Reef Fish of the Mayan Riviera

Taking a swim in the reefs of the Mayan Riviera can show a lot of color and excitement. The reefs are amazing with the largest variance of species in the world!

Taking time to snorkel through the reefs is time well spent when on vacation, and every one of our public boat tours and private charters includes snorkeling and gear for all.

Use this guide on your next snorkeling adventure to identify some of the most unique fish species of the Riviera Maya.

Queen Angelfish

The queen angelfish is seen frequently through the reefs of the mayan riviera. They can be spotted by the color of their electric blue bodies and have been know to be a fish. They are usually seen by themselves or in pairs. Watch for their rounded head and beak like mouths for distinct identity.


Black Durgon

The name of this fish can be quite confusing because the black durgon is actually a greenish-black tropical fish with purple overtones. The durgon rear scales will have prominent keels that form longitudinal ridges to help make them more distinguishable. They can be found eating small bits of algae from the top of the water or small plankton around the reef.


Queen Triggerfish

This fish is a striking fish to see swimming around the Mayan Riviera reef. The queen trigger fish if stressed will slightly change colors, so be careful when approaching this majestic sea creature. The diet of the queen triggerfish consists mostly of sea urchins and other small creatures such as krill and hard shelled shrimp.


Glasseye Snapper

This unique fish can be seen swimming around the hundreds of other species. Although it is not always the brightest fish it still adds appeal to the reef community. The glasseye snapper can be easily distinguished with its pinkish red color, and dark red spots. What makes this fish more appealing is how rare it is. If you see this fish consider it a honor.               

These are just a sample of the many species swimming in our waters here on the Caribbean coast of Mexico.

Bonus: When snorkeling with us, you will often see sea turtles swimming around the reef, snacking on the sea grass. Read this post to learn 7 Fun Facts about Sea Turtles and check out what we see when we go swimming!