OK. I’m not actually going to recite nursery rhymes here, but instead talk about porgies!

Take a look at the video below to meet this flashy group of fish in the Giant Ocean Tank.

Giant Ocean Tank Porgies

Porgies are a family of silvery fishes with large heads, sometimes exhibiting faint black bars on their bodies.

Fifteen species of porgy (rhymes with corgi) live in the Caribbean. In the Giant Ocean Tank, we have three individual porgies, and all are a different species. Telling them apart can be tricky, but if you stick with me you’ll be an expert soon enough.

Here goes. 

Pluma porgy
Calamus pennatula

This species has a distinctive rectangular blue blotch directly behind its eye.

Sheepshead porgy
Calamus penna

Not to be confused with the sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), this species of porgy has a black spot on the upper base of its pectoral fin.

Jolthead porgy
Calamus bajonado 

This species has a large mouth with thick lips, and the corner of its mouth is yellowish-orange.

So that completes Porgy ID 101 — thanks for joining.

Your next task is to visit the Aquarium and find our three porgies among the 101 species and 870 specimens of bony fish in the Giant Ocean Tank.

The jolthead porgy is the largest of the three and tends to swim around the entire tank. The sheepshead porgy is a little bit smaller and uses most of the tank, but perhaps can be found more easily from one of the lower windows. The pluma porgy is the smallest of the three and the shyest of them, usually staying near the upper part of the reef. Good luck. We’re hoping you’ll be inspired to join us in protecting the blue planet!

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