Phi Phi Island – Marine life guide

A guide to the Marine life of Phi Phi Island by Princess Divers

Part 1

” What sort of marine life can I expect to see in Phi Phi Island ? “

When it comes to marine life Phi Phi Island really has something for everyone.

For those looking for the thrill of Scuba Diving with the bigger fish, Sharks, Turtles, Octopus and Moray Eels are common sights.
Experienced divers looking for small “Macro” marine life will be equally thrilled with what they find hiding among the corals.

In this guide we hope to show you the most popular marine animals we see during a typical day’s Scuba Diving in Phi Phi Island.

Leopard Shark  (Stegostoma fasciatum)

Leopard Shark seen at Phi Phi Island

The Leopard Shark as it is called in Thailand is also known as the Zebra Shark. This is one of the most popular sharks for Divers to see and appreciate as it is normally found resting on the sandy bottom, in shallow depths during the day. This allows Divers that approach with caution a spectacular chance for a close up encounter and great photo opportunities. The Leopard Shark can be found on all our local Marine Park Dive sites, and can grow to over 2 meters in length with its long powerful tail.

Link to Wikipedia page on The Zebra Shark

Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

Hawksbill Turtle taken at Phi Phi Island by Princess Divers

The Hawksbill Turtle is one of 2 species of Sea Turtle found commonly in Thailand. Diving with Sea Turtle’s is one of the most thrilling experiences for Scuba divers. These magnificent creatures can grow up to 1 meter in length, and weigh over 80 kilos. They can reach 50 years of age. Like most Sea Turtles they spend most of their life alone, only meeting for mating times. Usually found shallow and swimming slowly along the reefs. Divers can spend a few minutes swimming peacefully alongside.

Link to Wikipedia page on Hawksbill Turtle

Anemone Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)

Dive with Nemo at Phi Phi Island

Without doubt the Clownfish or Nemo as most people now refer to them are one of the reefs most popular inhabitants, Divers visiting Phi Phi will not be dissapointed as they can be found on all our Dive sites. The Clownfish lives in a symbiotic relationship with the Sea Anemone providing protection and food for each other. All Clownfish are born as males with the most dominant becoming a female if the current dominant female dies. There are over 20 recognized species spread worldwide.

Link to Wikipedia page on Clownfish

Giant Moray Eel (Gymnothorax javanicus)

Giant Moray Eel on the reef at Phi Phi Island

One of the reefs more scary looking creatures is the Giant Moray Eel. This is one of several different Moray Eels that can be found in Thai waters. The moray is an apex predator and is therefore at the top of the food chain. Most divers who have had the chance to see Moray eels soon realize that as scary as they look, there is no need to be afraid and as long as the “no touch rule” is adhered to they are quite content to let divers get a really close up look. At up to 3 meters in length and 30 kilos, there power is to be admired.

Link to Wikipedia page on Giant Morays

Blacktip Reef Sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus)

Scuba Diving with Sharks at Phi Phi Island

The Blacktip reef shark is usually found on Phi Phi dive sites swimming in shallow water up to 10 meters deep. This gives Divers of all levels the chance to see this amazing creature. Quite often seen swimming in groups of 4 or 5 at a time. Easily identified by the black coloring on the tips of the dorsal and caudal fins. Their diet mainly consists of small fish, squid, cuttlefish and shellfish. They can grow to approx 1.8 meters in length. The Blacktip is very easily “spooked” by divers making sudden or quick movements and can disappear from sight in seconds. They pose no threat to divers and are always the highlight of Scuba Diving in Phi Phi.

Link to Wikipedia page on Blacktip Reef Sharks

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