There are more fish species living in the world today than there are any other vertebrate species, including birds, reptiles, and mammals. With over 32,000 unique species of fish in the world, you might be wondering: “are there 75+ popular fish that start with X?
The answer is simple–yes! In fact, recent counts indicate that there are over 80 species of fish with names that start with the letter X.
From common freshwater creatures like the X-ray tetra to tropical rarities like the Xanthichthys lima, you will be surprised to find that the world’s bodies of water are full to the brim with fantastic fish with names that begin with the letter X.
In this comprehensive article, we will show you 75+ different species with names that start with X, providing you with insight into unique features and information about each.
7 Popular Fish With Names That Start With An X
Before we begin with the comprehensive list of fish with names that start with the letter X, we will begin by highlighting some of the most well known, interesting and popular fish species that start with an X.
The following is a list of 7 key fish species with names that start with an X that any aquarist should know.
Let’s dive in! (No pun intended.)
- Popular Fish Starting With V
- Popular Fish That Start with J
- Popular Fish That Start with Q
- Popular fish that start with U
1. X-Ray Tetras
No list of x-named fish would be complete without pristella maxillaris, most commonly referred to as the X-ray tetra. You may also see X-Ray Tetras referred to as “Golden Pristella” or “Water Goldfinch” because of the golden sheen on their fins and flanks.
These translucent beauties are found living in Amazonian coastal waters of Brazil, Guyana, Guiana, and Venezuela. X-ray tetras are known to migrate throughout the year following the changing seasons–which makes them very adaptable to life in an aquarium.
Their sparkling exterior is not the only thing that makes this species unique. X-ray tetras have what is referred to as a ‘weberian apparatus’, or group of tiny bones that amplify sound.
Not only are these insides what gives this translucent fish their well-known appearance, this sound amplifying bone structure helps them evade predators by enhancing their hearing, giving them time to escape before the predator reaches them.
2. Xanthogramma Sandperch
You probably think you have never heard of Xanthogramma Sandperch (Parapercis xanthogramma) but you very may well have heard of them by their nickname, Grubfish.
As the name suggests, Xanthogramma Sandperch can be found in the sand on the bottom of reefs in the Central Pacific Ocean.
These fish are quite small, reaching approximately 17cm in length when they are mature, and are identifiable by their cylindrical, slender bodies and long dorsal fins.
Xanthogramma Sanperch are benthic feeders, meaning that they prey on organisms that live in the “benthic zone” or ocean floor. Sandperch are also known to feed on smaller fish and crustaceans.
3. Xiphias Gladius
You are probably much more familiar with Xiphias Gladius’s common name–the Swordfish. Xiphias Gladius might be the most recognizable fish on this list, named for its elongated body and sharp, pointed bill that resembles a sword.
Swordfish are endemic to tropical waters in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans and are known to be some of these oceans’ most fearsome predators.
According to the National Oceanic and Atlantic Administration, swordfish can grow to be up to 10-12ft in length and weigh over a whopping 1,000 pounds.
Swordfish use their swordlike bill to attack and stun their prey. They have a unique ability to warm their eyes thanks to a special organ that makes hunting in colder waters much easier. Swordfish are the third fastest fish species in the ocean following Marlin and Sailfish.
With their unmatched speed and expert hunting abilities, Xiphias Gladius may just be the most popular, and most fearsome entry on this list!
4. Xantic Sargo
Master fishers will certainly know the name Xantic Sargo (Anisotremus davidsonii). These are small, nocturnal fish native to inshore waters in the Central Pacific Ocean.
The Xantic Sargo are fairly difficult to catch given their small size and their tendency to keep toward the depths of reefs and stony shores.
Xantic Sargo are known for their shiny, silver bodies and bronze or brown colored fins. Because Xantic Sargo are primarily nocturnal, they stay hidden during the day and awake to feed on kelp and other underwater vegetation found near the coasts at night.
Even if you have never heard of the Xantic Sargo before, you may very well have heard of them by their common nickname “Sweetlips”, nicknamed for their pouty, protruding mouths.
5. Xenaploactis Asperrima
The Xenaploactis Asperrima is a tiny marvel and makes for perhaps the strangest looking of the species you will find on this list.
Xenaploactis Asperrima body is made up of dense layers of modified scales that give its body a spiny, pointed texture. Asperrima has a sharply upturned mouth and ray fins.
While Asperrima has bizarre features that make it a striking species to behold, it is hardly threatening, as it grows to be approximately 4cm in length. With its beautiful yellowish coloring and unique texture, this spinous little fish is still one of the x-named standouts on this list!
6. Xenichthys Xanti
Xenichthys Xanti are one of several Xenichthys species that you will see named in this article. These aquatic creatures are native to the Eastern Pacific Ocean, stretching from the southern Gulf of California to Peru and favor sandy inshore areas.
While their true name may not be familiar, you may have heard their common nickname “Longfin Salema” or “Bigeye Salema”.
Xenichthys Xanti can be identified by their oblong bodies, protruding lower jaw, notched dorsal fin, and striking yellow stripes crossing their flanks on either side.
Xenichthys xanti are social creatures, forming schools along the sandy shallows where they make their home. It is not uncommon to spot many of these silver fish traverse in large groups among beautiful, lush reefs.
7. Xenaploactis Anopta
Like their cousin xenaploactis asperrima, Xenaploactis Anopta are strange looking fish. No wonder since the genus Xenaploactis comes from the latin word “xeno” which translates to mean “strange”.
Xenaploactis Anopta is identifiable by their spiny dorsal fins and modified scales, and are classified as bony, ray-finned fish.
Much like the previously mentioned Xenaploactis Asperrima, Anopta are quite small, growing to be approximately 3.7cm in length.
The difference between these two species is that Anopta’s dorsal fin is dramatically sloped over their anterior. These fish can be found in the wild making their home in the Pacific or Indian Oceans.
These are only some of the species of fish with names that begin with x. Take a look at the following lists of freshwater, saltwater, and tropical fish who all have names that begin with the letter X in the following sections.
Freshwater Fish Starting With X
There are nearly 30 unique fish with names that begin with X that live in freshwater including lakes, rivers, and streams.
Take a look at this comprehensive list of freshwater fish and see if you can spot any you may recognize!
1. Xenotilapia ornatipinnis
2. Xiphophorus kallmani
3. Xenurobrycon polyancistrus
4. Xenotilapia melanogenys
5. Xenocypris davidi
6. Xenocharax spilurus
7. Xenotilapia caudafasciata
8. Xenotilapia tenuidentata
9. Xenocypris hupeinensis
10. Xenocyprioides carinatus
11. Xenurobrycon macropus
12. Xenurobrycon pteropus
13. Xenophysogobio nudicorpa
14. Xenotilapia papilio
15. Xenotilapia boulengeri
16. Xenophysogobio boulengeri
17. Xenotilapia nigrolabiata
18. Xenocypris fangi
19. Xenotilapia leptura
20. Xiphophorus kosszanderi
21. Xenochromis hecqui
22. Xenobarbus loveridgei
23. Xenotilapia spiloptera
24. Xenotilapia nasus
25. Xenotilapia ochrogenys
26. Xenotilapia rotundiventralis
27. Xenurobrycon heterodon
Saltwater Fish Starting With X
Listed below are over 20 unique types of saltwater fish who have names that begin with the letter X. These fish are marine life that can be found in any of the major oceans of the world as well as gulfs and other bodies of water.
This is a great list for any fishers who prefer fishing in the ocean to lakes or rivers.
1. Xyrichtys koteamea
2. Xyrichtys verrens
3. Xenocephalus australiensis
4. Xyrichtys cyanifrons
5. Xanthichthys lima
6. Xyelacyba myersi
7. Xyrichtys niger
8. Xyrichtys wellingtoni
9. Xyrichtys rajagopalani
10. Xyrichtys woodi
11. Xenobalistes tumidipectoris
12. Xyrichtys virens
13. Xenomystax trucidans
14. Xyrichtys pastellus
15. Xyrias revulsus
16. Xystreurys rasile
17. Xenaploactis cautes
18. Xyrias guineensis
19. Xenichthys rupestris
20. Xenomystax austrinus
21. Xenistius peruanus
Tropical Fish Starting With X
Last but not least is our list of tropical fish that begin with the letter X. Tropical fish are of course endemic to the tropic regions near the Earth’s equator.
You can find fish like the ones in this list in some of the most idyllic, sunny, and beautiful parts of the world, with many of these species native to coral reefs.
1. Xiphophorus mayae
2. Xenophthalmichthys danae
3. Xiurenbagrus xiurenensis
4. Xestus sabretooth blenny
5. Xiurenbagrus gigas
6. Xyrichtys wellingtoni
7. Xenomystax bidentatus
8. Xenurobrycon coracoralinae
9. Xyrichtys geisha
10. Xiphophorus kosszanderi
11. Xestochilus nebulosus
12. Xenopterus naritus
13. Xyrichtys javanicus
14. Xyrichtys incandescens
15. Xenotilapia burtoni
16. Xingu corydoras
17. Xenophallus umbratilis
18. Xenodermichthys nodulosus
19. Xenotilapia longispinis
20. Xenotilapia bathyphila
Final Thoughts on Popular Fish That Start With X
As you can see, there are 75+ fish that have names that start with the letter X. Take the names of the fish you have learned here and do some research on your own–there is no telling what you can learn about these fish species.
Fish species who have names that begin with the letter X only represent a fraction of the world’s living fish population, with tens of thousands of species throughout the world in both tropical, freshwater, and saltwater environments.
Take what you have learned from the content provided in this guide and you will be well on your way to being a well informed aquarist in no time!
Ian Sterling, founder of Fishlab.com, began his aquarium journey over 30 years ago, driven by a deep fascination for fish and their diverse personalities. His website, Fishlab.com, is dedicated to making fishkeeping accessible and enjoyable, offering beginner-friendly guidance, expert insights, and a community for aquarists to connect and share experiences.