Biodiversity

Common coral reef fishes of Panama

Content Cover Image

Striped parrotfish—the reef fish with the highest mean abundance in Panama. (photo by Florent Charpin, via http://reefguide.org/stripedparrotfish.html)

Introduction 

Panama is the most southerly Central American nation, located between Costa Rica to the north and Columbia to the south.  Over 250 species of reef fishes have been identified during REEF Fish Surveys in Panama.

25 most common species in Panama

caption Stoplight parrotfish—the most frequently observed reef fish in Panama. ''Reef Fish Identification'', New World Publications © 1994. The following ranking is based on the results of 155 REEF Fish Surveys covering a bottom time of 173 hours and 20 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. Stoplight parrotfish 

 90.3

 few-many

 2. Bicolor damselfish 

 88.4

 many

 3. Bluehead 

 88.4

 many

 4. French grunt     

 85.5

 few-many

 5. Blue tang

 83.2

 few-many

 6. Striped parrotfish

 81.9

 many

 7. Foureye butterflyfish

 81..9

 few

 8. Sergeant major

 81.3

 few-many

 9. Threespot dameslfish

 77.4

 many

 10. Redband parrotfish

 76.8

 few-many

 11. Yellowtail damselfish

 75.5

 few-many

 12. Slippery dick   

 75.5

 many

 13. Yellowhead wrasse

 74.2

 many

 14. Bar jack

 72.3

 few-many

 15. Doctorfish

 69.7

 few-many

 16. Schoolmaster

 69.0

 few

 17. Sharpnose puffer   

 69.0

 single-few

 18. Yellowtail snapper

 68.4

 few-many

 19. Spanish hogfish

 66.5

 single-few

 20. Yellow goatfish

 65.8

 few-many

 21.  Spotfin butterflyfish

 65.2

 single-few

 22.  Graysby

 64.5

 few

 23. Beaugregory   

 63.2

 few-many

 24. Mahogany snapper

 62.6

 few

 25.  Ocean surgeonfish

 60.6

 few-many

References and Further Reading

Glossary

Citation

McGinley, M. (2014). Common coral reef fishes of Panama. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/151359

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