Last update: November 14, 2022

75+ Popular fish that start with Z

As of today, the Earth’s oceans are home to over 32,000 different species of fish. This staggering number includes fish of many different shapes, sizes, and types. Have you ever wondered if there are any fish on Earth whose names start with the letter ‘z’? If you have, the answer is yes!

There are many different fish whose names start with the letter ‘z’. In this guide, we have collected the names of over 75+ popular fish that start with z. Some of these fish are Zander, zebra pleco, zebra bullhead shark, zebra-perch sea chub, zebra lionfish, Zambezi parrotfish, and zebra moray.

Read on to discover more fish whose names begin with ‘z’! Happy reading!

75+ Popular fish that start with z

Here, we’ve listed down 75+ popular fish that start with the letter ‘z’. Below are 7 of the most popular ones.

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1. Zander

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The zander is a popular fish whose name begins with the letter ‘z’. The scientific name for it is Sander lucioperca. The fish is typically found in brackish and freshwater bodies in western Asia and eastern Europe.

Large populations of these fish are commonly found in lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water in these regions.

The zander can grow up to a length of 50 to 60 cm on average. The upper body of a zander is greenish-brown in color while its lower body is usually white. The anal, pectoral, and pelvic fins of this fish are normally white or off-white in color, whereas its caudal fin has a darker color.

This fish is a popular source of food for many countries in Europe. Due to its popularity, many commercial fish farms breed this fish in many European countries.

2. Zebra Pleco

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The zebra pleco is another common fish whose name begins with ‘z’. The scientific name for this fish is Hypancistrus zebra. The zebra catfish is a species of catfish that is native to the Rio Xingu river in Brazil.

This freshwater species is hard to catch and can be a rare and valuable addition to your aquarium.

As its name suggests, the zebra pleco has a pattern of black and white stripes on its body, similar to that of a zebra. It can grow up to a length of 6 to 6.5 cm on average. The zebra pleco is threatened by the construction of structures such as dams that can reduce the flow of water in the river.

A zebra pleco needs an aquarium that should be at least 30 gallons in size. It also needs specific water conditions and parameters to thrive. When it comes to pH, these fish can only thrive if the pH of the water is between 6.5 and 7.0.

3. Zebra Bullhead Shark

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The zebra bullhead shark is yet another common fish whose name starts with ‘z’. The scientific name for this fish is Heterodontus zebra. This fish is a saltwater one that is typically found in shallow regions of the western Pacific Ocean, as well as in the Indian Ocean.

This fish has a large head and a large and prominent brow bone on its upper head. It can grow up to a length of 1.25 meters and has a pattern of dark stripes against a lighter background on its body.

Zebra bullhead sharks are not considered to be dangerous to humans although their teeth may cause serious injuries in some cases. Moreover, the fish is not used in the aquarium trade as of yet.

4. Zebra-perch sea chub

The zebra-perch sea chub is a common species of ray-finned fish found in saltwater habitats. The scientific name for this fish is Kyphosus azureus. The zebra-perch sea chub is typically found in the eastern Pacific Ocean, off the coasts of North America.

This fish has an oval body with a small head and a small and thick-lipped mouth. The zebra-perch sea chub’s body is covered in scales everywhere, except for the space between its eyes and its snout.

Its body has a light brown color with about 10 vertical dark brown stripes. The fish can grow up to an average length ranging from 40 to 45 cm.

The zebra-perch sea chub is a herbivore and feeds primarily on green, brown, and red algae.

5. Zebra Lionfish

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The zebra lionfish is another popular fish on this list whose name begins with ‘z’. The scientific name for this fish is Dendrochirus zebra. This fish is a saltwater fish that inhabits the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean. It is also found in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean.

The zebra lionfish has a beautiful and attractive striped body with lionfish fins and frills. It also has about 13 spines on its back that are venomous. The fish can grow up to a length of 25 cm.

When it comes to behavior, zebra lionfish are typically solitary creatures that also hunt prey in groups.

6. Zambezi Parrotfish

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The Zambezi parrotfish is another fish whose name begins with ‘z’. The scientific name for this fish is Cyphomyrus discorhynchus.

The Zambezi parrotfish is a freshwater species that is found in several rivers and lakes in central as well as some parts of southern Africa. The fish is an elephantfish that belongs to the Mormyridae family.

On average, the Zambezi parrotfish can grow up to a length of 30 cm. It usually prefers large river channels, sheltered bays, and lagoons. The diet of a Zambezi parrotfish includes bottom-dwelling insects and invertebrates.

In the rainy season, the Zambezi parrotfish is known to migrate up the tributaries of Lake Kariba, located between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

7. Zebra Moray

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The Zebra Moray is the seventh popular fish whose name starts with ‘z’ on this list. The scientific name for it is Gymnomuraena zebra. It is a saltwater fish that is found in the waters of the Indo-Pacific region.

Its habitats include the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the waters south of Baja California, and waters to the south of the Great Barrier Reef.

The zebra moray has an average length of around 50 cm, though it can grow up to a maximum length of 150 cm. Its body has a pattern of dark white bands, similar to that of a zebra. Another distinguishing feature of the zebra moral is its rounded snout.

The diet of a zebra moray typically includes xanthid crabs, other crustaceans, sea urchins, and mollusks.

Freshwater fish starting with z

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Here are some other freshwater fish that start with the letter ‘z’.

8. Zebra spiny eel (Macrognathus zebrinus)

9. Zaireichthys compactus

10. Zebra Danios (Danio rerio)

11. Zebra Loach (Botia striata)

12. Ziege (Pelecus cultratus)

13. Zambezi happy (Pharyngochromis darlingi)

14. Zaireichthys wamiensis

15. Zhobi mahseer (Naziritor zhobensis)

16. Zaireichthys camerunensis

17. Zaireichthys heterurus

18. Zaireichthys mandevillei

19. Zaireichthys flavomaculatus

20. Zaireichthys zonatus

21. Zebra Oto (Otocinclus cocama)

22. Zambezi grunter (Parauchenoglanis ngamensis)

23. Zungaropsis multimaculatus

24. Zigzag barb (Enteromius miolepis)

25. Zungaro jahu

26. Zebra catfish (Brachyplatystoma juruense)

27. Zingel balcanicus

28. Zambezi bream (Pharyngochromis acuticeps)

29. Zirahuen allotoca (Allotoca meeki)

30. Zenarchopterus quadrimaculatus

31. Zenarchopterus dux

32. Zingel (Zingel streber)

33. Zenarchopterus philippinus

34. Zaireichthys brevis

35. Zucchini catfish (Isorineloricaria spinosissima)

36. Zuni bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus yarrow)

37. Zaire lampeye (Hypsopanchax platysternus)

38. Zacapu allotoca (Allotoca zacapuensis)

39. Zamurito (Calophysus macropterus)

Saltwater fish starting with z

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Here are some other saltwater fish that start with the letter ‘z’.

40. Zonetail butterfly ray (Gymnura zonura)

41. Zanzibar tonguesole (Cynoglossus zanzibarensis)

42. Zanzibar guitarfish (Rhinobatos zanzibarensis)

43. Zenopsis oblongus

44. Zebra blenny (Istiblennius zebra)

45. Zoarchias microstomus

46. Zebra clingfish (Tomicodon zebra)

47. Zelinda’s parrotfish (Scarus zelindae)

48. Zoarchias hosoyai

49. Zenarchopterus clarus

50. Zapteryx xyster

51. Zoarces elongatus

52. Zebrias annandalei

53. Zoarchias major

54. Zebra seabream (Diplodus cervinus)

55. Zavora pipefish (Halicampus zavorensis)

56. Zebrias maculosus

57. Zesticelus ochotensis

58. Zoarchias glaber

59. Zebra sole (Zebrias zebra)

60. Zebra sweetlip (Plectorhinchus paulayi)

61. Ziegler’s triplefin (Enneapterygius ziegleri)

62. Zesticelus bathybius

63. Zenion longipinnis

64. Zebrias altipinnis

65. Zenarchopterus xiphophorus

66. Zugmayer’s pearleye (Benthalbella infans)

67. Zebra tilefish (Branchiostegus semifasciatus)

68. Zebrias lucapensis

69. Zigzag wrasse (Halichoeres scapularis)

70. Zanzibar butterflyfish (Chaetodon zanzibarensis)

71. Zebrette goby (Tigrigobius zebrellus)

72. Zipper sand skate (Psammobatis extenta)

73. Zenopsis stabilispinosa

74. Zebrias keralensis

75. Zenion japonicum

76. Zoarchias macrocephalus

77. Zephyrichthys barryi

78. Zoarces andriashevi

79. Zebrias munroi

80. Zebrias crossolepis

81. Zebra garden eel (Heteroconger polyzona)

82. Zulu snakelet (Halimuraena shakai)

83. Zoarces fedorovi

84. Zoramia viridiventer

85. Zabaleta anchovy (Anchovia clupeoides)

86. Zaca blenny (Malacoctenus zacae)

Final thoughts

In this guide, we collected over 75+ popular species of fish that start with ‘z’. We also described the scientific names, physical descriptions, habitats, and behaviors of some of these fish in detail.

All of the fish mentioned in this guide have different shapes, sizes, physical characteristics, and habitats. Some are found in freshwater bodies while others inhabit saltwater regions.

Some of the fish mentioned in this guide are popular and many people know about them, whereas some other species are not widely known.

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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