Key West Wildlife Guide

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Angels of the Sea

First identified and named in 1758, approximately 86 species of marine angelfish live in shallow reefs around the world. Queen angelfish have distinct electric blue bodies with yellow fins and tail. The fish may even have orange or purple highlights. Queen angelfish acquired their names from their “crowns”– a round black/blue spot on the top […]

Beautiful, but Invasive

When you see a lionfish, the first things you’ll notice are their red/white zebra stripes, long pectoral fins, and their needle-like dorsal fins. The second thing you’ll notice if you get too close is that those needle-like dorsal fins are venomous! Fortunately, the venom released from their dorsal fins is purely defensive (they are not […]

Tiger of the Sea

Barracudas are perhaps one of the most feared marine creatures for those who don’t spend a lot of time in the water, but those who do, crave underwater encounters with these misunderstood creatures. Many divers might agree that their appearance could be frightening at first– with a set of fang-like teeth, it’s no wonder barracuda […]

Big Poison, Little Fish

Best Key West Eco Tours To Discover Marine Life

One of Key West’s biggest draws is the tranquil, aquamarine waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean that surround the island. The astounding natural beauty found here fosters a unique and diverse marine ecosystem. In the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Florida Straits stretch from Miami past Key West, making it […]


There are three types of eels you will find in the Florida Keys: Moray: green, spotted, goldentail, chain, chestnut, mulatto, purplemouth Snake: sharptail, goldspotted Garden: brown Morays vary considerably in size, skin diversity, and color. Their skin can be colored in a variety of hues such as brown, green, yellow, black and blue. Despite their […]

Parrotfish- The Rainbows of the Sea

Do you like going to the beach? Sunbathing and playing in the sand? Have you ever wondered if it was imported or not? I’m pleased to inform you that the sandy beaches of the Florida Keys are all natural, recycled excrement of the beautiful, locally fed parrotfish. That’s right, excrement! Parrotfish adopted their name from […]

Ultimate Guide To Fishing In The Florida Keys

Among the many great things of the Florida Keys, fishing is by far one of the most popular activities. There are about 6 types of fishing you can find down here: light tackle, back country, deep sea, reef, bridge, and party boat. Light Tackle: the most flexible and almost any species is achievable: tarpon, sailfish, […]

A Living Fossil

With fossils dating back to nearly 350 million years ago, it’s hard to believe that our favorite shoreline friends were once crawling across the oceans floor the same time dinosaurs were around. These sea creatures have adapted to their ecosystems over the eons and still remained ultimately unchanged. Their flexible exoskeleton (made of chitin) has […]

Sea Stars in the Florida Keys

What we once called a “starfish” now goes by the name “sea star” because well, it’s not much of a fish, now is it? It’s an echinoderm, closely related to sea urchins and sand dollars. Sea stars have no brains and no blood. Their nervous system is spread through their arms and their “blood” is […]

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