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Marine Places

Staghorn Reef

A shallow fringing reef with high fi sh diversity. Many parrotfi sh species live here as well as rare angelfi sh and the Pacifi c red lionfish. The sandy areas that surround the reef are home to stingrays and sand tilefi sh. The occasional Caribbean reef shark is even spotted here!

Points of Special Interest

1. Staghorn coral – A fragile branching coral species that has become rare in the Caribbean. Damselfish like to live in the protective branches of this coral, where they cultivate algae

2. Schooling fishes – Several species of snapper, grunt and goatfish school together for protection in this area

3. Red lionfish zone – This invasive species was accidentally introduced to the Caribbean from the Pacific and has become a little too successful here, where it has no natural predators

4. Sandtile fish burrows – Several of these slender fish can be found in the sandy areas of the back-reef. They rarely stray far from their shelter - a meticulously built burrow in the sand

5. Stingray zone – Southern stingrays feed in sandy areas. Look for hungry bar jacks accompanying the ray in order to snap up creatures disturbed by their friend

6. Pillar coral – These beautiful corals grow in tall columns reaching towards the surface. This particular colony has been damaged, but a new colony is growing from the broken fragment

7. Nassau grouper zone – This species is one of the largest of the Caribbean groupers, and they can live as long as 30 years. The individual that is living here is usually found close to its favourite shelter hole

8. Goby cleaning stations – Watch cleaning gobies remove parasites from client fish, who often open their mouth and gills wide to get a thorough clean

Species to Discover

Blue Tang, Staghorn Coral, Banded Butterflyfish, Hawksbill Turtle, Southern Stingray, Bluehead Wrasse, Piller Coral, Sand Tilefish, Sargeant Major, Rock Beauty, Threespot Damselfish, Nassau Grouper, Red Lionfish, Queen Parrotfish

Staghorn Reef Points of Interestzoom image
  • Location San Salvador Island, Bahamas
  • Dive Site 2-6 m (7-20 ft)
Staghorn Reef, San Salvador, Bahamaszoom image