Browse All Species

Marine fish

Devil firefish (common lionfish) Pterois miles

Devil firefish (Pterois miles) have beautiful reddish or brown stripes and delicate fins, making them interesting to watch and photograph. “Pterois” means “winged” and “miles” means soldier, so in English, their species name means… Read more

Freshwater fish

Common carp (alien) Cyprinus carpio

Naturally occurring in Central Asia and parts of Europe, common carp are now found in many parts of the world.  Like most other alien species, they are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of conditions, thriving in dams and large… Read more


Loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta

The loggerhead turtle, which is the most common in southern Africa, has a reddish-brown carapace and a hooked beak.  Adults reach a maximum mass of 125kg and measure up to 1.2m in length.  Loggerheads feed predominantly on sea… Read more


Western leopard toad Amietophrynus pantherinus

The Western leopard toad uses camouflage to blend into its environment and hide from predators. The Western Cape is the only place in the world where you will find Western leopard toads. They live in natural vegetation, on… Read more

Marine invertebrates

Abalone Haliotis midae

What is abalone? Abalone is a type of large snail which lives in the ocean. In South Africa the name abalone refers to Haliotis midae, which we call “perlemoen”. This name comes from the Dutch term Paarlemoer, meaning “mother of… Read more


Cape canary Serinus canicollis

The Cape canary is found in the Western Cape, up the east coast of South Africa and as far north as Zimbabwe. It lives in large flocks on the edges of open, treed grassland, in gardens, parks and cultivated fields. The bird… Read more

Microscopic life


Life depends on plankton. Plankton is made up of microscopic plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton). Zooplankton feed on phytoplankton and drift with the currents. Plankton are very important in the marine food chain.… Read more