Whales sing a new song every year!
Male humpback whales sing a complex song with identifiable phrases. The composition changes slightly over the course of the breeding season. By the next year, it’s a whole new tune!
Most of Hawai‘i’s green sea turtles migrate to the Northwest Hawaiian Islands to nest. They rely on starlight and the earth’s magnetic fields to find their way thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean.
Hawaiian cleaner wrasses are the barbers of the sea. They tidy up other fish, removing parasites, mucus, and old skin from their fins and gills. A cleaner wrasse will even climb into an eel’s mouth for a bit of free dentistry!
The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the world’s rarest marine mammals. Endemic to the Hawaiian archipelago, less than 1,500 of these sweet-faced seals exist. The Hawaiian name ‘ilioholoikauaua means the “dog that runs in rough seas.”
Explore Hawai‘i’s Marine Life!
Click on an animal to learn more or filter your search using the categories below
The devil scorpionfish presents venomous spines down their backs and colorful pectoral fins to warn others of danger. Their yellow and orange arched stripes and black spo...Read more
Hawaiian Spotted Eagle Ray, Bonnet Ray, Duck Bill Ray
The Hawaiian spotted eagle ray is also known as the bonnet ray, duck bill ray, or spotted duck billed ray, but perhaps no other name than hihimanu describes them so perfe...Read more
Conger and Garden Eels
Conger eels have a nearly cylindrical body (which becomes compressed posteriorly), very well-developed pectoral fins, and a fairly large gill opening on the lower half of...Read more
The jacks, or trevally, are a family of strong-swimming predators frequently seen at drop-offs or near reefs. Usually silvery in color, most have streamlined bodies with ...Read more
Gray Reef Shark
The gray reef shark is commonly found in coastal regions in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, near reefs neighboring oceanic waters. In Hawai‘i, the gray reef shark is mos...Read more
Scalloped Hammerhead Shark
Found both in coastal and pelagic regions in all oceans of the world, the hammerhead shark is by far one of the most unique and distinct sharks in our oceans today. The s...Read more
Seeing a moray eel while snorkeling or diving can be an exhilarating experience. With rows of sharp, dangerous teeth and a snake-like body with an elusive lifestyle, the ...Read more
Found in all oceans of the world, sandbar sharks are most common in deep coastal waters. This species has been documented in intertidal areas down to about 900 feet in de...Read more
Tiger sharks are common in coastal waters worldwide in tropical and temperate waters. They have a distinct, broadly rounded snout and serrated teeth. Juveniles have visib...Read more
Common Longnose Butterflyfish
The common longnose butterflyfish (Forcipiger flavissimus) is one of two longnose butterflyfish species found in Hawaiʻi. Commonly known as forcepfish, this species is b...Read more
The Hawaiian Islands lack true lobsters with distinguishing enlarged pincers on the first pair of legs. Instead, spiny lobsters reside here in our island waters. They are...Read more
Frequently observed by snorkelers and divers, sea urchins are abundant in the Hawaiian Islands. These echinoderms are closely related to sea stars and sea cucumbers and u...Read more