(Read part 1 of this series) A basic knowledge of fish anatomy is always helpful in identifying fish. It will help you keep better notes on the defining characteristics of fish. The basic body shape and the positioning and shape of the fins are especially important in identification. For example, the tail fin, also known as the caudal fin can take on many different shapes. We will look at some of those shapes in part 3. Basic Fish Facts Basic fish diagram (fins labeled) Source
Although I have always been interested in aquatic life, my official "fishlist" started on a Dive Addicts trip to Fiji in 2005. We stayed at the Bamboo Beach Resort in Rakiraki (2 1/2 hours North of the international airport in Nadi). The resort was beautiful. Each couple had their own bure (a Fijian bungalow) with large glass windows overlooking a beautiful bay. Each bure included its own outdoor shower, which was great, once you got used to showering outside! We had air-conditioning that worked almost too good, food that was great (most of the time), night time entertainment that was fun, and resort staff that were amazingly friendly. To say that the Fijians are a friendly, loving people is an understatement! Within the first day we were there, the staff had all of our names memorized, including the gardening staff. The island was beautiful and totally secluded. This was definitely not your typical tourist trap. Fiji diving is an amazing experience. Known as the soft coral capital of the world, Fiji offers a bit of something for everyone. Even though we had a wide variety of diving experience amongst the group, we were all able to find diving suitable for every skill level. The amazing sights included forests of soft and hard corals, numerous nudibranchs, flat worms, bright blue colored starfish, crinoids, lion fish, gigantic puffers, sea snakes, eels, white tip, black tip, and oceanic white tip sharks, wahloo, rainbow runners, tuna, jacks, schooling barracuda, and more colorful reef fish then I have ever seen anywhere on the planet! At dive sites called Golden Dreams, Maytag, Circus, Black Magic Mountain, Mellow Yellow, Zig Zag, Cannibal Caves, Instant Replay, Pot Luck and others we did drift dives, deep dives, shallow relaxed dives, night dives, wreck dives, and a few people even managed to fit a little training in during the week. A few people had to stretch out of their comfort zones, but I think that all will agree that they had a wonderful time both above and below the water. My FIji Fish List included: Clown Trigger Fish, Titan Triger Fish, Lined Butterfly Fish, Orange Banded Surgeonfish, Japanese Surgeonfish, Red & Black Anenome Fish, Big Eye Snapper, Pick-handled Baracuda, Coral Grouper, Whitestreaked Grouper, Bleeker's Parrotfish, Common Hornfish, Black Spotted Pufferfish, Reeftop Pipefish, Spidershrimp, Viper Morray, Purple Eel, Peacock Nudibranch,Yellow & Purple Christmas Tree Worms, Regal Butterflyfish, Common Lionfish, Banded Pipefish, Scorpion Fish, Tuna, Chromodoris lochi Nudibranch, Chromodoris coi Nudibranch, Hypselodoris sp. Nudibranch, Phidiana indica Nudibranch, Phyllidia carlsonhoffi Nudibranch, Phyllidia ocellata Nudibranch, Trapania naeva Nudibranch, Blue Devil Damselfish,