The surrounding Galapagos waters are literally teeming with hundreds of species of marine life. Snorkeling can be good fun- be sure to look out for some of these amazing fish in the Galapagos:
These small, oval, flat fish are easy to spot because of the five distinctive blue-black vertical bars on their sides. In shallower sandy areas and over reefs they appear silvery grey with a tinge of yellow. They school in large cluster groups when feeding.
Generally grow to about 35cm long. The adults have brown or blue bodies depending on the light and depth of water they’re in. Generally, juveniles undergo many color changes as they mature.
Hieroglyphic Hawk fish
Like the name, patterns across their olive-scaled bodies do certainly resemble hieroglyphs. These shy, predatory amazing fish in the Galapagos feed mostly on smaller fish and crustaceans while growing to lengths of around 25 inches.
Schooling mainly on shallow reefs, they feed exclusively on sea algae. Covered in small black spots with a large yellow tail, they are quite easily visible in the crystal clear waters of the Galapagos.
Having a pointed snout with two pairs of strong canines, these species of Wrasse feed easily on crabs, sea urchins and other shell fish. Interestingly, they start life as females and then become males as a way to protect their egg-laying territories called leks.
Usually buried in the sandy bottoms, they are hard to spot; however, they do come up occasionally to feed on crustaceans freed from the ocean floor.
White-tip Reef shark
Quite common to the Galapagos, you can see them swimming freely in small groups or or just resting on the ocean floor. Other species abound, including hammerheads, black- tip sharks and Port Jackson sharks.
These stealth-like sea-dwellers certainly look like giant bats flying underwater. They can reach up to 23 feet long and feed exclusively on plankton.
Starting as hermaphrodites, they become males in later stages of life. These coral eaters are usually seen throughout the reefs.
Growing to about 12 inches long, they are hard to find among the brown algae and black coral rocks. Female seahorses usually deposit their eggs into the male pouches where they are fertilized until they eventually hatch.
Pufferfish are recognizable from their broad white stripes on their backs. They are usually seen from boats on the surface. These fish usually puff up to scare off predators while their hard, toxic spines make them hard to swallow – so they`re mostly avoided.
Cortez Rainbow Wrasse
These reef inhabitants commonly congregate in schools. Brightly colored and small, they can sometimes be found to act as cleaner fish, feeding of scraps of algae found in the gills of bigger fish. They are also known to eat smaller fish, shrimp and bristleworms.
Zebra Moray Eel
As the name implies these Eels have black and white stripping like zebras and are easy to spot when diving or snorkeling. They usually hide in rock crevices and point their heads out at intruders or for a bite to eat.
These strange-looking marvels of nature have rectangular heads with a single eye and one nostril at each end. They are quite an attraction, and are abundant in the Galapagos.
It has a large dorsal fin that springs up when threatened by bigger fish. The fin also helps wedge itself in crevices so that it can’t be pulled out by larger fish and eaten.