I had so much fun flipping through the fish book trying to identify the last set of fish pictures that I decided to post another set of them! Plus with 2000 or so odd fish to choose from, 23 just wasn’t a large enough sample size, so I present to you 18 more. 

1. Manta Ray - I’ve seen numerous manta rays by now but have yet to have my camera with me on a dive. And I’m sure if I had had a camera, the mantas wouldn’t have shown. But the other day when we were heading out of the bay, before rounding the German Lighthouse corner, our boat captain announced that there was a manta ray in the water. He slowed down for us to see and I reached over the side of the boat to plunge my camera beneath the surface, hoping something would come out.



2. Barramundi - Now there’s a face only a mother could love. This fish isn’t just unique in appearance. Most individuals mature as a male and then become female after at least one spawning season.


3. Whitetip Reef Shark - These sharks are like cats. They spend their time going from one napping spot to the next, until some camera-happy diver rushes over, disturbing their peace, and they swim off in a hurry to find a better napping spot.


4. Mantis Shrimp - Behold the mantis shrimp! I can’t talk about these fantastic critters without posting a link to my all-time favorite web comic by the Oatmeal, so please read this without delay if you haven’t already. I’ve seen exactly two mantis shrimps in Palau, both of which I am proud to say I found myself. Both times I nearly peed myself I was so excited. (Actually I probably did. Divers do that sometimes...)


5. Moorish Idol - Otherwise known as Gill from Finding Nemo. These are usually found alone, or in pairs as they mate for life, but occasionally at Saies Corner you can see a whole school of thousands of them, swimming through like a cloud of butterflies.


6. Map Puffer - The maze pattern covering these fish is simply mesmerizing. Don’t try to eat them though, they contain tetrodotoxin to protect themselves from predators.


7. Signal Goby - There are some 2000 species of goby, and people who follow them around religiously. Check out blennywatcher.com for a story about how the author spent 90 minutes watching a pair of signal gobies and convinced everyone at the dinner table that night to go back and look for them again the next day. I personally don’t get quite that amped up over gobies, but reading her experience reminded me of some of the silly things I do get excited over. Like mantis shrimps. To each their own.


8. Feathertail Stingray - This is the most commonly seen ray in Palau. They land on the sand and then flap their wings, stirring up all the sand momentarily, and then allow it to settle on top of them so that they are buried.



9. Stonefish - Ever seen one of those wind-up toys that sort of hops? That’s what this guy looked like when he was moving across the coral. The cartoonish movement with the grumpy face had me laughing. Careful not to touch these though or you won’t be laughing for long; they are venomous like a lionfish. 


10. Spotted Shrimpgoby - Here’s another grumpy face for you. Maybe I should have named this post, Fish Who Woke Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed


11. Black-Saddled Toby or Mimic Filefish - So there’s a fish that looks like this called a black-saddled toby, and another one that tries to look like the first called a mimic filefish. The only difference is that the filefish has a spaghetti-like first dorsal fin.


12. Bumphead Parrotfish - Proudly providing you with white sand beaches.


13. Octopus


14. Leaffish


15. Whitemargin Unicornfish - Not only does this guy have an awesome horn like its namesake, it changes color!


16. Zebra Shark - Locally known as a leopard shark (which in other parts of the world refers to a different shark entirely), this is the only one of these I’ve ever seen. We dropped into Blue Corner and this beauty was chilling on the reef right underneath us.


17. Yellow Spotted Boxfish - I already dedicated a blog post to these little cuties, but had to bring it back because I finally got a picture of my own!


18. Arc-Eye Hawkfish - Nice job with the eyeliner!