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The traditional way of sorting fish species, used in most Fish-Books and Databases, would be to order them chronologically by their evolutionary development or at least in alphabetic order of the scientific family names. But lets be honest – when you get back from a dive and you try to find the one fish you just saw within a couple hundred other fish is a very tiring process.
The Solomon Islands Marine Life Guide attempts to make this easier and quicker using a different way of listing. I grouped multiple fish families that share similar physical characteristics together into their main body shapes. Disk-Shaped, Small Oval, Large Oval, Elongate-Shape, Needle-Shape and Flat on Bottom.

Disk Shape:
Fish families grouped here all share the same lateral compressed, thin bodies with a roundish, almost disk-like shape. They are all free swimmers and most species are very colourful.Included Families:
Angelfishes, Butterflyfishes, Jacks, Moorish Idol, Rabbitfishes, Spadefishes, Surgeonfishes
Small Oval Shape: (max. 50cm)
Fish families grouped within the “Small Oval” all have the oval shaped body in common. Their maximum size does not exceed 50cm. Most species are free swimmers but some life in constant contact with the bottom.Included Families:
Anemonefishes, Anthias, Bigeyes, Boxfishes, Cardinalfishes, Coral Breams, Damselfishes, Fusiliers, Hawkfishes, Scorpionfishes, Squirrelfishes, Stonefishes, Sweepers
Large Oval Shape: (min. 50cm)
Fish families grouped within the “Large Oval” all have a heavy, large oval shaped body in common. Their adult body length is atleast 50cm.Included Families:
Emperors, Filefishes, Groupers, Mackerels, Milkfishes, Parrotfishes, Porcupinefishes, Pufferfishes, Sharks, Snappers, Sweetlips, Triggerfishes
Flat Shape on Bottom:
Fish families grouped here all have a compressed and flat body. They spent their life mainly in contact with the bottom.Included Families:
Flatheads, Flounders, Rays, Soles
Elongate Shape:
Fish families here have been grouped together because they share a similar more elongate shaped body.Included Families:
Clingfishes, Combtooth Blennies, Dartfishes, Dottybacks, Dragonets, Eel-tailed Catfishes, Goatfishes, Gobies, Lizardfishes, Remoras, Sandperches, Tilefishes, Triplefins, Wrasses
Needle Shape:
All fish families grouped together here have a long and thin body, almost “needle-shaped”.Included Families:
Cornetfishes, Garden Eels, Morays, Needlefishes, Pipefishes, Sand Diver, Shrimpfishes, Trumpetfishes, Wormfishes