Types Of Fish That Live In Coral Reefs

Types of fish that live in coral reefs are called coral reef fish. Amongst the complex ecosystems and tremendous biodiversity, coral reef fishes stand out as they are particularly colorful and interesting to watch. The wide variety of coral reef fishes are distinguished by various biological factors and the types of coral reef fishes are discussed below


Among the various types of fish that live in coral reefs, carnivores are the most diverse feeding types and there is more number of carnivore species in the coral reef habitat than herbivores. Carnivore species are highly competent and they always make a treacherous environment for their pray by lurking in ambush and patrolling throughout the reef day and night.

Carnivores typically have large mouths that are capable of drawing in nearby water and smaller animals by expanding their mouth. The inhaled water will contain the prey animals and the water will be expelled through the grill like structure while the prey animals are still trapped behind the grills.

Some of the Types of fish that live in coral reefs carnivore fishes are:

* Blue stripe snapper

* Goat fish

* Moray eels


Types of fish that live in coral reefs that have abilities, are unique and help them in finding their food and also can safeguard them from predators are called as specialized carnivores.

An example of specialized carnivores is large schools of forage fish that move around the reef in large schools feeding on tiny zooplanktons. The schooling behavior is largely helpful in escaping from their predators rather than in hunting their prey. Since each fish will be on the lookout, it makes it easier for them to be alerted about predators and they have various strategies to escape from the attack of predator fishes. One major strategy is the choreography that a school does. These fishes are known for their display of precise choreography that is enabled by specialized pressure sensors on their body. The pressure sensors help the fishes to keep track of the movement of other fishes in the school.


Types of fish that live in coral reefs that feed on plants come under the category of herbivores. The major groups of fishes that feed on plants are parrot -fishes, damselfishes, rabbit fishes, and surgeon fishes, that primarily feed on algae growing on or near coral reefs.

Parrot-fishes got their name from their parrot like beaks and brilliant colors. These large herbivores graze on algae growing on dead corals. Parrot-fishes are equipped with two pairs of crushing jaws and beaks.

Damsel fish are the next group of species in coral reef herbivores known for their aggressiveness towards other fishes that feed on algae. These fishes feed on zooplankton and algae and are important for larger predators as reef forage fish.

Rabbit fishes are the coral reef fishes known for their defensive venomous spines, and are seldom attacked by predators.


There are a wide variety of toxic types of fish that live in coral reefs species and they contain toxins in their body. The types of coral reef fishes with toxins are distinguished as poisonous and venomous both containing strong toxins in their body but are distinguished on the basis of, how the toxin is delivered. While venomous fishes deliver their toxins by biting, stabbing or stinging, poisonous fishes deliver it to their predators who consume them.

Major toxic coral reef fishes are:

* Reef stone fish

* Spotted trunkfish

* Stargazer

* Giant moray