Cayman Island Marine Life

Updated December 27, 2014
Many thanks on corrections from Steve Goppert, Lyn Dysinger and especially Pat Sinclair for her extensive notes and her time. They all help with my learning

This web site started after I started reviewing my pictures from Cathy Church's 2014 Fall Photofest. As I looking for my best pictures to work on, something unexpected happened. I wanted to know the names of the fish, coral, sponges, creatures and algae I was looking at. What I found made me appreciate life underwater even more.

My go to source for identification was Humann's  and DeLoach's authoritative three volume set of Reef Fish/Coral/Creature identification. However, as good a source as these were, they did not always provide an easy visual identification as I will explain.

As I zoomed in on pictures for closer identification, I discovered other marine life that, I hadn't seen when I took the picture. Sometimes they were small and other times well camouflaged. Another aspect was that while I had seen multiple colours, I hadn't realized each colour was a unique organism. Consequently, what I thought would be a quick identification of a picture turned into hours of searching as the number of identifications increased.

For those interested in following in my tracks, here are some insights I garnered.

I found I also got intrigued by one shell inside one sponge so I also picked up a book on shells.

I plan to go back to other underwater pictures from Grand Cayman over the years to build out this collection. To me, these pictures are like trading cards of what I've seen. I plan to collect more as I learn about ocean life.

As always, thanks to Sunset House and Sunset Divers as well as Cathy Church's staff for always great trips to Grand Cayman. Combined, they are an underwater photographers paradise!


I have divided the collections:





Paul Naish