Last update: November 14, 2022

75+ Popular Fish That Start With W

Just when aquatic lovers think they know all there is to know about fish, more types of fish are discovered. It is truly incredible how many more interesting and incredible fish there are to know about that can be found all over the world. 

Looking at our list of 75+ popular fish that start with W, it’s evident that there is still so much to know about the different creatures we can find in our world’s waters.

Many of these fish are rarely ever spotted, while others can become a part of your home aquarium. One thing all these fish have in common is that they are worth knowing more about. 

Some of these fish also have a few different names that they’re known by, so you may actually be familiar with some of our selections. 

75+ Popular Fish That Start With W 

Fish that have names starting with the letter W can be found all over the world. Some of the fish are very small and hard to spot in their habitat, and one of them has even broken records for being the largest fish discovered. 

You’ll also notice that some of the names on this list are very descriptive of the fish’s appearance, while others evoke curiosity as to the origins of their names. 

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Top 7 Popular Fish That Start With W 

The fish that have made this top 7 list are ones that we think have some unique features that set them apart from other fish on the list. It’s likely that you’ve heard of a couple of them, and if not, you’ll be pleased with what you can discover about these fascinating fish. 

White Skirt Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)

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The white skirt tetra is a beautiful albino anomaly directly derived from the black tetra. These are excellent aquarium fish, and add a unique beauty to your at-home setup. They are known to be a friendly fish to the right tankmates and are fairly easy to feed, as they aren’t picky eaters. 

The white skirt tetra is also a very small fish, tending to never grow past two inches when at full maturity. Not all white skirt tetras end up being completely white, either; some of them will have faint hints of color, making each of them one-of-a-kind.

White-Spotted Cichlid (Tropheus duboisi)

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The white-spotted cichlid is one of the most visually striking fish you’ll come across. The body of this fish is completely black with several small white spots all around them. Some white-spotted cichlids are found to have spots with a tinge of blue, and some have blue around their tails. 

If you’re lucky enough to stumble upon a white-spotted cichlid in a store, be cognizant of its need to be a fairly solitary fish. They are very particular and very territorial, so you want to be very careful about the home you build for one of these stunning fish. 

Walea Pygmy Seahorse (Hippocampus waleananus)

This particular seahorse is a small yellow seahorse with dull orange spots. One of these brilliant seahorses has only ever been spotted in Indonesia; specifically, in the Togian Islands.

While you might never have the opportunity to see one of these gorgeous seahorses in person, it’s worth knowing about for how unique it is. 

There isn’t much else known about this small seahorse other than it enjoys the coral regions of the island it lives in. It’s truly fascinating how so many of the fish we’re learning about were only discovered recently. 

White Marlin (Kajikia albida)

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The very fantastical white marlin is a large fish often found swimming in the warmer, more tropical spots of the Atlantic Ocean.

Many white marlins will stay fairly low to the water as they enjoy the warmth, but it’s not uncommon to see one of these beauties swimming or jumping along the water’s surface. 

One of the most recognizable features of a white marlin is their long, thin bill, with their top bill being much longer than the bottom. Their tail also features fins that are long and thin. They are known to be quite agile and quick swimmers, and can grow to be quite large in adulthood. 

Walking Catfish (Clarias brachysoma)

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As the name would imply, the walking catfish is one of few fish that can walk on dry land and breathe above water. This fish is able to achieve this amazing feat because of their strong pectoral fins that act as feet to help them slowly traverse land.

Since walking catfish tend to live in small bodies of water like ponds and streams, this ability serves them well. 

This gray catfish with small white spots has a layer of mucus over its body which acts like a shield when it’s outside of the water. If you should ever come across a walking catfish, be sure to tread lightly around it as it has quite the powerful sting. 

Wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus)

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The name wobbegong is enough to fall in love with this fish, but the wobbegong has more than just a cool name. Wobbegong are actually a family of several fish otherwise known as carpet sharks.

These sharks swim very low to the ground, and are usually found in Australian, Indonesian, or Japanese waters. 

Many wobbegongs also have a series of extensions around their mouths, which resemble whiskers or beards.

The name wobbegong is derived from the Aboriginal Australian term for “shaggy beard,” the name makes perfect sense. These sharks tend to swim very slow or simply relax at the bottom of the oceans they live in. 

Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)

The whale shark is a tropical shark that swims fairly low within depths of the oceans. Being known as one of the biggest non-mammals ever discovered, the largest whale shark discovered as of now was over 60 feet long.

If that wasn’t magnificent enough, it’s believed that the whale shark can live as long as 130 years. 

The mouth of a whale shark is also quite fascinating, being found at the front of its head which isn’t common with sharks. The width of their mouths can also reach five feet long, with hundreds of rows of teeth and filter pads that help them eat.

Studies have also found that whale sharks have the ability to regenerate parts of their fins should they get damaged. 

Freshwater Fish Starting With W

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1. West African Bichir (Polypterus retropinnis)

2. Whip Tailed Banjo Catfish (Gambusia affinis)

3. Wimple (Myxocyprinus asiaticus)

4. Wrestling Halfbeak (Dermogenys pusillus)

5. Wolff’s Glassfish (Parambassis wolffii)

6. Waccamaw Darter (Etheostoma perlongum)

7. White Knifefish (Orthosternarchus tamandua)

8. White Spot Tetra (Aphyocharax paraguayensis)

9. Western Mudfish (Amia calva)

10. White Pearl Fish (Nematolebias whitei)

11. Wine Red Betta (Betta coccina)

12. West African Pygmy Perch (Edelia vittata)

13. Western Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis)

14. Waterfall Climbing Cave Fish (Cryptotora thamicola)

15. Werner’s Panchax (Aplocheilus dayi werneri)

16. Whitetail Shiner (Cyprinella galactura)

17. Warmouth (Lepomis gulosus)

18. Wami Tilapia (Oreochromis urolepis)

19. Woundfin (Plagopterus argentissimus)

20. White-Finned Synodontis (Synodontis caudovittatus)

21. Wuchang Bream (Megalobrama amblycephala)

22. Wallago Catfish (Wallago attu)

23. Weather Loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus)

24. Wolf Tetra (Hydrocynus goliath)

25. Waccamaw Killifish (Fundulus waccamensis)

26. White Top Afra (Cynotilapia afra)

27. Walker’s Killifish (Fundulopanchax walkeri)

28. Waigeo Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia catherinae)

29. Warm Springs Pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis pectoralis)

30. Wimple Piranha (Catoprion mento)

Saltwater Fish Starting With W 

  1. White Tiger Goby (Priolepis nocturna)

2. Wolf Herring (Chirocentrus dorab)

3. White Ribbon Eel (Pseudechidna brummeri)

4. Wels Catfish (Silurus glanis)

5. Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)

6. Wrymouth (Cryptacanthodes maculatus)

7. Walleye Pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus)

8. Whitetip Reef Shark (Triaenodon obesus)

9. White Nose Surgeonfish (Acanthurus japonicus)

10. Waspfish (Snyderina yamanokami)

11. Waryfish (Scopelosaurus ahlstromi)

12. Weever (Echiichthys vipera)

13. Whalefish (Barbourisia rufa)

14. Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri)

15. Wartskin Angler Fish (Antennarius maculatus)

16. Walu (Lepidocybium flavobrunneum)

17. Watchman Diamond Goby (Valenciennea puellaris)

18. White Seabass (Lates calcarifer)

19. Wheeler’s Shrimp Goby (Amblyeleotris wheeleri)

20. Weasel Shark (Hemipristis elongatus)

21. Wolf Eel (Anarrhichthys ocellatus)

22. Whiff (Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis)

23. White Spotted Puffer (Arothron hispidus)

24. White Croaker (Genyonemus lineatus)

25. Whitebanded Sharpnose Wrasse (Wetmorella albofasciata)

26. White Cheek Moray (Echidna rhodochilus)

27. White Barred Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus ocellatus)

28. White-Barred Boxfish (Anoplocapros lenticularis)

29. Warty Angler (Brachionichthys hirsutus)

30. Western Skunk Anemonefish (Amphiprion akallopisos)

31. Wedge-tailed Triggerfish (Rhinecanthus rectangulus)

32. White Tail Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetus flavicauda)

33. White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

34. West American Cat Shark (Ariopsis seemanni)

Tropical Fish Starting With W 

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  1. Wrasse (Thalassoma lunare)

2. White Cheek Goby (Rhinogobius wui)

3. Waterlot’s Syndonitis (Synodontis waterloti)

4. Western Rainbow (Melanotaenia australis)

5. White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Tanichthys albonubes)

6. White Piranha (Serrasalmus rhombeus)

7. Wolf Fish (Hoplias malabaricus)

Marine Fish Starting With W

1. Walker’s Toadfish (Batrachoides walkeri)

2. Winter Flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus)

3. William’s Tonguefish (Symphurus williamsi)

4. Warty Frogfish (Antennarius maculatus)

5. Warthead Goby (Paragobiodon modestus)

6. Wrought Iron Butterflyfish (Chaetodon daedalma)

7. Walker’s Coralbrotula (Ogilbia boydwalkeri)

8. Walleye Seaperch (Hyperprosopon argenteum)

9. Waigieu Sea Perch (Psammoperca waigiensis)

10. Warming’s Lantern Fish (Ceratoscopelus warmingii)

11. Walker’s Anchovy (Anchoa walkeri)

12. White Croaker (Genyonemus lineatus)

13. Wanieso Lizardfish (Saurida wanieso)

14. Walton’s Mudskipper (Periophthalmus waltoni)

15. Whitetail Goblishfish (Minous quincarinatus)

16. Wood Mason’s Rattail (Coryphaenoides woodmasoni)

17. Wasp Goby (Chriolepis vespa)

18. Waite’s Lefteye Flounder (Arnoglossus waitei)

Final Thoughts 

This is not an exhaustive list of every single fish discovered; this is just 75+ popular fish that start with W. If that’s not enough to be truly amazed about what the Earth’s waters have in store for us, nothing will. How many of these fish have you heard of?

Ian Sterling

Ian Sterling, founder of, began his aquarium journey over 30 years ago, driven by a deep fascination for fish and their diverse personalities. His website,, is dedicated to making fishkeeping accessible and enjoyable, offering beginner-friendly guidance, expert insights, and a community for aquarists to connect and share experiences.

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