Biodiversity

Common coral reef fishes of Colombia

Content Cover Image

Foureye butterflyfish- the most frequently observed reef fish in Colombia. ''Reef Fish Identification'', New World Publications © 1994. (image: www.flmnh.ufl.edu)

Introduction 

Colombia is a South American nation bounded in the northwest by the Central American nation of Panama, in the east by Venezuela, in the south by Brazil, in the southwest by Peru and Ecuador. Its northern coast fronts the Caribbean Sea and its western coast fronts the Pacific Ocean.  Over 310 species of reef fishes have been identified during REEF Fish Surveys in Colombia.

25 most common species in Colombia

caption Blue chromis- the reef fish with the highest mean adundance in Colombia. ''Reef Fish Identification'', New World Publications © 1994.

The following ranking is based on the results of 514 REEF Fish Surveys covering a bottom time of 660 hours and 40 minutes. (REEF Geographic Zone Report. June 1, 2009).  The species are ranked by the percentage of surveys in which a species was observed.  Abundance of fishes in REEF Fish Surveys are estimated using the following categories: 1- single =1 individual, 2-few = 2- 10 individuals, 3-many = 11-100 individuals, and 4-abundant > 100 individuals.  The mean numeric abundance (ranging from 1 - 4) was calculated for each species..  The mean abundance category is determined as follows: mean abundance category 0 - 1.49 = single, 1.50 - 1.99 = single-few, 2.0 - 2.49 = few, 2.5 - 2.99 = few-many, 3.0 - 3.49 = many, 3.5 -3.99 = many-abundant, and 4.0 = abundant.

 

Species

% of surveys observed

Mean abundance category

 1. Foureye butterflyfish

 93.2

 few

 2. French grunt

 92.8

 few-many

 3. Blue tang   

 91.6

 few-many

 4. Redband parrotfish

 90.3

 few-many

 5. Bluehead

90.1

many

6. Blue chromis 

89.7

 many-abundant

 7. Bicolor damselfish

88.9

 many

 8. Ocean surgeonfish

 87.9

 few-many

 9. Yellowhead wrasse

 86.8

 many

 10. Bar jack

 84.6

 few

 11. Princess parrotfish

 83.5

 few-many

 12. Fairy basslet 

 83.5

 few-many

 13. Yellow goatfish    

 82.9

 few

 14. Graysby

 82.1

 few

 15. Stoplight parotfish

 80.9

 few-many

 16. Brown chromis

 80.0

 many

 17. Banded butterflyfish

 79.4

 single-few

 18. Sharpnose puffer

 78.0

 few

 19. Spanish hogfish

 76.7

 few

20. Threespot damselfish

 75.1

 few-many

 21.  Coney    

 74.9

 few

 22.  Rock beauty        

 74.7

 single-few

23. Longspine squirrelfish   

 73.7

 few

24. Schoolmaster

 73.7

 few

25.  Yellowtail snapper  

 72.4

 few

References and Further Reading

Glossary

Citation

McGinley, M. (2014). Common coral reef fishes of Colombia. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/151337

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