Recommendations for Fish ID Apps You Can Use on Your Phone?

We are looking for recommendations for fish ID apps you can use on your phone. Do you use one? Or ID apps for corals or other creatures? If you do, and you would recommend it to others, please comment to share what it is and if the app is available for Apple, Android or both.

We have some old recommendations, but the apps don’t seem to work on our Android phones.

We recommend some books for fish, creature and coral identification on this page, but for travel it would be so much better to have the information on our phones.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can offer.

10 Comments

  1. I’ve been using the electronic versions of New World Publications Reef Books for years on my Android tablet and phone. I’ve used various apps to read them. The one I use now is Pocketbook. It’s not always easy, especially when I get a new device.

    Recently I tried Picture Fish (Android and Apple). It was after I had identified most of the fish from our last trip so I haven’t used it too much but I was impressed by how well it works. It automatically does an ID based on a picture. About 50% of the time it has no idea but the rest of the time it works well, better than Google Lens. It works reasonably well. Although once it claimed a fish was a tree frog. Typically I take a picture of my computer or tablet to get the image into my phone.

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  2. I’ve used the iNaturalist app on my Android phone (also available on Apple), though prefer to use their website, to help me identify marine life I see. There are local projects which use the app to get information on local flora and fauna.

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    • Yes, iNaturalist’s “computer vision” AI can be a great way to narrow things down for ID purposes – not only for fish, but anything alive. It isn’t always correct, but it gets better all the time as more data is added. The app version is called “seek”. I submit all my fish records to iNaturalist.

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  3. As a citizen science fish survey diver/snorkeler for Reef.org I use the 3-volume “Reef Fishes of the East Indies” in Indonesia and Fiji on my iPad. It is also available for Android devices. I also have the Reef Fish ID ebooks mentioned above. I find the phone screen too small for my needs.

    Any other fish geeks should check out Reef.org to help scientists and add another level of interest to your snorkels!

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    • Thanks for mentioning reef.org – I was not previously aware of it. I submit all my fish records to iNaturalist, but was wondering if there was something more systematic I could contribute to. Information about snorkeling surveys for that organization is here.

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  4. I have the following which I use on Kindle/Android – Reef Fishes of the Coral Triangle, by Andrey Ryanskiy (Author). It is a photo reference guide – it doesn’t ID the fish for you. Easy to search and navigate if you know the name of what you are looking for – or if you don’t you can swipe through the photos. Minimal info – just a caption under the photo with description of key ID feature, description of range, English name, scientific name, and size. But it seems comprehensive; almost everything I’ve seen in the area is in there. There is a series of similar guides by the same author covering other areas and taxa.

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