Which color combination, in your opinion, would be the most awkward for underwater organisms? Even though fish and coral reefs can have the most beautiful colors your eyes will ever encounter, they can sometimes be boring. But the hue of the sea world we will discuss in the next section is the perfect example of how nature presents itself. There are a total of 15 varieties of green and brown fish included in this post; some may seem bland, while others may be so visually appealing that you will probably delay scrolling down.
On that note, let’s not wait further and begin our happy scrolling!
15 Species of Green And Brown Fish
1. Gunther’s Wrasse/ Chocolate Parrotfish
- Scientific name – Pseudolabrus guentheri
- Location – from southern Queensland to southern New South Wales
- Size – up to 20 cm
- Identification – Orange-brown lines on its head
- Common name – Gunther’s wrasse
The ray-finned fish, Gunther’s wrasse, or Pseudolabrus guentheri, belongs to the wrasse family. This marine species often lives in shallow water, up to a depth of 20 meters, on rocky and coral reefs.
It consumes tiny benthic crustaceans for food. Also, the color varies widely; it’s a green and brown fish with dark patches on its upper flanks. Orange-brown lines on its head make it easy for us to identify it.
Though adults are more greenish, the hue varies from green to reddish-brown. It has black patterns on the back, faint broad/oblique bands, and fine oblique white stripes on the lower sides.
This species’ pigmentation doesn’t change much from juvenile to female and male, contrasting to other wrasses.
2. Leopold’s Angelfish
- Scientific name – Pterophyllum leopoldi
- Location – Amazon River, Essequibo River and Rupununi River
- Size – up to 10 cm
- Identification – absence of a pre-dorsal notch, and presence of a black blotch at the dorsal insertion on the 4th vertical bar
- Common name – teardrop angelfish, Leopold’s angelfish, dwarf angelfish, or roman-nosed angelfish
Dwarf angelfish are distinguished by their vivid hues, graceful gestures, and charming personalities. These exquisitely patterned green and brown fish are suitable for marine aquarium enthusiasts, who frequently select them since they are smaller and easier to handle than their larger relatives.
The Amazon, Essequibo, and Rupununi rivers are home to this species, Pterophyllum leopoldi.
It is distinct from other members of the genus Pterocellum by having a black splotch at the dorsal insertion on the 4th vertical bar and lacking a pre-dorsal notch.
When imported for the aquarium trade, the species is often mistaken as Pterocellum dumerilii.
The smallest species of angelfish, Leopold’s angelfish, grows to a maximum length of 10 cm and a maximum height of 15 cm.
3. Green Sunfish
- Scientific name – Lepomis cyanellus
- Location – southeast United States
- Size – 10 to 12 in.
- Identification – bluish-green lines that extend to its earflap from its mouth
- Common name – green sunfish
Among all the panfish species, green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) is one of the most misidentified and overlooked.
The bodies of these greenish-brown fish are thin and typically feature irregular vertical streaks of blue-green color running along their sides. In contrast to most other panfish, they are marginally longer concerning their bodies.
Compared to most other sunfish, green sunfish also have a bigger mouth. The fish’s mouth emits a stream of iridescent bluish-green lines that extend to its earflap. The fish has a lot of color, mainly on the very edge of the fins, with shades of blue, green, orange, brown, black, and even white. That’s why it’s on our list of green and brown fish.
These fish usually don’t get very big, despite having thick bodies. Yet, they are fierce warriors that will attack swimmers as well.
With an approximate lifespan of seven years in the wild, green sunfish represent a few of the longest-living panfish.
4. Pearly Wrasse
- Scientific name – Halichoeres margaritaceus
- Location – tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, and the northern coastal waters of Australia
- Size – 12.5 cm
- Identification – females have a pale underside with brown-green to pinkish upper surface. And white spots on their flanks, a pink patch on the back of their abdomen, a black mark behind their eyes
- Common name – Pearl-spotted Wrasse, Pink-belly Wrasse, Reef-flat Wrasse, Saddled Rainbow-fish, Weedy Surge Wrasse
The Pearly Wrasse has a striking body hue ranging from sage green to brown, exquisitely decorated with random pink to brown streaks.
Because of its coloration, the Pearly Wrasse can blend in with the weedy or algae-covered coral surfaces on which it can often be found, particularly in regions with strong tides. Within a few species, the juvenile and female phases are almost the same, such as the case with this one.
Being a burrowing wrasse, this species is well adapted to eat benthic invertebrates.
The intermediate phase females have a pale underside and a mottled brown-green to pinkish upper surface. They also have white spots on their flanks, a pink patch on the back of their abdomen, a black mark behind their eyes, a black spot at the top “corner” of their gill cover, and a black spot in the center of their dorsal fin.
However, males (terminals phase) have no pinkish or white markings and are green with orange-red dots.
5. Largemouth Green and Brown Bass Fish
- Scientific name – Micropterus salmoides
- Location – United States, especially Florida
- Size – maximum recorded length is 29.5 inches
- Identification – Their upper jaw reaches far beyond the rear margin of the eye
- Common name – Black Bass, Green Trout, Bigmouth Bass, Lineside Bass
Usually green in color, they have dark brown spots on either side that run horizontally along the middle of the fish. While the color of the underside varies from pale green to nearly white. Their dorsal fin is almost split in half, with 12 to 13 soft rays in the posterior part and nine spines in the anterior. While their upper jaw extends much beyond the eye’s back edge.
Adult largemouth bass are among the top predators in the aquatic ecosystem, though they can’t hurt humans. Their primary sources of food are insect larvae and zooplankton. Adults, however, preferably consume large invertebrates like crayfish and other fish.
Clear, verdant lakes, ponds, marshes, and the backwaters of pools, streams, and rivers are home to these green and brown fish.
6. Shoal bass
- Scientific name – micropterus cataractae
- Location – Florida, Georgia and East Alabama
- Size – Max. 24 inches
- Identification – a large mouth, similar to largemouth bass, but their lower jaw doesn’t extend past the eye
- Common name – shoal bass
Shoal bass is another dual-tone fish identified by its olive-green to dark brown coloring and dark, erratic lines along its flanks. Despite not having a lower jaw that extends past the eye, they have a big mouth like largemouth bass.
This species lives in medium to large rivers, inhabiting stony reefs and rapid currents.
As opportunistic feeders, these bass graze on crayfish, fish, and insects. Anglers also greatly value them because of their legendary fighting skills.
It is indigenous to the waters of Georgia and Florida. On rare occasions, it can also be discovered in East Alabama’s rivers and streams, where it is protected as an endangered species and cannot be lawfully kept by anglers who catch it.
7. Bartram’s Bass
- Scientific name – Micropterus sp. cf. M. coosae
- Location – Savanah River drainage
- Size – 8 to 12 inches
- Identification –
- Common name – Bartram’s Bass, Redeye Bass
Exclusive to the Savanah River drainage, the Redeye Bass, often referred to as the Bartram’s Bass locally, is a native fish.
These fish grow more slowly and are naturally smaller. They will have an olive green coloration that gradually fades to a white belly.
Bartram’s bass have long, brown to black splotches along the lateral line, while their backs have a leopard-like pattern. The anal fin’s front edge has an orange tint, while the tail fin’s margins are white and orange.
Behind the eye of every Redeye Bass, including the Bartram’s Bass, is a silver to teal crescent.
Above the Fall Line, these Redeye prefer the colder running water. They flourish in shoal complexes throughout the Savannah River drainage’s rivers and creeks.
8. Micropterus chattahoochae
- Scientific name – Micropterus chattahoochae
- Location – endemic to the Chattahoochee River system, west of Georgia, USA
- Size – 5-11 inches
- Identification – Its second anal, caudal, and dorsal fins have brighter orange and red coloring on the outside
- Common name – Chattahoochee bass
Its dorsal, caudal, and second anal fins have brighter orange and red coloring on their outer portions and numerous dark spots. This is something that other bass species do not exhibit. Hence, it is distinct from the rest. Chattahoochee bass prefers rushing water and rocky environments. So, they thrive in areas with wood and beneath banks.
Additionally, it’s a pleasure for Chattahoochee bass to swim against the flow. This implies that the best way to improve your chances of catching one is to put your angler in moving water.
Above the midline, its body coloration is medium green, usually with a shimmer of bronze, whereas below the midline, the body turns white.
9. Chain Pickerel
- Scientific name –
- Location – eastern North America
- Size – 24 to 31 inches
- Identification – elongated and narrow snouts, the pattern of ovals surrounded by a darker brown outline running through lateral surfaces
- Common name – southern pike, grass pike, jack, jackfish, gunny, eastern pickerel, Gator fish
The native habitat of Esox niger, popular as chain pickerel, is the freshwaters of eastern North America. Chain pickerel can be found in many freshwater environments, including ponds, lakes, streams, and swamps. They are most common in clear, quiet, slow-moving water.
These are slender, long fish that are mostly olive or yellow-green in color. The lateral sides of these pickerel are covered in an oval pattern with a deeper brown outline surrounding each oval.
Similar to the lining of the ovals on their sides, their dorsal surface fades to a darker color than their pearl-white ventral surface. Chain pickerel are frequently compared to ducks because of their long, narrow snouts.
They typically eat smaller fish until they get big enough to quickly rush out of cover and ambush larger fish, securing them with razor-sharp teeth. It’s a popular fact, though, that chain pickerel consume a variety of other items, including worms, mice, crayfish, frogs, and snakes.
10. Brown Trout
- Scientific name – Salmo trutta
- Location – Europe, West Asia, and parts of North Africa
- Size – reaches up to 100 cm
- Identification – slender body with a long, narrow head. Largemouth, and on its roof, vomerine teeth appear in a zig-zag pattern
- Common name – brown trout
Because brown dominates its appearance, the brown trout (Salmo trutta) is a unique fish on our list of green and brown fish. It is a salmonid ray-finned fish, nevertheless, with two tones, and the most widely distributed species in its genus.
It has also been widely introduced worldwide as a game fish and is endemic to most of Europe, West Asia, and parts of North Africa.
The hues of freshwater brown trout vary, with the most common being a brassy reddish-brown tint that fades to creamy white on the fish’s belly and medium-sized dots encircled by lighter halos. Alternatively, the fish might be mostly silver with few spots and a white belly.
11. Northern Pike
- Scientific name – Esox lucius
- Location – holarctic distribution
- Size – average length is about 40–55 cm, with max recorded lengths of up to 150 cm
- Identification – few to several dark brownish dots on the fins and short, light bar-like spots on the flank
- Common name – Northacuda, Slough Shark, Hammer Handle, Water Wolf
Esox lucius, the northern pike, is a carnivorous fish in the genus Esox, which means pikes. They thrive in fresh and lightly salty waters in the Northern Hemisphere.
Pike can reach comparatively great sizes.
Due to their similarities to the pole-weapon known as the pike, the northern pike receives its popular name.
Usually olive green in color, they gradually turn white down the belly. There are a few to several dark brownish dots on the fins and short, light bar-like spots on the flank. However, the fins can occasionally be reddish.
This predator is known by many combative nicknames because of its sleek and toothy appearance.
12. Pumpkinseed – A Green & Brown Fish
- Scientific name – Lepomis gibbosus
- Location – eastern North America, Europe, and parts of southern England
- Size – average length is between 10 to 15cm, but can grow up to 28 cm
- Identification – The single dorsal fin divides into two parts, the first half hard and spiky, then more soft and rounded towards the tail
- Common name – pond perch, common sunfish, punkie, sunfish, sunny, and kivver
The vibrantly colored pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) is a small to medium-sized freshwater fish native to eastern North America. It belongs to the sunfish family, which eats small fish and mollusks as well as insects.
These fish resemble breams as they have a somewhat compressed shape. They have a predominant tan-brown to creamy golden hue. However, the body is coated in irregular, translucent blue-green patches.
In addition, the head has red-tipped gill covers and horizontal light fluorescent stripes. Their bodies also have a green algae tone.
The vivid colors of the ctenoid scales and its yellow-orange belly and breast make the pumpkinseed one of the most colorful freshwater fish.
- Scientific name – Lepomis macrochirus
- Location – North America
- Size – up to 12 in.
- Identification – They have 3–8 anal spines, thoracic pelvic fins, and ctenoid scales
- Common name – bream, brim, sunny, and copper nose
Lepomis macrochirus, commonly known as the bluegill, is a widespread freshwater fish found in streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and marshes located east of the Rocky Mountains in North America.
Although their color varies from population to population, they usually have a very characteristic color pattern, with bands of dark olive down the side, bright orange to yellow belly, and deep blue and purple on the face and gill cover.
They are omnivores and will eat anything that fits in their mouth, but they primarily prefer baitfish and small aquatic insects. Meanwhile, northern pike, bass, and other larger sunfish prey majorly on this fish.
Anglers love bluegill as it can live in both deep and extremely shallow water. They typically lurk behind and inside old tree stumps in swamps and other underwater structures, such as snags.
14. Spotted sunfish
- Scientific name – Lepomis punctatus
- Location – Southeastern United States
- Size – up to 10 cm
- Identification – black to reddish spots at the base of each scale that form rows of dots on the side
- Common name – spotted sunfish, stumpknocker
The stumpknocker, or spotted sunfish (Lepomis punctatus), is a fish with a double tone of green and brown throughout hence it appears on the list.
The olive-green and brown fish, Lepomis punctatus, inhabits freshwater systems. Additionally, the bases of each scale have black to reddish spots that create rows of dots on the side. This speckled pattern is known scientifically as punctatus.
Native to warm-water habitats with slow-moving water, the spotted sunfish is found in the Southeast region of the United States.
It is a benthic insectivore with a typical length of no more than 10 cm.
15. European Perch
- Scientific name – Perca fluviatilis
- Location – Europe and North Asia
- Size – can reach up to 60 cm
- Identification – red pelvic, anal, and caudal fins, and five to eight dark vertical bars on either side
- Common name – common perch, redfin perch, big-scaled redfin, English perch, Euro perch, Eurasian perch, Eurasian river perch, Hatch, poor man’s rockfish
Native to North Asia and Europe, the European perch (Perca fluviatilis) is a predatory freshwater fish.
With red pelvic, anal, and caudal fins, European perch have a greenish appearance. They feature five or eight dark bars running vertically down their sides. And its head and dorsal fin develop a hump as the perch becomes bigger.
Its size can differ significantly throughout water bodies. They have a 22-year lifespan, and elderly perch can have much larger bodies than usual.
The European perch inhabits deep lakes, ponds, and rivers with a leisurely flow. Although they don’t breed in these environments, some species do manage to survive in cold or fast-moving streams despite their tendency to avoid them.
Additionally, they are carnivorous, with adults eating on both invertebrates and fish, primarily sticklebacks, perch, roach, and minnows, and juveniles grazing on zooplankton, bottom invertebrate fauna, and other perch fry.
So, with that, we are wrapping up our article, which covered 15 species of green and brown fish that are frequently found in various water bodies. Follow us and have fun reading until we have our next content ready.
Anjali Prasad, a B. Pharm. graduate who works as a content writer for HowItSee, is based in Delhi. Except for her, not many people take the typical road from healthcare to writing. Her love of writing stemmed from her involvement in the college literature society and her early journaling at the age of 7. Hence, the love of learning and the spirit of exploration are what drew her to this career. You can find her on common social media like Instagram.