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The Fish of Cozumel February 20, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Ecology.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

During our stay at the Occidental Grand in Cozumel, there were several days I took off from diving, and on each one I went snorkeling in front of the hotel at least once. While I’d done this the last time I was there, and had been amazed the large school of fish (Big Eyed Jacks) that were hanging around at the furthest point in the swimming area, this time I undertook to inventory all the species of animal life to be found beneath the surface. I was surprised at the number of species that I encountered, and managed to photograph many of them. Here’s a list of the ones I can name:

  1. Spiny Lobster
  2. Spotted Moray
  3. Southern Stingray
  4. Yellow Stingray
  5. Horse-Eye Jacks
  6. Bluestriped Grunt
  7. French Grunt
  8. Parrot Fish
  9. Peacock Flounder
  10. Arrow Crab Spider Shrimp
  11. Smooth Trunk Fish
  12. Spotted Trunk Fish
  13. Great Barracuda
  14. Sergeant Major
  15. Needlefish
  16. Sand Diver
  17. Trumpet Fish
  18. Blue Parrotfish
  19. Juvenile Angelfish (Probably French)
  20. Blue Tang
  21. Nassau Grouper
  22. Banded Butterflyfish
  23. Bluehead Wrasse
  24. French Angelfish
  25. Honeycomb Cowfish
  26. Rock Beauty Angelfish
  27. Yellowtail Snapper
  28. Ocean Triggerfish
  29. Squid of some kind, almost transparent
  30. Various Sea Anemones

The Southern Stingray swam right in front of me about 30 feet from the beach as I was heading out of the water. Many of the others were hiding under ledges created by discarded concrete slabs or by the concrete anchors for the buoys that marked out the limit of the protected swimming area. Most of the photos were taken from under water while I was holding my breath. Not being equipped with weights I had to kick to stay under water which made the photography more difficult.

The big school of Jacks was still there, under the watchful eye of a Barracuda which appeared to treat it as its private buffet. The school changed places once in a while but never went very far.

If I’ve got any wrong please correct me.



1. Cozumel Wrap Up « Chronicle of an older diver - March 21, 2009

[…] The Fish of Cozumel […]


2. Joan Hunter - February 6, 2011

I am trying to identify a fish I saw while snorkeling off the coast of Cozumel. It looks very much like a permit fish but swims by using it’s dorsal and pelvic fins back and forth like a sun fish or trigger fish. What was it?


Chris Sullivan - February 7, 2011

Not a clue I’m afraid. I’ll look for it when I’m down there next week. Pictures are coming.


3. Occidental Grand Hotel Cozumel « Chronicle of an older diver - March 3, 2011

[…] 8 feet at the farthest point from the beach and there is plenty of aquatic life to be found there as I’ve written about before, including a large school of Horse-Eye Jacks shepherded by a resident […]


4. Denise - October 9, 2013

I saw one needlefish in Cozumel last week but it was yellow with a blue tail. All the pictures seem to show it as silver or blue?


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