Lion-, Trigger-, and Bone-fish. Oh my!

A graphite, coloured pencil, and highlighter drawing of a Blue Chromis

This is a semi-accurate inventory the wildlife we saw in Belize last month. The ocean-bound creatures and most birds were in the cayes off the coast from Dangriga, the Belize Barrier Reef, and Glover’s Reef. The others were mostly from the Caves Branch River southeast of Belmopan in the Cayo District.

FISH · Bar Jack · Blue Chromis · Blue Tang · Bluehead Wrasse · Bonefish · Common Squirrelfish · Dusky Damselfish · Fairy Basslet · Foureye Butterflyfish · French Grunt · Gray Angelfish · Great Barracuda · Lionfish · Needlefish · Queen Triggerfish · Redband Parrotfish · Schoolmaster Snapper · Sergeant Major · Spotfin Butterflyfish · Spotted Trunkfish · Stoplight Parrotfish · Threespot Damselfish · Yellowhead Wrasse

OTHER SWIMMERS · Caribbean Reef Squid · Caribbean Whiptail Stingray · Green Turtle · Hawksbill Turtle · Mangrove Upsidedown Jellyfish · Nurse Shark · Spotted Eagle Ray

CORALS, SPONGES, & BOTTOM DWELLERS · Bent Sea Rod · Boulder Brain Coral · Common Sea Fan · Cushion Sea Star · Finger Coral · Giant Barrel Sponge · Long Spined Urchin · Magnificent Feather Duster Worm · Massive Starlet Coral · Orange Claw Hermit Crab · Scaled Lettuce Coral · Staghorn Coral · Venus Sea Fan · Yellow Tube Sponge

LAND-DWELLERS · Black Iguana · Leafcutter Ants · Striped Basilisk, or “Jesus Christ lizard” · Wolf spider

AIRBORNE THINGS · Black Phoebe · Black Witch Moth · Brown Pelican · Double-crested Cormorant · Fruit Bat · Green Heron · Magnificent Frigatebird · Yellow-footed Booby

PLANTS & TREES · Ceiba (national tree of Guatemala and Mayan axis mundi) · Chicle · Cohune Palm · Common Guava (Mayan asthma treatment?) · Mahogany (national tree of Belize) · Mangrove · Spiny Bamboo


Most of the external links above lead to snorkelstj.com, an excellent source for identification created and curated by diver Barb Crites. The drawing above is a Blue Chromis.

Final note, TIL “fishes” and “fish” are both plurals, but “fishes” refers to multiple species as opposed to simply multiple fish. Fact via SB by way of a Wes Bos React course.