R Is For Reef Squid

The West Indies Sea Life Alphabet

The ocean of the Caribbean islands is full of beautiful creatures. I put this alphabet together for my nieces and nephews, so they could see all the wonderful things that I see.

The Caribbean ocean is full of beautiful creatures. I put this alphabet together for my nieces and nephews, so they could see all the wonderful things that I see.

Click on the pictures if you want to see the picture blown up bigger.

Click on the pictures if you want to see the picture blown up bigger.

A is for ANGELFISH

This is a baby French Angelfish. When she grows up, she will look like this:

This is a baby French Angelfish. When she grows up, she will look like this:

Adult French Angelfish

A is also for ARROW CRAB

Arrow Crabs are very small. They clean the coral with their tiny blue claws.

Arrow Crabs are very small. They clean the coral with their tiny blue claws.

Arrow Crabs like to hide in Vase Sponge.

Arrow Crabs like to hide in Vase Sponge.

B is for BUTTERFLYFISH

These Foureye Butterflyfish are looking for a treat to eat.

These Foureye Butterflyfish are looking for a treat to eat.

These Spotfin Butterflyfish are playing tag.

These Spotfin Butterflyfish are playing tag.

B is also for BRITTLESTAR

Brittle Stars like to hide in conch shells. When you turn over the shell, they crawl quickly to hide.

Brittle Stars like to hide in conch shells. When you turn over the shell, they crawl quickly to hide.

brittlestar2

B is also for BARRACUDA

Barracuda are big and hungry, but they want to eat fish, not people. Take off your shiny jewelry before you go swimming. The barracuda thinks shiny things in the water are fish. This barracuda is far away. That is where barracudas should be.

Barracuda are big and hungry, but they want to eat fish, not people.
Take off your shiny jewelry before you go swimming. The barracuda thinks shiny things in the water are fish. This barracuda is far away. That is where barracudas should be.

C is for CRAB

Channel Clinging crabs get very big. They like to hide in Vase Sponge.

Channel Clinging crabs get very big. They like to hide in Vase Sponge.

Hermit crabs like to hang out on the beach.

Hermit crabs like to hang out on the beach.

C is also for CORAL SHRIMP

Banded Coral Shrimp have crazy long antenna.

Banded Coral Shrimp have crazy long antenna.

Coral shrimp keep the reef tidy.

Coral shrimp keep the reef tidy.

D is for DRUM

The Spotted Drum is very shy. They hide in the coral.

The Spotted Drum is very shy. They hide in the coral.

Baby Spotted Drum is even more shy.

Baby Spotted Drum is even more shy.

D is also for DAMSELFISH

Damselfish are grouchy. They will nip at you if they think you are too close to their homes. This Threespot Damselfish doesn't like visitors.

Damselfish are grouchy. They will nip at you if they think you are too close to their homes. This Threespot Damselfish doesn’t like visitors.

E is for EEL

The Goldspotted Eel looks like a snake, but its a fish. They like to slither through the turtle grass, hunting for little fish to eat. See the bulge just behind its head? That's a fish in its throat.

The Goldspotted Eel looks like a snake, but it’s a fish. They like to slither through the turtle grass, hunting for little fish to eat. See the bulge just behind its head? That’s a fish in its throat.

E is also for EGG

The West Indian Sea Egg is a kind of urchin.The Sea Egg moves slowly around on thousands of tiny little feet. Careful where you step, those spines are sharp, but not so sharp that you can't pick it up gently to see all its feet.

The West Indian Sea Egg is a kind of urchin.The Sea Egg moves slowly around on thousands of tiny little feet. Careful where you step, those spines are sharp, but not so sharp that you can’t pick it up gently to see all its feet.

F is for FILEFISH

This is a Scrawled Filefish. It can change color to blend in with its surroundings, but it doesn't. It likes to stand out.

This is a Scrawled Filefish. It can change color to blend in with its surroundings, but it doesn’t. It likes to stand out.

These Whitespotted Filefish are counting each others spots.

These Whitespotted Filefish are counting each others spots.

F is also for FLAMINGO TONGUE

The Flamingo Tongue sea snail likes to eat gorgonians, especially sea fans.

The Flamingo Tongue sea snail likes to eat gorgonians, especially sea fans.

F is also for FIREWORM

These little worms crawl along on rocks and in the turtle grass. Their bristles look soft, but they sting, so don't try to pet them.

These little worms crawl along on rocks and in the turtle grass. Their bristles look soft, but they sting, so don’t try to pet them.

F is also for FEATHERDUSTER WORM

Featherduster worms look like feathery flowers, but they are really worms. Snap your fingers close to them and they disappear!

Featherduster worms look like feathery flowers, but they are really worms. Snap your fingers close to them and they disappear!

F is also for FROGFISH

Frogfish are brightly colored fish that pretend they are sponges.

Frogfish are brightly colored fish that pretend they are sponges.

G is for GURNARD

Flying Gurnards can't really fly, but they have amazing wings. They like to dig around in the sand for shellfish.

Flying Gurnards can’t really fly, but they have amazing wings. They like to dig around in the sand for shellfish.

G is also for GRAYSBY

The Graysby isn't grey at all. Why do they call it that?

The Graysby isn’t grey at all. Why do they call it that?

H is for HONEYCOMB COWFISH

Honeycomb cowfish have thick skins so nobody wants to eat them. They aren't afraid of anything.

Honeycomb cowfish have thick skins so nobody wants to eat them. They aren’t afraid of anything.

I is for INDIGO HAMLET

indigo hamlet

J is for JUVENILE

Juvenile means 'baby.' This is a juvenile Yellowtail Damselfish

Juvenile means ‘baby.’ This is a juvenile Yellowtail Damselfish

rockbeauty

This is a juvenile Spotted Trunkfish.

This is a juvenile Spotted Trunkfish.

These are juvenile sea turtles.

These are juvenile sea turtles.

K is for KNOBBY BRAIN CORAL

This Knobby Brain Coral has a few red Christmas Tree Worms growing on it.

This Knobby Brain Coral has a few red Christmas Tree Worms growing on it.

K is also for KNOBBY YELLOW TUBE SPONGE

It's knobby! It's tube-y! It's a living sponge!

It’s knobby! It’s tube-y! It’s a living sponge!

L is for LIONFISH

Lionfish are pretty, but poisonous. Don't touch! Lionfish are an 'invasive species.' That means they are bad for the reef.

Lionfish are pretty, but poisonous. Don’t touch! Lionfish are an ‘invasive species.’ That means they are bad for the reef.

L is also for LOBSTER

Caribbean Spiny Lobsters don't have big front claws. They like to hide under rocky ledges, but you can spot their long antenna poking out.

Caribbean Spiny Lobsters don’t have big front claws. They like to hide under rocky ledges, but you can spot their long antenna poking out.

Lobster are tasty.

Lobster are tasty.

M is for MORAY EEL

The Spotted Moray Eel thinks all your jokes are funny.

The Spotted Moray Eel thinks all your jokes are funny.

The Goldentailed Moray Eel needs directions to the fish market.

The Goldentailed Moray Eel needs directions to the fish market.

The Chain Moray Eel wants to know if you have a sandwich.

The Chained Moray Eel wants to know if you have a sandwich.

N is for NURSE SHARK

Nurse Sharks are not supposed to be mean, but if you see one, it is probably time to go ahead and get out of the water.

Nurse Sharks are not supposed to be mean, but if you see one, it is probably time to go ahead and get out of the water.

N is also for NEEDLEFISH

Needlefish have long pointy noses. They like to swim close to the surface of the water, looking for little fish and shrimp to eat.

Needlefish have long pointy noses. They like to swim close to the surface of the water, looking for little fish and shrimp to eat.

O is for OCTOPUS

Octopus change color to disguise themselves from hung eels.

Octopus change color to disguise themselves from hungry eels.

This is the same octopus as above. He changed color to hide.

This is the same octopus as above. He changed color to hide.

Octopus usually hide in their caves during the day. At night, they go hunting for shellfish and crabs. They are messy eaters. You can find their caves by the pile of empty shells outside it. These are called 'octopus gardens.'

Octopus usually hide in their caves during the day. At night, they go hunting for shellfish and crabs. They are messy eaters. You can find their caves by the pile of empty shells outside it. These are called ‘octopus gardens.’

P is for PEACOCK FLOUNDER

Flounder are bottom dwellers with both eyes on the one side of their body.

Flounder are bottom dwellers with both eyes on the one side of their body.

Flounder can change color to blend in with their surroundings.

Flounder can change color to blend in with their surroundings.

P is also for PORCUPINEFISH

Porcupinefish are not the best swimmers, but they always look happy to see you.

Porcupinefish are not the best swimmers, but they always look happy to see you.

P is also for PARROTFISH

This is an adult Spotlight Parrotfish.The Spotlight Parrotfish changes colors quite a bit throughout its life.

This is an adult Spotlight Parrotfish.The Spotlight Parrotfish changes colors quite a bit throughout its life.

This is a young Spotlight Parrotfish.

This is a young Spotlight Parrotfish.

Q is for QUEEN ANGELFISH

The dark blue bump above the eyes is her crown.

The dark blue bump above the eyes is her crown.

Q is also for QUEEN TRIGGERFISH

Queen triggerfish like to eat sea urchins.

Queen triggerfish like to eat sea urchins.

R is for REEF SQUID

reef squid3

Caribbean Reef Squid change color when they get excited.

Caribbean Reef Squid change color when they get excited.

reef squid 5

R is also for ROCK BEAUTY

This is what the Rock Beauty looks like from the side.

This is what the Rock Beauty looks like from the side.

This is what it looks like from above.

This is what it looks like from above.

S is for SCORPIONFISH

Can you spot the Spotted Scorpionfish? They can be very hard to find.

Can you spot the Spotted Scorpionfish? They can be very hard to find.

S is also for STINGRAY

The stingray swims along by flapping its fins.

The stingray swims along by flapping its fins.

Stingrays just love hanging out under our boat.

Stingrays just love hanging out under our boat.

S is also for SEAHORSE

These tiny fish hide in the turtle grass and under sea plumes.

These tiny fish hide in the turtle grass and under sea plumes.

Seahorse

T is for TURTLE

Green Sea Turtles don't mind if you pet them.

Green Sea Turtles don’t mind if you pet them.

This Hawksbill Sea Turtle doesn't look rushed, but he swims quite fast.

This Hawksbill Sea Turtle doesn’t look rushed, but he swims quite fast.

U is for URCHIN

Watch out for the Long-Spined Sea Urchin. Their sharp spines hurt!

Watch out for the Long-Spined Sea Urchin. Their sharp spines hurt!

V is for VENUS SEA FAN

Venus Sea Fans waft gracefully in the waves.

Venus Sea Fans waft gracefully in the waves.

V is also for VASE SPONGE

Vase Sponges come in all sizes and colors. Lots of creatures like to hide inside them, so take a peek!

Vase Sponges come in all sizes and colors. Lots of creatures like to hide inside them, so take a peek!

W is for WRASSE

Wrasse is a group of small, brightly colored fish that dart through the reefs. This is a Bluehead Wrasse.

Wrasse is a group of small, brightly colored fish that dart through the reefs. This is a Bluehead Wrasse.

This wrasse is called a Slippery Dick.

This wrasse is called a Slippery Dick.

This Yellowhead Wrasse has more important places to be right now.

This Yellowhead Wrasse has more important places to be right now.

X is for XYRICHTYS

Xyrichtys is the scientific name for the Razorfish, a family of small fish who dive into the sand to hide. This Green Razorfish is hiding in the turtle grass.

Xyrichtys is the scientific name for the Razorfish, a family of small fish who dive into the sand to hide. This Green Razorfish is hiding in the turtle grass.

Y is for YELLOWTAIL DAMSELFISH

The Yellowtail Damselfish likes to swim around the tops of the reef to show off its bright blue spots.

The Yellowtail Damselfish likes to swim around the tops of the reef to show off its bright blue spots.

Z is for ZEBRA-STRIPED FISH

These fish are actually named Sergeant Majors, but their stripes remind us of zebras in the zoo.

These fish are actually named Sergeant Majors, but their stripes remind us of zebras in the zoo.

Z is also for ZOOANTHID

Zoanthids are a type of small anemone. They look very much like coral. Are these zoanthids? Maybe.

Zoanthids are a type of small anemone. They look very much like coral. Are these zoanthids? Maybe.

Hope you enjoyed it!