Top 25 List of Marine Fish (Saltwater Fish) Species with Pictures (2023)

Marine fish is a type of fish species which live in the ocean and seas and are also known as saltwater fish. They need a water salinity level of 3.5% to survive. These marine water fish generally live alone or in a school of fish with a large group fish. Saltwater marine fish are caught to be eaten or to be kept as aquarium fish as they are very colourful and playful. The diet of a saltwater marine fish can be varied as they can be either herbivores, carnivores or omnivores. Algae are a popular choice of diet for most marine fish apart from plankton, shrimp and crustaceans. Let’s have a look at the list of marine fish (saltwater fish) species with images.

List of Marine Fish (Saltwater Fish) Species:

Here is the list of 25 marine fish species with images.

1. Teardrop Butterflyfish:

Teardrop Butterflyfish is a species of marine fish which belongs to the Chaetodontidae family. This type of saltwater fish has a strong jawline along with a large white coloured body. There are many patterns running across its body in yellow and blank colour. Its distinctive feature is the tearing eye-spot located at the upper part of its body.

2. Whale Shark:

Whale Shark is one of the largest known marine water fishes. It is also known as the largest living non-mammalian vertebrate. This particular shark moves very slowly. These sharks have a very large mouth and they normally feed on planktons. They are notably no threat to humans.

[ Read: List of Aquarium Fish Species ]

3. Rabbitfish:

These are also known as the fox faces due to the stripes on their face. Rabbit fishes are considered as one of the commercial species. They are used to prepare some food dishes like bagoong. Most of these species consist of the body length of 25cm – 40cm. Apart from some fishes being used for food; other species like fox faces are mostly opted as the saltwater aquarium fish.

4. Atlantic Spadefish:

The Atlantic Spadefish is a species of saltwater fish which belongs to the Ephippidae family. This fish is also known as angelfish, white angelfish and moonfish etc and are characterized by a small mouth along with a compressed disk-shaped body. Silver in colour, they have 4-6 vertical bands on either side of their body. They are found in shallow marine and salty waters such as beaches, mangroves and harbours etc.

5. Lionfish:

Lionfish is also known as the Pterois, and is a predator fish. They are usually found in lagoons, and edge of reefs. The length of the lion fish normally varies in between 5-45 cm and their weight will be 0.025 – 1.3 kg. Normally, these lion fishes have a life span of 15 year approximately.

6. Teira Batfish:

Teira Batfish is a species of marine fish which belongs to the Ephippidae and found in the Indo-Pacific Oceans along Australia, India and the Mediterranean coast. It typically has a circular shaped body along with a low hump on the nape and is usually grey, silver or brown in colour. It also has a dark blotch running under the pectoral fin.

7. Yellowhead Jawfish:

This is a small and beautiful marine aquarium fish. Normally, these kinds of fish are found at a depth of 3 – 40 metres. It usually utilizes its mouth in order to arrange the objects like the shells and tiny rocks. This kind of marine fishes are not much aggressive, but sometimes they open their jaw to warn the opponents.

8. Guitar Fish:

The guitar fish is one of the endangered species in our list of marine water fishes. They normally dwell at the bottoms of the sea while feeding on the other invertebrates. The normal length of a guitar fish will be 30 inches. They feed on small fishes andother crustaceans.

9. Frogfish:

Another marine fish is frogfish. It is normally covered with other living organisms such as algae which will help them to attract the prey towards them. Some of the species in this family can change colour. It is normally preferred to move very slowly. The size of the frog fish will normally range between 2.5 to 38 cm.

10. Japanese Threadfin Bream:

The Japanese Threadfin Bream is a demersal species of marine fish which belongs to the family of Nemipteridae and is also popularly known as false snappers or whiptail breams. They are characterized with a pink shade in the upper body while it silvery in the bottom part of the body along with 11 to 12 and yellow stripes running across its body. This fish has the ability to harbour parasites such as cestodes, nematodes, isopods etc and can live up to 8 years.

[ Read: Types of Tropical Fish ]

11. Milkfish:

Milkfish is a saltwater fish found in the coastal areas where there are well-developed reefs. They are characterized with a silver coloured long, muscular body along with a forked tail. This fish is very fast and powerful swimmers due to their forked tail. They have a lifespan of 3 to 15 years while most of the mortality takes place during the egg and larval stages.

12. Bombay Duck:

Bombay duck is a species of saltwater fish which belongs to the Synodontidae family and are characterized with a dull brown and gray colour which is speckled with dark spots. This fish has a large mouth and a forked tail along with pelvic and pectoral fins. It is also known as lizardfish. This fish species are extremely popular food items especially after they are dried and salted.

13. Giant Sea Pike:

The Giant Sea Pike is a marine fish which is also known as Pickhandle Barracuda and belongs to the Sphyraenidae family. These dark brown coloured fish typically have dark marks along the side of its body which resembles the thick ends of pickaxe handles and thus called pickhandle barracuda. The spawning for this type of marine fish takes place at the Iranian Bushehr coastal water.

14. Star Puffer:

Star Pufferfish is a type of demersal saltwater fish which belongs to the Tetraodontidae family. This type of marine fish is characterized by an elongated body which is oval and spherical shaped. They have a large head and have a prickly skin which is whitish grey along with black dots. They typically like to live a solitary life.

15. Engineer Goby:

The Engineer Goby is a species of saltwater fish which belongs to the Pholidichthyidae family and thrives in the west-central Pacific Ocean. This fish typically resemble an eel and develop white bars or spots on its body as it grows into an adult. They generally move in a tight school and as a single organism. This type of marine water fish loves to dig tunnels in the sand bed.

16. Tilefish:

These tile fishes normally prefer to keep themselves at the bottom of the waters. They prefer to stay in their self made caves or the burrows. The tile fish also have the ability to change the colour of their body which is really helpful in evading the predators. The size of these fishes will range from 11cms to 125cms.

17. Chinese Pomfret:

The Chinese Pomfrets normally recognized by their flatter body and long pectoral fins. They are normally found in a silver-white colour. An average Chinese pomfret will grow up to a weight of 1 – 6 kg. This small marine fish is mostly used for making food dishes in most of the Asian countries.

18. Indian Mackerel:

Indian Mackerel is one of the best saltwater fish that is normally served as food in most of the Asian countries, especially in India. These marine fish species are normally spotted in the coastal waters, deep lagoons and harbours. They feed on zooplankton, phytoplankton and other small fishes.

19. Parrot Fish:

Parrot fish comes from one of the largest family of the marine fishes. It consists of 95 species of which you can probably make a separate list of marine fishes. One can found these fishes on the rocky coasts and in the sea grass beds as well. The length of these fishes will range in between 12 – 20 inches.

20. Dolphinfish:

Dolphin is well known but there is lot of difference between that dolphin and this dolphinfish. This is a big predator fish which also called with other names like Mahi Mahi and dorado. These species can be seen thought the world in marine water.

21. Weakfish:

It is a different marine fish which is also known as spotted sea trout. This fish can grow to a length of 13 inches and recorded average weight of 5 kg. The food habit of this weakfish is eating the grass beds, tiny crabs and shrimps. This fish is characterized by large mouth, yellowish fins and black spots on the body.

22. Grey Mullet:

Here we have a cool saltwater fish with a length of approximately 12 – 30 inches. The grey mullet is one of the important food fish that is available across the world. It is also renowned as the flat head mullet, common mullet, sea mullet, black mullet and bully mullet. It is one of the best salt water fish in our list.

23. Pearl Spot:

Pearl spot consists of different names in different regions. It is called karimeen in Kerala, koraliya in Sri Lanka, and in Goa it is known as the kalundar. The adult species normally consists of an oval shape. This is one of the popular food fish that is available in Asia.

24. Hogfish:

The Hog fish is also known for its good taste and food. A normal hog fish will grow into a length of 36 inches. The most important and fact about the hog fish is that it has an ability to change its gender. i.e., it will start its life as a female and then it matures into a male.

25. Acadian Redfish:

Acadian redifish is a small marine which lives under deep sea water. This fish has other names such as ocean perch and Labrador redfish. It is a long lived fish and reaches 18 to 20 inches size. This fish is characterized by flattened body, large mouth and larges eyes.

[ Read: Different Types of Fishes in The World ]

The various types of marine fish have been listed above and some of them make excellent marine aquarium fish as they are strong and easy to care. They come in different shapes and unique colours. These saltwater fish are peaceful and easy to keep in an aquarium. Keeping an aquarium at your home or office can be a wonderful addition which will help you relax and enjoy the company of different types of saltwater fish.

Images: Shutterstock


What are marine fishes examples? ›

Saltwater fish

What is the most popular marine fish? ›

Ocellaris clownfish

Undoubtedly, the common clownfish is the MOST POPULAR SALTWATER FISH. It ranks as the #5 most commonly imported fish (meaning wild-caught, I imagine) and there is also a zillion (that is a scientific term) that are from aquaculture facilities.

How many are marine fishes? ›

CoML experts expect the final count of marine fish species to total roughly 20,000.

How many saltwater fish are there? ›

Introduction To Saltwater Fish

There are believed to be more than 20,000 species of saltwater fish on this planet1.

Which fish live in salt water? ›

Many kinds of fish live in the salty water of the oceans. A fish's kidney keeps the proper balance of salt in its body. Popular saltwater fish are bluefish, cod, flounder, striped bass (also found in freshwater), sea trout, tarpon, tuna, halibut, rockfish, sea perch, lingcod, and yellowtail.

What is the smartest saltwater fish? ›

Puffers are known to be the “smartest” fish.

What are the main types of sea fish? ›

Sea fish
  • Wolf Eel. Anarrhichthys. ocellatus. Red Gurnard. ...
  • Rockling. Ciliata. mustela. Conger Eel. ...
  • Grey Gurnard. Eutrigla. gurnardus. Cod. ...
  • Tope. Galeorhinus. galeus. Ballan Wrasse. ...
  • Smoothhound. Mustelus. asterias. Sea Lamprey. ...
  • Pollack. Pollachius. pollachius. Thornback Ray. ...
  • Huss. Scyliorhinus. stellaris. Gilthead Bream. ...
  • Scad. Trachurus. trachurus.

Is tilapia a saltwater fish? ›

Tilapia are mainly freshwater fish inhabiting shallow streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes, and less commonly found living in brackish water.

Is shark a saltwater fish? ›

Sharks are found in all seas and are common to depths up to 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). They generally do not live in freshwater, although there are a few known exceptions, such as the bull shark and the river shark, which can be found in both seawater and freshwater.

Is shark a marine fish? ›

noun. 1A long-bodied chiefly marine fish with a cartilaginous skeleton, a prominent dorsal fin, and toothlike scales. Most sharks are predatory, although the largest kinds feed on plankton, and some can grow to a large size.

Is shark a marine fish? ›

noun. 1A long-bodied chiefly marine fish with a cartilaginous skeleton, a prominent dorsal fin, and toothlike scales. Most sharks are predatory, although the largest kinds feed on plankton, and some can grow to a large size.

Is tuna a marine fish? ›

It belongs to a subgroup of the mackerel family and consists of 8 species that vary in colour and size. Tuna is a nomadic species and is found throughout the world's oceans.

What is the meaning of marine fish? ›

Saltwater fish, also called marine fish or sea fish, are fish that live in seawater. Saltwater fish can swim and live alone or in a large group called a school.

Is sardine a marine fish? ›

6) Sardine – Sardine fishes are nutrient rich and oily fishes consumed widely for their high Omega-3 contents. This is a marine fish.

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