Discover 15 Purple Fish That Are Magnificent (2023)

There is a vast selection of Fish to pick from, some of the most eye-catching of which have a vivid violet tinge. If you love fish and are interested in the variety of Fish, you might wonder if purple fish exists.

Many different kinds of fish are surprisingly purple. The overwhelming majority agree that you should! Fifteen species of purple fish are discussed in this article, from the most common to the rarest.

Let’s dive right into the article.

Are There Any Purple Fish?

Many different kinds of fish can be found in purple. Some betta fish species, for instance, have purple tones in their scales, while the royal gramma, a Caribbean reef fish, has a unique purple and yellow pattern on its body.

Some angelfish, wrasses, and anthias have this coloration as well. It’s important to keep in mind that different species might display varying degrees of purple, with some looking more blue or pink than true purple.

Many different kinds of fish can be found in purple, including:

  • Betta fish: The scales of several betta fish species are purple.
  • Royal Gramma: The Caribbean is home to this reef fish, easily identified by its purple and yellow coloring.
  • Anthias: The purple queen anthias and the lyretail anthias are only two examples of the many species of anthias that feature purple colors.
  • Angelfish: The emperor’s angelfish blue and purple coloring makes it instantly recognizable.
  • Wrasse: The purple wrasse is a Pacific Ocean fish that is uniquely colored purple.

15 Beautiful Purple Fish

1. Purple Tang

Purple Tang
Purple Tang
Scientific Name Zebrasoma xanthurum
Size 20 cm
Life Span 7-10 years
Location The western Indian Ocean, specifically in the waters around the eastern coast of Africa, the Red Sea, and the Arabian Gulf.
Diet  Marine algae, as well as some small invertebrates.

The most extended length of a purple tang is about 25 cm (9.8 in). The rest of their bodies are purple, and their tails are yellow.

Some purple tangs have black horizontal lines running down their sides, and some have black dots on their heads. Sometimes the core of their bodies is a deeper shade of purple than the rest. Most examples have yellow coloring at the very tips of their pectoral fins.

All species of the genus Zebrasoma, including the purple tang, have a long snout that they utilize to probe between cracks in rocks in search of algae.

The fish takes on a disk shape when its dorsal and anal fins are out. Purple tangs, like all surgeonfish, have two spines on their caudal peduncle to protect themselves.

2. Purple Firefish

Scientific Name Nemateleotris decora
Size 8 cm
Life Span 3-5 years
Location The Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, can be found in coral reefs and rocky areas.
Diet Small crustaceans, zooplankton, and other small invertebrates.

The slim and vibrant firefish is a sight to behold. There are seven spines on the dorsal fin and between twenty-seven and thirty-two soft rays on the anal fin.

The head is purple, and the rest of the body is white or yellow until turning a dark grey at the tail. Purple, red, black, and orange stripes run along the length of the fins.

3. Magenta Dottyback

Magenta Dottyback
Magenta Dottyback | Credit: Cangadoba (commons.wikimedia) (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Scientific Name Pictichromis porphyrea
Size 10 cm
Life Span 5-7 years
Location The Indo-Pacific region, particularly around coral reefs.
Diet Small crustaceans and other small invertebrates.

One species of dottyback fish found in the western Pacific is called the magenta dottyback.

It can be seen from the Philippines to Samoa, including the Ryukyu Islands to the north and the Moluccas and Admiralty Islands to the south.

There have been reports of it showing up in aquarium stores. It can reach a length of 6-10 cm as it matures.

4. Purple Queen Anthias

Scientific Name Pseudanthias pascalus
Size 8-10 cm
Life Span 5-7 years
Location Western Pacific Ocean, including the Great Barrier Reef, Fiji, and Indonesia.
Diet Zooplankton, small crustaceans, and other tiny organisms.

All anthias have a single male, a dominant male, and a group of females they call harem. Males tend to have more vivid patterns and colors than females.

All anthias, regardless of species, must be fed multiple times daily with food from the water column. You should consider how much of a strain this will impose on your tank before adding anthias.

Anthias are notoriously difficult to care for, as the vast majority refuse to feed or cannot be fed properly.

They need spacious tanks with rapid currents to keep them from getting bored, rock overhangs for protection from the lights, and peaceful tank mates.

It’s best to keep a group of one male and numerous females together. Only experienced fish keepers or those with big, well-established reef tanks should attempt to care for these creatures.

The Purple Queen anthias are notoriously challenging to manage; many simply stop eating and perish. A fish that belongs in the water where it belongs.

5. Purple Chromis

Scientific Name Chromis scotti
Size 8-10 cm
Life Span 5-7 years
Location Western Atlantic Ocean, specifically in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
Diet Plankton, algae, small crustaceans, and other tiny marine organisms.

Groups of Purple Chromis (Chromis scotti) can be seen swimming in and around reefs in the western Atlantic and the Caribbean. Young Purple Chromis are primarily blue and purple in hue, with bright purple highlights around the eyes and forehead.

Once fully mature, their bodies take on a grayish hue that fades to white underneath and is accented by vivid purple and blue markings on the fins and around the eyes.

Groups of three or four Purple Chromis, or a combination of Purple Chromis and other Chromis species, is ideal. They are sometimes aggressive among one another but usually amicable toward tankmates of different species.

6. Purple Peacock Cichlid

Scientific Name Aulonocara stuartgranti
Size 25-30 cm
Life Span 10-15 years
Location Lake Malawi
Diet Algae, as well as other invertebrates, such as sponges and tunicates.

Tropical freshwater fish called cichlids are incredibly colorful, which makes them very well-liked in the aquarium industry. These stunning fish exhibit some incredibly lovely color combinations.

The purple peacock cichlid delivers as expected! They can grow to lengths of 10 to 12 inches, which makes them fairly large and longer than they are tall.

All of their bodies are a vivid purple color with subtle vertical banding. Their back is bordered by a large dorsal fin that is brightly golden. The tail’s extreme end is lined with a similar golden edging. Well done!

7. Royal Gramma Basslet

Royal Gramma Basslet
Royal Gramma Basslet | Credit: Emőke Dénes (commons.wikimedia) (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Scientific Name Gramma loreto
Size 7-8 cm
Life Span 5-7 years
Location The Caribbean Sea, including the waters around the Bahamas, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico
Diet Small crustaceans, plankton, and other small marine invertebrates.

The fish’s head and upper body can be any shade of purple, while the fish’s lower body and tail can be any shade of yellow. The royal gramma will also have a thin black line that runs through its eye and a small black mark on the front of its dorsal fin.

It’s a close relative of the false gramma (Pictichromis paccagnellae), which can be identified by its clearer fins and more abrupt color transition than this species.

Tank breeding has resulted in a tiny size for the royal gramma, which averages just over 8 centimeters (3.1 inches). 8 centimeters (3.1 inches) was the longest royal gramma ever measured by scientists.

8. Purple Tetra 

Scientific Name

Hyphessobrycon metae

Size 2-3 cm
Life Span 3-5 years
Location South America and can also be found in the Amazon basin, particularly in the tributaries of the Rio Negro and the Rio Madeira.
Diet Small insects, crustaceans, and plankton.

A little communal aquarium fish, the Purple Tetra is roughly the same size as a black neon tetra. The Orinoco River basin is their home, with its peaceful blackwater streams and flooded woodland.

These came all the way from Peru in the beginning. They get along incredibly with others of their kind, making them ideal communal fish.

Adults will be around 1–1.5 inches long. They should be kept in a tank with other peaceful fish of the same size (or larger). A tank with a sandy bottom, driftwood, and dead leaves would be perfect for them.

Even in a densely planted aquarium, purple tetras will thrive. Keeping them in groups of 6-8 is recommended to make them more at home in their tank.

9. Purple Moscow Guppy

Scientific Name

Poecilia reticulata

Size 3-6 cm
Life Span 2-3 years
Location Selectively-bred varieties of the common guppy can be found in aquariums worldwide.
Diet Algae, insect larvae, and small crustaceans.

The stunning blue coloration of Moscow guppies results from selective breeding in Russia in the late 1980s.

Male Moscow guppies are typically fully pigmented and have a metallic gloss to their brilliant colors. Female Moscow guppies often have more vivid coloring than other guppy varieties.

The dorsal and caudal fins of these guppy varieties are often longer. Some highly unusual types have an anal fin twice as long as their entire body.

10. Yellowfin surgeonfish

Scientific Name

Acanthurus xanthopterus.

Size up to 70 cm
Life Span up to 45 years
Location Indian and Pacific Oceans, including areas around the Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii, and Japan.
Diet Algae and other plant matter.

The yellowfin surgeonfish has a size limit of 70 cm (28 in.). It possesses 16-24 anterior gill rakers and 17-22 posterior gill rakers in addition to 8-9 dorsal spines, 25-27 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines, and 23-25 anal soft rays.

It has a grayish-purple body. A dull yellow patch can be seen in front of its eye. The most distal one-third of its pectoral fin is yellow, while the rest is hyaline.

The base of its dorsal and anal fins is a dull yellow, while the rest of the fin is a yellowish grey. It has a short caudal spine and a purple caudal fin.

11. Purple-Brown Parrotfish

Scientific Name

Scarus fuscopurpureus

Size 30-40 cm
Life Span 7-10 years
Location The Western Atlantic Ocean, specifically in the Caribbean Sea, and in areas from Florida to Brazil.
Diet Algae, seagrass, and other plant material.

The maximum length for a Scarus fuscopurpureus is 38 mm (1.5 inches). The sexes and developmental stages of these fishes determine their color patterns. They can be brown, green, or blue with a single white vertical stripe and white along the edges of their scales.

The juvenile has a truncate to emarginated caudal fin and a mix of light and purple-brown (thus the common name) bands on its body.

There is some evidence that males in the terminal phase have a yellow band below their soft dorsal and a yellow rim around their lunate tail.

12. Ornate Boxfish

Ornate Boxfish
Ornate Boxfish | Credit: Birch Aquarium at Scripps (@facebook)
Scientific Name

Aracana ognata

Size 15-30 cm
Life Span 6-8 years
Location The Indo-Pacific region includes the Red Sea, the coasts of East Africa, and the western Pacific Ocean.
Diet Small invertebrates, such as crustaceans and mollusks, algae, and small amounts of zooplankton.

The subtropical and temperate zones of Southern Australia are home to the ornate boxfish range.

68°F to 75°F (20°C to 24°C) sea with rocky reefs and protected bays characterize this region. The ornate boxfish is a deep-sea fish that can be found at depths of up to 60 meters (196 ft).

Males and females of this species appear differently due to sexual dimorphism. The males of this species are the most significant and most elaborately marked. Females are delicately striped and significantly smaller than males.

13. Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey Credit: GFDL (commons.wikimedia) (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Scientific Name

Rocio octofasciata

Size 20-30 cm
Life Span 10-12 years
Location Central America
Diet Small fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods.

They have iridescent dots that can be blue, purple, green, or gold in hue. Wherever they go, their spots shine in the light.

Despite their difficulties, they are beloved by so many people because of their glitter! Their carnivorous diet consists primarily of bony fish but includes shrimps.

14. Mamfensis Killifish

Scientific Name

Nothobranchius mamfensis

Size 5-6 cm
Life Span 1-2 years
Location Africa, specifically to the Mamfue River in Tanzania.
Diet Small insects, crustaceans, and other tiny aquatic organisms.

Nothobranchius is a genus of small freshwater killifish in the Cyprinodontiformes family Nothobranchiidae. The genus has 100 species, many with small ranges. The upper Congo River Basin has a dozen species, although Tanzania has the most.

Nothobranchius live in monsoon-fed ephemeral pools and have extraordinary life-history adaptations to survive the dry season. Adult fish perish, but their eggs survive in clay throughout the dry season.

The embryos enter diapause during the dry season thanks to their hard-chorion eggs, which resist desiccation and hypoxia. Nothobranchius furzeri matures in 17 days and rarely lives past six months.

15. Purple Puffer Fish

Purple Puffer Fish
Purple Puffer Fish
Scientific Name

Takifugu porphyreus

Size 10-15 cm
Life Span 1-2 years
Location Western Pacific, including Japan, Korea, and China.
Diet Small crustaceans, mollusks, and other small marine invertebrates.

It belongs to the family Tetraodontidae and is commonly referred to as the purple puffer. Its original range extends from Hokkaido to the East China Sea in the Northwest Pacific.

The total length of this demersal species, which lives in the coastal zone, is 52 centimeters (20.5 inches). Even though several sections of this fish are highly poisonous, it is a popular fugu in Japan.

Here, we conclude our article on “List of Fish That Are Purple in Color.” We hope you like our post. We will be back with another exciting article. Till then, stay tuned with us.


  • Wikipedia
  • 7 freshwater purple fish to liven up your aquarium by AZanimals
  • Pink and purple saltwater fish by tfhmagazine

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