What's in each marine life guide


Resort details

  • Name and address of the resort
  • Exact geographic position (Lat Long in Degrees and decimal seconds).
  • Date or dates visited
  • Name of the photographer
  • Camera equipment used
  • Website address of the resort
  • Description of habitats with images
  • Entry and exit points

Species details

Species images at each resort are presented in order, based on a combination of taxonomy and appearance, i.e. not a strictly taxonomic order.   The species groups are listed below with illustrated examples of the range of species included:

Algae and Seagrasses

Seagrass bed made up of multiple seagrass species.  St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Bristle Ball Brush Alga. Example of a green alga. US Virgin Islands

Encrusting Coralline algae.  Example of a specialised form of red alga. St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

White Scroll Alga.  Example of a brown alga. St. Vincent and the Grenadines


Black-Ball Sponge.  White version!   Antigua.

Giant Barrel Sponge, St. Lucia

Yellow Tube Sponge, St.Lucia

Green Finger Sponge. St.Lucia

Anemones and Sea Firs

Sun Anemone.  Antigua

White Encrusting Zoanthid.  Zoanthids have been grouped with Anemones due to their similar external appearance.  

Christmas Tree Hydroid.  St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Giant Anemone. Cozumel, Mexico.

Soft Corals and Gorgonians

Common Sea Fan.  US Virgin Islands

Sea Plume, US Virgin Islands

Encrusting Gorgonian.  US Virgin Islands

Swollen Knob Candelabrum.  Antigua.

Hard Corals and Coral like species

Branching Fire Coral.  Part of the Hydrocorals, not a true stony coral.  Antigua.

One of several Brain Corals.  Antigua

Staghorn Coral.  US Virgin Islands

Two species, a Disc Coral in the centre, surrounded by a Lobe Coral.  Kenya

Worms and worm like species

Collection of Christmas Tree Worms. US Virgin Islands

Bearded Fireworm.  Antigua

Magnificent Feather Duster.  US Virgin Islands

Sea Frost.  US Virgin Islands


Caribbean Spiny Lobster.  Antigua

Nimble Spray Crab.  St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Box Crab.  Kenya

Banded Coral Shrimp. Kenya


Flamingo Tongue. St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Amber Penshell.  St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Caribbean Reef Squid.  Antigua

Common Octopus.  Antigua.  Battling with a giant worm in this image


Long-Spined Urchin.  US Virgin Islands

Indian Cushion Sea Star.  Kenya

Red-knobbed Starfish. Kenya.

Furry Sea Cucumber.  Antigua.

Sea Squirts

Blue Bell Tunicate.  US Virgin Islands

Geometric Encrusting Tunicates.  US Virgin Islands.

Green Barrel Sea Squirt. Kenya.

Encrusting Social Sea Squirt.  US Virgin Islands.

Reef and seabed associated fish

Yellowtail Damselfish.  US Virgin Islands

Common Lionfish.  US Virgin Islands.

Shoal of fish over a reef, including Blue Tang, Doctorfish and Ocean Surgeonfish. Antigua.

Southern Stingray and friends.  US Virgin Islands.

Peacock Flounder.  Antigua.

Balloonfish. Antigua.

Smooth Trunkfish.  St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Redlip Blenny.  Tobago.

Mid and Open-water fish

Cero.  St. Lucia.

Palometa.  US Virgin Islands

Great Barracuda.  Cozumel,Mexico.

Houndfish.  Antigua.


Green Turtle.  US Virgin Islands.

Feeding Green Turtles.  US Virgin Islands.


Golden Medusa.  Kenya.


Some cross over is evident within the fish groups (Open water versus Reef associated), so check across both groups at each resort.  I have yet to acquire any good Marine Mammal images, but live in hope.  Some of you may have noticed that one of the largest taxonomic groups, the Bryozoa, is missing.  More on these when I can spot them!     

I have endeavoured to give the correct name to each image, but clearly some species are difficult to pin down, particularly the sponges, which generally require laboratory samples to verify.  As a result in all cases I have erred on the side of caution.  If either the genus or species name is in doubt it is preceded by a question mark ?   I am happy to be corrected by anyone who thinks that I have made a mistake.  Please use the contact page to get back to me. 


Species and habitat descriptors

These include:

  • Common name (bold text).  Variable depending on the part of the world.
  • Most appropriate taxonomic classification, within Phylum, Class or Order is also included (normal text). 
  • Scientific name (italic). Generally consistant but subject to update by taxonomic authorities.

An indication of size is given, where appropriate:   VL = very large (>2m), L = large (>0.5m to 2m), M = medium (>0.2m to 0.5m), S = small (5cm to 20cm), VS = very small < 5cm.

Habitat information is provided, either in full or as abbreviations, including: Rocky Reef features (Rf), Coral Reef features (Cr), Boulders (B), Mixed sediment seabed including coral debris (Mx), Sand (Sa), Mud (M), Silt (Si), Seagrass (Sg), Algae (Ag). Open water (Ow), Surf zone (Sz), Intertidal (It).