
Isla Danzante Feb 2016
Stripebelly Puffer (uncertain)

Stripebelly Puffer (uncertain)
Botete Panza Rayada
Arothron hispidus
Punta Mangles Apr 2016
Spotted Porcupinefish

Spotted Porcupinefish
Pez Erizo Pecoso
Diodon hystrix
Bahia Marquer Mar 2016
Grunt? (unknown)

Grunt? (unknown)


Isla Danzante Feb 2016
Lizard Triplefin Blenny

Lizard Triplefin Blenny
Lagartija Tres Aletas
Crocodilichthys gracilis
Isla Danzante Feb 2016
Browncheek Blenny

Browncheek Blenny
Tubicola Plumoso
Cirriemblemaria lucasana
Isla Danzante Feb 2016
Finescale Triggerfish

Finescale Triggerfish
Cochi
Balistes polylepsis
Isla Danzante Mar 2016
Redside Blenny

Redside Blenny
Trambollo Rojo
Malacoctenus hubbsi
Caleta San Juanico Apr 2016
Blenny (Clubhead Barnacle?)

Blenny (Clubhead Barnacle?)


Agua Verde Mar 2016
Carmine Triplefin Blenny

Carmine Triplefin Blenny
Tres Aletas Listado
Axoclinus carminalis
Agua Verde Mar 2016
Giant Hawkfish (juvenile)

Giant Hawkfish (juvenile)
Chino Mero
Cirrhitus rivulatus
Punta Mangles Apr 2016
Giant Hawkfish (intermediate)

Giant Hawkfish (intermediate)
Chino Mero
Cirrhitus rivulatus
Punta Mangles Apr 2016
Giant Hawkfish

Giant Hawkfish
Chino Mero
Cirrhitus rivulatus
Caleta San Juanico Apr 2016
Green Jack

Green Jack
Jurel Bonito
Caranx caballus
Punta Colorada Mar 2016
Crab

Crab


Punta Colorada Mar 2016
Longtail Stingray

Longtail Stingray
Ray Latigo Largo
Dasyatis longa
Bahia Maquer Mar 2016
Lobster

Lobster


Puerto Ballandra Mar 2016
Blue-bronze Chub

Blue-bronze Chub
Chopa Rayada
Kyphosus analogus
Puerto Ballandra Mar 2016
Blue-bronze Chub (spotted phase)

Blue-bronze Chub (spotted phase)
Chopa Rayada
Kyphosus analogus
Puerto Ballandra Mar 2016
Azure Parrotfish

Azure Parrotfish
Loro Chato
Scarus compressus
Puerto Ballandra Mar 2016
Spotted Eagle Ray

Spotted Eagle Ray
Chucho Pintado
Aetobatus narinari
Isla Coronados Mar 2016
Turtle

Turtle


Puerto Ballandra Mar 2016
Jawfish (unknown)

Jawfish (unknown)


Puerto Ballandra Mar 2016
resembles Galapagos Jawfish (absent Gulf of Calif)
Sabertooth Blenny

Sabertooth Blenny
Diente Sable
Plagiotremus azaleus
Puerto Ballandra Mar 2016
Palenose Moray

Palenose Moray
Morena Pecosa
Echidna nocturna
Isla Coronados Mar 2016
Fishgod Blenny (uncertain)

Fishgod Blenny (uncertain)
Trambollo Dorado
Malacoctenus ebisui
Isla Coronados Mar 2016
Mexican Jawfish (or Finespotted)

Mexican Jawfish (or Finespotted)
Bocón Mexicano
Opistoganthus mexicanus
Isla Coronados Mar 2016
Mullet (uncertain type)

Mullet (uncertain type)


Isla Coronados Mar 2016
Spinster Wrasse (initial phase)

Spinster Wrasse (initial phase)
Señorita Solterona
Halichoeres nicholsi
Caleta San Juanico Apr 2016
Nudibranch

Nudibranch

Hypselodoris ghiselini
Caleta San Juanico Apr 2016


Address S/V Hoku Pa'a
1000 DeCosta Pl.
Victoria, BC
Canada  V9A 6Y3
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This page last updated 2 Apr 2016