back to marine science center home

Field guide to marine inhabitants

The purpose of this field guide is to educate the users of Volusia County’s marine environment about the diversity of organisms in its waters. The success of this field guide depends on the enthusiasm of Volusia County’s fishers, divers, and beach goers. We hope that this field guide encourages citizens to further investigate what they encounter. This enthusiastic voyage into marine science can be very beneficial not only to the marine environment, but to the fisher or diver as well. For instance:

  • Misidentification of a fish can lead to hefty fines.
  • Photographs of an odd marine organism can lead to documentation of an organism’s range extension (a modification of the known range of an organism).
  • Identification of non-native species is very important to our marine environment. For example, photographs of the Indo-Pacific Lionfish allowed biologists to confirm a non-native (invasive) population off of Volusia County. This is important because non-native species can often out-compete native species decreasing their populations.
  • Most importantly we hope to educate our children about the proper identification of organisms and that in return this leads to more responsible stewardship of our marine environment.

We have included a section named, “Similar Species” that can be used to help take some confusion out of identifying closely related species.

We would like to thank our hard working volunteers and interns that have helped with the field guide. Their work is recognized as photo credits or as credit to their work on the “Marine Inhabitant Informational Pages”.

For more information or to submit your photograph of a Volusia County marine inhabitant please contact:
Chad Macfie, Project Manager, (386-304-5544 ext 116)
Michael Brothers, Education Coordinator, (386-304-5544 ext 104)

Select a category to continue