By Blane Perun
Rate: (24 Ratings)
One of the most fascinating features of the reef, aside from the complex and diverse corals, is the coral reef fish. These diverse creatures inhabit coral reefs around the world. It is estimated that there are over 4,000 species of coral reef fish of the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and this number increases as new exploratory surveys are done.
Coral reef fish can generally be broken down into five different categories. Some fish are specialized to feed on plankton. Some coral reef fish are herbivores. Invertebrate predators are considered the most diverse group. Omnivores, which appear to be primarily carnivorous, are also a group. The final group of reef fish is the piscivores, which are formed by large fishes which survive by eating other fish.
With literally thousands of types of coral reef fish, it's hard to pin down just what qualifies as a "common" reef fish. They are all so diverse in color and pattern, and each serve a distinct purpose in the habitat in which they live. Just a few of the common reef fish are the Orange-Green triggerfish, Clown Triggerfish, Angelfish, Regal Tang, Percula Clownfish, varies species of Dottyback, and the Purple Firefish are just a very few of the popular coral reef fish, also suitable for aquarium enjoyment.
Coral reef fish are of considerable economic value to the travel and vacation industry, as well as the adjacent coastal cities. There is a high demand for the aquarium fish industry, and enthusiasts are always seeking out new and colorful species. Many coral reef fish are currently on the Endangered Species List.
The high diversity of reef fish around the world is a direct result of the complexity of each type of reef, which provide different ways for these fish to feed, live and reproduce. There are unlimited ways that these coral reef fish can hunt, feed, hide, reproduce and live amongst the complex corals and other reef structures. Along with this diversity of living also comes a large diversity in the shapes and colors that reef fish add to the beauty of these regions.
Coral reef fish offer even more diversity to the already amazing and interesting coral reefs all over the world. The number of species is astounding, and they are a wonderful addition to coral reef habitats all over the world.