Fish are a perfect example of biodiversity, since they come in countless shapes, colors and sizes. Some of these splendid creatures of the sea feature mesmerizing looks and unique features that make them stand out among their peers, which is why we decided that they are worth mentioning in a list regarding some of the world’s most beautiful species of fish. If you are particularly fond of sea creatures, then you will definitely love reading about these mesmerizing little swimmers, including the famous Clownfish, Mandarinfish and Moorish Idol.
22. Trigger Fish
The Trigger Fish can be found in great numbers in the Indo-Pacific, especially at coastal areas or in coral reefs. This gorgeous fish features an oval-shaped body and a large head that includes a small but very powerful mouth that it uses to crush shells. Even though some fish are widely known to have a very short-term memory, the Trigger Fish is surprisingly intelligent and can even learn from past experiences. Its diet consists of mostly sea urchins, mollusks and crustaceans, but some species will also eat small fish, plankton or algae.
21. Lined Butterflyfish
The Lined Butterflyfish is one of the largest of its species, and it inhabits the Red Sea all the way to South Africa, but it can also be found in certain areas in Hawaii and Southern Japan. This beautiful creature boasts a spectacular mix of white, black and yellow shades, as well as a series of vertical lines traversing its body. It can grow to be up to 12 inches long, which is quite a lot for a butterflyfish. The Lined Butterflyfish eats mostly invertebrates, algae and coral polyps.
20. Snakeskin Discus
The Snakeskin Discus is a very popular aquarium fish that flaunts a distinct blue color over a reddish background. In the wild, the Snakeskin Discus can be found in numerous areas of the Amazon River, but it requires a high level of maintenance when in captivity because it only eats certain types of food, while its water needs to be very well filtered. This fish is mostly carnivorous, so it prefers to feed on special pellet food, freeze-dried bloodworms or other meaty frozen meals.
19. Regal Tang
The Regal Tang is best known for its beautiful blue and black colorway complemented by a yellow tail. This fish can grow up to 12 inches long, and it features small scales as well as a pointy nose. Young regal tangs feed mostly on plankton, while older specimens are omnivorous so they sometimes nibble on algae. Since this fish emits a strong odor, it is often used as bait. However, due to its spectacular beauty, the Regal Tang is also found in aquariums.
Pufferfish are the world’s second-most poisonous vertebrates since they are only surpassed by the golden poison frog. However, these fish are considered a delicacy in certain Asian countries such as Japan, China and Korea, and many people actually eat Pufferfish on a regular basis while placing their lives in the hands of skilled chefs who know which parts are safe to serve. In the wild, the Pufferfish is actually kind of slow but has very good eyesight, and when it needs to intimidate its enemies, it fills its stomach with water in order to gain volume and look more menacing.
17. Pseudanthias Taeniatus
Pseudanthias Taeniatus is a beautiful red and white fish that can be found in the Red Sea at depths ranging between 32 and 164 feet. This particular species of fish can grow up to 5.1 inches in length, but even though it is quite small, it is definitely one of the world’s most eye-catching sea dwellers.
16. Lyretail Anthias
Divers who happen to find themselves beneath the waves of the Indian Ocean might run into this gorgeous little fish called Lyretail Anthias. This fish is a part of the Anthiinae subfamily, and it boasts a beautiful colorway comprising orange and yellow. Mainly known as the Sea Goldie, the Lyretail Anthias can reach a length of 5.9 inches, and it feeds mostly on zooplankton.
15. French Angelfish
The French Angelfish is known to inhabit the Western parts of the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean waters. This gorgeous sea creature features a dark colorway complemented by yellow stripes, and it can grow up to 15 inches. A big part of its diet consists of sponges, and even though it is quite a sight to behold, the French Angelfish is also being sold at markets due to its tasty flesh.
14. Flame Angelfish
The brightly colored Flame Angelfish was named as such due to its gorgeous orange-red colorway, but it also features 5 black vertical lines on its sides as well as black and purple-blue touches on its rear fins. Native to the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean, the Flame Angelfish feeds on crustaceans and algae, and it can reach an age of 7 years or even more.
13. Dwarf Gourami
Due to its translucent blue shades and dark orange stripes, the Dwarf Gourami has become a very popular fish at various aquaria around the world. This fish initially came from certain South Asian countries such as India or Pakistan, but it was moved to numerous other parts of the world due to its popularity. The Dwarf Gourami feeds on both algae and meat, and it only reaches about 2 inches in length.
12. Blueface Angelfish
The Blueface Angelfish inhabits the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific, and it flaunts a spectacular combination of blue, yellow and pale blue shades. However, young members of the species are recognized for their 6 vertical white bars and pale blue lines, while their caudal fins flaunt 2 tones of blue. This fish lives out its days among the coral reefs of the Maldives, Japan, Taiwan and Indonesia, but it can also be found in lagoons at depths of up to 82 feet
11. Banggai Cardinalfish
The Banggai Cardinalfish can only be found in the Banggai Islands of Indonesia, and it is currently an endangered species. Measuring just 3 inches in length, this beautiful fish can be distinguished by other members of the same species due to its forked caudal fin, tasseled first dorsal fin and elongated second dorsal fin rays. The colorway includes 3 black bars that traverse the body and head, while the rear fins are also noticeably black.
10. Rainbow Parrot Fish
The Rainbow Parrot fish got its name thanks to its bird-like beak, which it uses quite skillfully to eat small invertebrates found in coral. The fish eats by nibbling on the coral, and it spits out the remains once it is finished thus leaving quite a “mess” on the coral floor. As far as aesthetics are concerned, the Rainbow Parrot fish’s body flaunts combinations of blue, green purple and pink shades complemented by yellow spots.
Depending on the species, Clownfish boasts multiple color combinations, but the most popular is probably the one consisting of an orange body interrupted by white stripes framed in black. There is also an equally spectacular version featuring a black body with yellow and orange stripes along with the fins and lower body. The Clownfish can grow up to 7.1 inches in length, while the smallest specimen would only reach 3.9 inches.
8. Moorish Idol
The Moorish Idol is one of the most beautiful fish on earth, no doubt about it, but it is unfortunately quite difficult to keep on display. Its body features a distinct disk-like shape as well as a stunning combination of white, black and yellow sections. In the wild, this fish lives in shallow waters at depths between 9.8 and 590 feet. The Moorish Idol’s diet comprises coral polyps, sponges and tunicates.
7. Mantis Shrimp
The Mantis Shrimp comes in a wide variety of colors, which makes it one of the most beautiful sea creatures in the world. However, due to its shyness, it isn’t actually studied very well, since it tends to hide in holes and remain there for longs periods of time. The Mantis Shrimp can grow to 12 inches in length but it can go all the way to 15 inches in exceptional cases. Armed with powerful claws, this deadly yet gorgeous shrimp can deliver some painful blows to an inexperienced handler.
The Symphysodon is an evenly shaped fish, since its height and length both measure about 8 to 10 inches in an adult specimen. This gorgeous fish has a rather compressed body, but since it doesn’t have any extra fins, it tends to look a bit rounder than you’d expect. Moreover, the sides of the fish are adorned with unique and beautiful patterns in white, green, blue or brown.
A nudibranch is actually a type of mollusk that dumps its shell after it comes out of its larval state. These peculiar creatures come in different shapes, sizes and colors, and they are often referred to as sea slugs. Their diet is based on sponges, bryozoans or hydroids, but some of them can even have cannibalistic tendencies. They can be found in waters all over the globe, including the icy cold ones of Antarctica as well as in the tropical regions of our world.
4. Clown Trigger Fish
The Clown Trigger Fish is one of the most spectacular members of its species since it features a magnificent display of patterns and colors including white, black, yellow and light blue. The triggerfish, in general, can be found in subtropical and tropical oceans, especially in coastal regions and shallow waters. This particular fish is often 19 inches long, and it feeds on crustaceans and mollusks.
3. Lion Fish
The Lion Fish is a beautiful but very poisonous fish that lives in the waters of the Indo-Pacific. Also known as Pterois, the Lion Fish boasts white, red, brown or black bands as well as a set of intimidating fin rays on its back. Even though getting stung by one of these things is a very painful experience, the venom is not usually deadly for humans, but it does represent a very good weapon against its natural enemies.
2. Juvenile Emperer Angel Fish
Young Emperer Angel Fish are some of the most beautiful fish in the world, featuring a superb colorway consisting of dark blue, white and electric blue blend. These colors are neatly arranged in a circular pattern that remains roughly unchanged for 4 years until the fish reaches maturity. Afterwards, the adult Emperer Angel Fish develops black shades around its eyes as well as a series of blue and yellow stripes.
Last but not least, we’re going to tell you a bit about the Mandarinfish, which could very well be the most beautiful fish on Earth. Also known as the “mandarin dragonet”, this stunning little creature lives in the Pacific, specifically amongst reefs, and since it is quite small (2.6 inches) it is not easily spotted in the wild. Its diet includes fish eggs, polychaete worms and ostracods, and it is known to be quite difficult to keep in aquariums because of its strict eating habits.