Marine Life

The Maldivian waters are home to a variety of fishes and colorful marine life.

Here are a few common marine life you might see when diving in Maldives:

Batfish

The body of the batfish is very flat and compressed, so that the adult of the species actually resembles a disk. The forward profile of the head is convex and smooth, but it is broken in line with the snout, which becomes progressively longer. The young of the species have very tall and narrow dorsal and anal fins, but over time these become shorter and rounder. The coloration also varies with age. The young are reddish or yellowish-brown, while the adults display broad dark vertical bands, or else are more or less silvery, while parts of their fins are dark in colour. They live in small schools and are omnivorous. They grow to a length of 50 centimetres.

Black Spotted Gardeneel

These are extremely elusive creatures that flee immediately at the sight of an approaching scuba diver. They live in large colonies in sandy areas, generally deeper than 20 metres. They are seen with the front portion of their bodies out of their holes, allowing them to wave in the water, in search of plankton on which they feed. With a head distinguished by a short snout, their eyes are large and mouth oblique with large lips. The body is light coloured and is spangled with numerous small dark spots, with larger spots closer to the back. The species can grow to a length of 40 centimetres.

Blacktip Reef Shark

Carcharhinid of moderate size, it is common in shallow coastal waters, especially near open sea reefs. The body is elongated, the snout is short and rounded and the head is flat. The tips of the fins are black. The teeth are triangular. The blacktip Reef Shark grows to a length of two metres and often displays territorial behaviour.

Blue Surgeonfish

Carcharhinid of moderate size, it is common in shallow coastal waters, especially near open sea reefs. The body is elongated, the snout is short and rounded and the head is flat. The tips of the fins are black. The teeth are triangular. The blacktip Reef Shark grows to a length of two metres and often displays territorial behaviour.

Spotted Eagle Ray

This ray can be easily recognised by its pointed and convex head with large eyes and broad lateral spirales. The body is diamond-shaped and has broad, pointed pectoral fins. The tail, with one, two or three denticulated spines, is about three times the length of its body. The ventral fins are broad and fleshy. The back is dark in colouring with many white spots. The disk-shaped body measures up to two and a half metres in width. It attains a total length of up to two and a half metres. It can also be found in shallow lagoons (one to five metres in depth) on sandy areas.

Spotted Unicorn fish

This is the most distinctive of the surgeon fish, easily recognised by its powerful oval body that terminates in a long beak, which in turns extends well beyond the snout. On the sides of the peduncle there are two bony plates, each bearing a sharp spine. The caudal fin is rounded. Its colouring ranges from greyish-blue to olive brown. The lips are sometimes bluish. Its tail features a pale band along the lower edge. The spotted unicornfish has gregarious habits and attain a length of 50 centimetres.

Whale Shark

This is the worlds largest fish, and it can easily be recognised by it size. The head is flat and terminates in a large mouth, distinguished by the presence of numerous small teeth. The eyes are very small. The whale shark prefers to swim near the surface, where it feeds on small fish, cephalopods and crustaceans. The colouring is dark and light blue with distinctive white spots on the back. The belly is white. The fish is not dangerous; it grows to a length of eighteen metres.

Yellowfin Fusilier

The body of the yellowfin fusilier is oval, elongated and compressed. Its snout is short and mouth small, lined with small teeth. The dorsal fin is long. The caudal fin is profoundly incised with pointed lobes. The upper portion of the body and the caudal fin are yellow in colour. The lower half is light blue in colour. Its eyes are red. The base of the pectoral fins is black, the edges of the caudal, analy are pinkish. The fish live in schools along the exposed side of the reef. They grow to a length of 30 centimetres.


 

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