True Colors: Tropical Fish Dazzle the Senses

September 28, 2017

With around 350 species of fish at the Texas State Aquarium; it’s hard to choose a favorite! Whether a species is known for its eating habits, long range, or relationship to other animals under the sea; it’s hard to deny the beauty and gorgeous rainbow colors of tropical fish species. Learn about some of our top picks that you can see at the Texas State Aquarium!

Clownfish

Also known  as ‘Nemo’ thanks to that one movie, these bright orange, black, and white-striped reef fish are famous for their symbiotic relationship with certain anemones. Clownfish eat the leftovers from other fish and algae that gather on the anemone and the anemone protects the clownfish from a number of would-be predators. They are the only fish that are able to live in sea anemones and not get stung by their tentacles.

Parrotfish

These fascinating fish come in a kaleidoscope of dazzling colors and also stun scientists with their ability to actually change sex! For example, male parrotfish are known to maintain ‘harems’ of females. If the dominant male dies, one of the female parrotfish will change gender and color and become the dominant male. The Aquarium has princess, stoplight, and midnight parrotfish swimming in our Flower Gardens exhibit!

Queen Angelfish

Also found in our Flower Gardens exhibit, the vibrant oval-shaped queen angel is blue-green in color with blue and yellow highlights on its fins, and can be differentiated from the similar blue angelfish by the prominent dark ringed ‘crown’ spot on its forehead.

Blue Tang

These bright, bold blue and yellow fish can be found swimming in large schools cruising over the tops of reefs, grazing on algae. Known for their beautiful hue (and famous for forgetting things), tangs are actually capable of adjusting the intensity of their coloration – from light blue to deep purple.

Royal Gramma

The royal gramma or fairy basslet can range from a light violet to a deep, dark purple, fading into a golden yellow toward the end of the body and through the tail. Found in our Filter Feeders bubble exhibit near Living Shores, these tiny beauties are only around three inches long, but pack a punch of vivid color!

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