Although not related to butterflyfish, we have grouped them here for convenience. A rare visitor to our coast, normally juveniles are found in the intertidal areas and quickly stolen by aquarium collectors.
Blacktails are very common and normally in large shoals, found in very shallow tidal pools to the open ocean
Very common puffer, Evil eye Blassops seem to prefer sandy areas and common in the surf / surge zone
The alternating dark and light lines make the Bandid Blenny relatively easy to identify, an attractive and confiding blenny species
The Piano Blenny has an almost snakelike appearance
(Chromis dasygenys) Quite a rare sighting along the North Cost with one or two individuals being seen over the past few years
Racoon Butterflyfish are one of the most common butterfly fish in the Ballito area, dominant yellow body easily distinguishes it from other butterflyfish
The thread fin butterflyfish is rather common around the Ballito area (especially small individuals) - easily identified by the prominent yellow spot on the fin.
The Vagabond Butterflyfish is rather common in the intertidal areas of Ballito and Salt Rock. Easily identified by the two bold stripes, one down the face and the other down the tail
Cardinals are quite common but mostly shy and secretive
The Fourbar Damsel is easily confused with the Sergeant Major, a uncommon species and distinguished by its blueish colour and only four (not five) bars
Juvenile Sash Damsels have a bold spot on their backs - frequent shallow rocky pools
Sergeant Majors are arguably one of the most common Intertidal species - the bright blue bands with a yellowish back make them easy to identify
The adult Spot Damsels lack the actual spot on the back, juveniles seem to be the dominant species in most tidal areas, very common
One of the more common intertidal Morays of the east coast / Ballito area. Small, seldom getting much over half a meter
Quite common in tidal pools with a lot of algae / plant growth - especially seen at night but not uncommon during the day
Devil Firefish are very common in the intertidal areas. Some large specimens are found hiding under rocks during the day. Emerge into open water at night
Young Firefish frequent all tidal pools and quite common, generally much smaller and paler (almost transparent in some cases) than the adults
Flute-mouths are common from time to time in more open, deeper tidal pools, can reach well over a meter long
The Convict Goby spends most his time upside down under a ledge or deep in caves, seldom seen
Goldies are closely related to Rockcod, very small, bright yellow / orange coloration. Rare in our tidal pools as they are highly sought after by aquarium collectors , if there is one around, sadly, the tend to be taken
Spotted Hawkfish are the most likely hawkfish to find in the intertidal areas, common in protected gullies. Often found hiding inside coral heads or perched on the edge of an overhang waiting to pounce on prey.
Another very common intertidal moray species. Small (less than 30cm) and often feeds out in the open
Geometric Morays are easy to identify by their almost totally white coloration
A large Moray Eel, the Salt and Pepper Moray is uncommon and spends most the day hidden deep in a hole, seen in deeper, open, well protected tidal pools
Mullet are very common, getting quite large, silvery fish with distinctly upturned mouths, often in small shoals feeding on the surface
Scarus ghobban are most common in the larger, deeper man made tidal pools where there is coral
Female Parrotfish can change sex at will, they tend to be a pinkish colour and a lot less commonly seen than males
rather uncommon in the Ballito / Salt Rock area with a few resident specimens in larger tidal pools
Catface Rockcod are uncommon along the Ballito area, rarely see juveniles in the tidal pools
Easily identified by blue spots. Uncommon in the Ballito area, prefers deeper pools
Yellow-bellied Rockcods are very common (as juveniles) on the rocky intertidal zone.
Mozambique Scorpionfish are very common in intertidal gullies. Not so much in tidal pools. Very active at night and regularly seen on our advanced snorkels
The Yellow spotted Scorpionfish is one of the most attractive and brightly colored Scorpionfish. Often hides under a coral head. Unfortunately, these fish highly targeted by marine aquarium collectors making their numbers along our coast rather low
Common offshore and rarely found in tidal zone (small individuals) harmless to man
Soapfish are probable more common than they appear as they are nocturnal. During the day the hide deep under protected ledges and under rocks
Uncommon, prefers areas open to the ocean
The False Stonefish is very common in most tidal pools.
Strepies are normally relatively large fish (10+cm) and found in open water and deeper, bigger tidal pools. The yellow horizontal stripes along the body make them easy to identify, one of the more common open water fish you will encounter.
The Blue Spine Unicorn Surgeon is limited to a handful of locations around the Ballito and Salt Rock area. Uncommon
Brown Surgeons are not very common in intertidal areas but we do find some pools where Brown Surgeons are common
Convict Surgeons are one of the most common intertidal fish species around Ballito, often feeding in small shoals where fresh water runs into tidal pools
Yellowfin Surgeons are rare and occasionally seen in more open, protected tidal pools
Common in the surge zone and often found hiding in caves and similar. Dusky Sweepers are normally in small shoals and are not found in very enclosed, small tidal pools
Toby's are members of the puffer family. Very rounded fish with beautiful markings, the Exquisite Toby is quite common in open tidal pool areas and seldom more than 5 or so cm long
The Whitespotted Toby is a small toby and relatively uncommon. Easily identified by the white spots on the body and streaky blue lines on head
The Titan Triggerfish is uncommon
Helcogrammar rharharbe, quite common around Ballito and Salt Rock, first described as recently as 2007
This Helcogrammar triple fin does not have a common name but is rather common in a lll tidal pools.
The Birdfish is an distinctive, small wrasse with a noticeably long nose. Very active but restricted to deeper tidal pools with lots of coral
Although rather common in areas with plenty of coral, sadly a target species for many aquarium collectors - so seen for a while then gone.