Journal of the
Ocean Science Foundation

An open-access free online peer-reviewed Marine Biology Journal, since 2008.

published by the Ocean Science Foundation

click on covers for COVER PAGE images
click on covers for COVER PAGE images




The fishes of Alligator Reef and environs in the Florida Keys: a 2020 update

Carlos J. Estape, Allison Morgan Estape & Walter A. Starck


Alligator Reef is an outer reef along the Florida Keys, on the edge of the Gulfstream, offshore of the town of Islamorada, near the middle of the island chain and with a rich diversity of marine habitats within a radius of 10 nautical miles. In a pioneering survey of coral-reef fish diversity in the New World, Starck (1968) documented 516 species from Alligator Reef and its environs. A half-century later, Starck, Estape & Estape (2017) updated this list with numerous name changes and revisions and added an additional 102 species to the list, bringing the total to 618 species. Since 2017, we have documented 14 additional species for Alligator Reef and environs, bringing the total to 632 species in 122 families (Table 1). This intensively surveyed location continues to contain the greatest diversity of shorefish species from any comparable area in the New World (Starck, Estape & Estape 2017). As of 2017, the senior authors CJE and AME had photographed 314 species in the study area and created a folder of 323 images of 318 fish species (4 by other photographers), archived at Of the 14 additional species documented here, 13 are photographed and added to the archive, along with photographs of 33 species previously listed but not photographed (Table 2), for a total of 369 images of 364 fish species.



Estape C.J., Morgan Estape, A. & Starck, W.A. (2020) The fishes of Alligator Reef and environs in the Florida Keys: a 2020 update. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, 36, 16-19.

publication date: 4 November 2020