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Step aside, Nemo: Five tropical fish you may not have heard of


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Monday, April 21, 2014, 6:31 PM -

With only about half a percent of the world's oceans explored, it's incredible to think about all of the wonderful species that have yet to be discovered.

And it's equally  amazing to look back at some of the animals we already know about.

Many of you have heard of the clownfish, made famous by the Pixar film Finding Nemo.

But what about the mandarinfish, the parrotfish and the royal gamma?

Read on for five incredible tropical fish species that you may not have heard of.

1. The mandarinfish

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

We can't get enough of the spectacular colours on this fish species, which is a member of the dragonet family. Native to the Pacific between southern Japan and Australia, you can find these little guys in aquariums around the world.


RELATED: Ten must-see aquariums


In the wild, mandarinfish stick close to coral reefs. Despite their spectacular designs, they're hard to spot due to their small size and tendency to stick close to the ocean floor.

2. Clown triggerfish

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

The clown triggerfish is one of about 40 species in the balistidae family.

Many fish in this family are marked with bright colours and spots and can be found in tropical and sub-tropical oceans across the world -- with a large concentration in the Indo-Pacific.

Triggerfish are commonly found in shallow waters and around coral reefs. Despite their cheerful appearance, they can be quite aggressive.

3. Royal gramma (gramma loreto)

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Native to Bermuda and the Bahamas, this tiny fish can a bit shy at first, but once it scopes out a few good hiding spots, it will come out of its shell.


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While it can live peacefully with other fish species, the royal gamma can be territorial with its own kind.

4. Lionfish

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

This venomous marine fish can also be found in the Indo-Pacific. It is one of ten species in the Pterois genus which  idenfied by white, black or red bands and venomous, spiky fin rays.

In humans, the venom can cause nausea and dizziness and, in rare cases, heart failure and death.

Despite this, you'll often see lionfish in aquariums, where they can live up to 15 years provided they are well cared for.

5. The parrotfish

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

This cheerful-looking fish is part of a group of about 90 species within the scaridae family.

Found in shallow tropical and sub-tropical oceans, you can find parrtofish around coral, rocky coasts and in seagrass beds.

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