Biodiversity in Belize
Biological Diversity in Belize
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Fishes of the
Continental Waters of Belize by David W. Greenfield and Jamie E. Thomerson (1979)



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Freshwater Fishes of Belize

The distinction between "Marine" and "Freshwater" fishes may be difficult to make. Belize's coastal lagoons offer a large gray zone between the two biota. Furthermore, many true marine fish are know to travel upriver for long distances. In addition, many "freshwater" fish have addapted to brackish situations and can even live in freshwater lenses on mangrove cayes.
The data in the table below are derived from FishBase. FishBase is a relational database with information to cater to different professionals such as research scientists, fisheries managers, zoologists and many more. FishBase on the web contains practically all fish species known to science. FishBase was developed at the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and many other partners, and with support from the European Commission (EC).

By clicking the scientific names you will be connected to the description of that species in the FishBase database. The database is large, so progress may be slow!

FishBase is a truly stupendous resource.

Anguilla rostrata American eel
Bagre marinus Gafftopsail sea catfish
Cathorops arenatus
Hexanematichthys assimilis Mayan sea catfish
Batrachoides gilberti
Carcharhinus leucas Bull shark
Micropterus dolomieui Smallmouth bass (Introduced)
Centropomus ensiferus Swordspine snook
Centropomus parallelus Fat snook
Centropomus pectinatus Tarpon snook
Centropomus poeyi Mexican snook
Astyanax fasciatus Banded astyanax,  Billum
Brycon guatemalensis Machaca,  Macabil
Hyphessobrycon compressus Mayan tetra,  Billum
Amphilophus robertsoni False firemouth cichlid
Archocentrus spilurus Blue-eye cichlid
Cichlasoma bocourti Chisel-tooth cichlid
Cichlasoma octofasciatum Jack Dempsey
Cichlasoma salvini Yellow belly cichlid
Cichlasoma urophthalmus Mexican mojarra, Mayan cichlid
Oreochromis niloticus Tilapia (Introduced) I have been able to confirm this species in Northern Belize. Possibly the Tilapia's in Belize also include O. aureus, O. mossambicus and/or O. urolepis. There has been very little research into this subject. An identification key is available online.
Parachromis friedrichsthalii Yellowjacket cichlid,  Mus mus
Parachromis motaguensis False yellowjacket cichlid
Petenia splendida Bay snook, Blanco
Thorichthys affinis Yellow meeki
Thorichthys aureus Blue flash,  Golden firemouth cichlid
Thorichthys meeki Firemouth cichlid,  Panya gial
Vieja godmanni Southern checkmark cichlid
Vieja intermedia Northern checkmark cichlid
Vieja maculicauda Blackbelt cichlid
Vieja synspila Redhead cichlid
Dorosoma anale Mexican river gizzard shad,  Longfin gizzard shad
Dorosoma petenense Threadfin shad
Symphurus plagiusa Blackcheek tonguefish
Cyprinodon artifrons Yucatan pupfish
Cyprinodon variegatus artifrons
Floridichthys polyommus Ocellated killifish
Garmanella pulchra Yucatan flagfish
Dormitator maculatus Fat sleeper
Eleotris amblyopsis Large-scaled spinycheek sleeper
Eleotris pisonis Spinycheek sleeper
Gobiomorus dormitor Bigmouth sleeper
Anchoa belizensis Belize anchovy
Anchoa parva Little anchovy
Lycengraulis grossidens Atlantic sabretooth anchovy
Eugerres plumieri Striped mojarra
Gerres cinereus Yellow fin mojarra
Awaous banana River goby
Evorthodus lyricus Lyre goby
Gobioides broussoneti Violet goby
Gobiosoma yucatanum Yucatan goby
Lophogobius cyprinoides Crested goby
Pomadasys crocro Burro grunt
Hyporhamphus roberti hildebrandi Central American halfbeak
Rhamdia guatemalensis Guatemalan chulín
Rhamdia laticauda Filespine chulín
Rhamdia typhla Cave chulín (Endemic species)
Ictalurus furcatus Blue catfish
Atractosteus tropicus Tropical gar
Megalops atlanticus Tarpon
Agonostomus monticola Mountain mullet
Joturus pichardi Bobo mullet
Mugil gyrans Fantail mullet
Mugil liza Liza
Belonesox belizanus Topminnow,  Pike killifish
Carlhubbsia stuarti Barred livebearer
Gambusia luma Sleek mosquitofish
Gambusia nicaraguensis Nicaraguan mosquitofish
Gambusia puncticulata yucatana Yucatan mosquitofish
Gambusia sexradiata Teardrop mosquito
Heterandria bimaculata Twospot livebearer
Phallichthys fairweatheri Picotee livebearer
Poecilia mexicana Shortfin molly
Poecilia orri Mangrove molly
Poecilia petenensis Peten molly
Poecilia teresae Mountain molly (Endemic species)
Xiphophorus hellerii Green swordtail
Xiphophorus maculatus Southern platyfish
Profundulus guatemalensis
Rivulus marmoratus Mangrove rivulus
Rivulus tenuis Dogtooth rivulus
Archosargus probatocephalus Sheepshead seabream,  Southern sheeps head
Ophisternon aenigmaticum Obscure swamp eel
Pseudophallus mindii
Syngnathus scovelli Gulf pipefish

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Last modified: May 10, 2003