A clear blue ocean. Warm sea water. A rich and diverse coral reef beckons. How many of the fish around it can you recognize?
You'll be treated to hundreds of tropical fish species fluttering, feeding and stalking prey as you go snorkeling or scuba diving. These underwater beauties will be easy to spot; tropical fish have bright, vivid colors typically derived from both pigmented and iridescent cells. However, since hundreds of species can exist in a small area of a healthy reef, you may also need to look hard to find those hiding or those in plain sight, but camouflaged.
Although many people think they cannot own tropical fish without a heated aquarium along with the perfect density of saltwater, there are freshwater tropical fish, as well. In fact, freshwater tropical fish are more commonly kept than saltwater tropical fish, as it's easier to turn on the tap and refill the aquarium.
With climate change, one wonders how long we'll have this diversity under the sea. Scientist are predicting that tropical fish will invade what were once cooler waters and are analyzing how it will impact the native species already there. But for now, enjoy the lush beauty and grace of the underwater show, one image at a time. Find out if you can identify these tropical fish.