Photo Above: My reflection in the eye of a Sand Diver Lizardfish
There are over 5,000 photos on this web site. Over 420 species of fish, creatures, corals, marine plants and algae are represented. All of the pictures in the ID Gallery were taken while snorkeling from a walk in access here in St. John (no boat needed). I am continually adding pictures and information as I sift through the more than 90,000 pictures (As of March 1, 2019) I've taken over several years.
I decided to share this collection with others because I found the need for a good USVI marine life Identification guide. I came to realize that in many instances you first have to know WHAT you are looking at before you can SEE IT because many species of marine life depend on camouflage to hide from predators (and for many, you look like a big predator!).
Ten years ago, I came to St. John because of a job opportunity and I stay because of the "wildlife"---the underwater wildlife that is. Although I wasn't much of a "water person", I decided to "jump in with both feet". I purchased some good equipment and started snorkeling.
I became fascinated with marine wildlife. I bought some fish identification books and started studying. If I saw something I didn't know, I'd look it up when I got home. I perused the books and learned to identify more and more creatures, corals and fish. I have found and photographed creatures and organisms that are as yet unidentified.
I am not a marine biologist or an ichthyologist. My purpose is not to be scientific, but provide a general basis of understanding and recognition of the various marine species. Identifications may or may not be correct in all cases. Some names are "known as" names. Some species are as yet scientifically uncategorized, so a name is given based on general appearance or other attributes. I've given the scientific names when I'm 99% positive or when it's the closest thing.
The information provided is based mostly on my own observations and the information disseminated from various sources. External links are provided to sites I found to be exceptional in the information they provide as specialists. General sources include reef.org and fishbase.org and other specialized sites, Peterson Field Guides, National Audubon Society Field Guide and the "Reef Set" by Paul Humann and edited by Ned Deloach for whom I have great admiration. You can't imagine how hard it is to get a good picture of a fish that won't stop moving, until you try!
.. To provide an educational source for both visitors to the island and anyone else, both children and adults, who want to learn about our local marine life. Our neighbors in the sea deserve our protection and also respect for their environment. Anything that finds its way into the water, whether it's a piece of litter thrown on a road, washed off a beach or fallen off a boat, could eventually make its way to the deep ocean. It's important to realize that deep water areas of the ocean are not so far away that it's beyond the effects of our human activities. Living creatures in the deep are impacted by what we do at the surface. The best way I know to instill a sense of caring is to share my love and fascination for it.....
All Photos are protected by copyright. Use without permission is prohibited. Just ask.
My photos are available as prints. Just ask.
What People Say...
"This is amazing, I'd never have known there was so much to see and so much I was missing..... " Martha M.
"I just returned from Roatan where I did my 4 Open Water certification dives. Your site was WONDERFUL at helping me identify the fish I saw - Thank you so much. "
This was so helpful. It was exciting to try to identify things we'd seen in the water. Thank You," Clayton B.
"I just got back from Cozumel, and found a very cool fish I wanted to identify. I Googled "identify Caribbean fish"; and your site came up � it is now bookmarked. Thanks for helping me put a name to it. I shot you $5 via PayPal to show my appreciation."
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