14 “Finding Nemo” Fish Species In Real Life (With Pictures)

“Finding Nemo” Fish Species In Real Life

The stunning underwater adventure movie Finding Nemo is probably one of our favorites with so many beautiful characters and a plot that has a tinge of everything- humor, love, compassion, darkness, and most importantly, hopefulness. Just like any respectable Pixar movie, Finding Nemo characters aren’t imaginary, weaved with a creative perspective- they are real (as you know). From Nemo and Dory to the tank members, all of them are animated after one real-life marine-species, but which ones? Well, that’s what we’ll talk about in the article, so let’s get diving!

1.) Nemo and Marlin – Clownfish

Nemo and Marlin - Clownfish

Remember Nemo from the movie Finding Nemo? ‘Course you do; the movie was all about him, anyway. Nemo and Marlin are Clownfish, belonging to the species Ocellaris Clownfish, amongst the 29 other known species. The heart-warming connection between the impressionable boy clownfish and his overprotective and highly affectionate father Marlin won the hearts at the box office. 


Clownfish are tiny fishes that weigh about 250 grams with a lifespan of 3-6 years. Their vibrant orange color with stripes of white distinguishes them from the others and makes them a particular choice for aquariums. 

Where are they found?

Clownfishes are usually found in Australia in the corals of the Great Barrier Reef. It was quite evident when we saw Nemo leave for school towards the reef, watching the wonders and brimming with excitement. They are also found in warm waters in the Red Sea; however, they are native to the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. 

What do they eat?

Clownfish readily eat what is available in their surroundings. They usually eat algae and small invertebrates while also feasting on scraps left behind by sea anemones.

Fun Facts about Clownfish

  • All clownfish offspring at the time of birth are male.
  • Sometimes sea-anemones do not cooperate with the clownfish and are hostile.
  • It is the male clownfish that nests and guard the eggs.


2.) Dory – Blue Tang (Surgeonfish)

Dory - Blue Tang (Surgeonfish)

Let’s face it; Dory was the most loving character in Finding Nemo despite her clumsiness and apparently short memory. The goofy blue tang gave us laughs throughout the movie, and we’re sure Marlin couldn’t have found a better fish to have helped him find Nemo.


Blue tangs are identified easily because of their vibrant colorations of deep blue and light yellow. They have a flag-shaped tail, and their pectoral fins are yellow in color. They are about 10-12 inches in size, weigh around 1 pound, and their lifespan is 30 years (upto 20 in captivity).

Where are they found?

Blue tangs are found throughout the Indo-Pacific Ocean and are also seen in the coral reefs of the Philippines, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, Sri Lanka, and East Africa.

What do they eat?

When the blue tangs are young, they primarily feed on plankton, and the adults being omnivores, feed on plankton and will also gaze on algae.

Fun Facts about Blue Tangs

  • Blue tangs do not have reliable colors; they keep changing their body color from deep blue to purple.
  • The juvenile blue tangs are bright yellow in color.


3.) Bruce – Great White Shark

Bruce - Great White Shark

Bruce, the Great White Shark that believed ‘fish are friends, not food’, was possibly the most pleasant and kind character in Finding Nemo. Did you know Bruce was named so after the evil shark in Jaws (all shark models in Jaws were named Bruce)?

Bruce had two companions, Chum (Mako Shark) and Anchor (Hammerhead Shark); however, the three of them weren’t exactly friendly to each other.


The great white sharks are the largest predatory fish who can weigh upto 1100 kilograms. They can live upto 30 years, with the adults growing up to 20 feet in length. Unfortunately, these majestic creatures are assigned the vulnerable status due to their constant hunting for food, teeth, and other body parts.

Where are they found?

Great White Sharks are found in the cool waters and are most largely concentrated in Australia/ New Zealand, Africa, and Northeastern Pacific. Living in coastal and offshore water, they are mostly found in the northeast US and California.

What do they eat?

Sharks being huge in size combined with power and speed, the adults feed on earless seals and sea lions while the baby sharks feast on ray and tuna. Sharks (mostly the babies) are more likely to eat other sharks that are smaller in size. 

Fun Facts about Great White Sharks

  • Although we call them great, this shark species isn’t the largest amongst the 450 species. 
  • Megalodon, the largest of sharks (now extinct), were the largest of the fishes that outgrew even the whales.
  • They can swim in the water at a speed of 60 km/hour.


4.) Gill – Moorish Idol

Gill - Moorish Idol
“Moorish Idol” by Jim Bahn is licensed under CC BY 4.0

The fish with the genius idea that all drains led to the reef, is a Moorish Idol, after all! Gill was the leader of the Tank Gang that Nemo met at the dentist’s place. Gill says he dreams of being free from captivity and, in the attempt once, destroyed his right fin. In the end, he and the tank members finally escape and jump into the ocean (and it’s rainbows and unicorns again!).


This thin fish with striking colors and a protruding mouth can be distinguished by its extended dorsal fin and patterned black and yellow body. It is about 7 inches long and has a lifespan of 2-4 years.

Where are they found?

Moorish Idols are found all over the Red Sea, tropical Pacific, and the Indian Ocean, with a notable distribution in the Indo-Pacific. These beautiful marine fishes can live in both clear and murky water, close to flat reefs.

What do they eat?

Moorish Idols feed on the algae collecting on the rocks around them in the ocean. They also feed on large amounts of sponges and spirulina. 

Fun Facts about Moorish Idols

  • They use the snout (protruded nose) to find food between narrow rocks
  • They are one of the most widespread fish species in the ocean.
  • Moorish Idols grow horn-like bumps in front of their eyes when adults.


5.) Ray – Eagle Ray

mr. ray finding nemo

Mr. Ray, without a doubt, is the teacher we all need. The jolly science teacher of Nemo and other fish pupils in the Reef’s Marine Schooling believes in the practicality of education and also sings songs to teach his class (definitely giving the teacher goals!).


The largest eagle rays, the Giant Oceanic Manta Ray, weigh about 1600 kilograms, while the lightest, Longheaded Eagle Ray, is only 7 to 8 kilograms. Adult spotted eagle rays can get as wide as 11 feet and 16.5 feet long with a lifespan of 25 years. 

Where are they found?

These cartilaginous fishes are mostly found in open oceans in warm waters, which is why they are a common sight at the beaches and shores. Usually living close to the coral reefs, eagle rays can be found in the Pacific, Indo-Pacific region, the Indian and Atlantic Ocean.

What do they eat?

Eagle Rays eat mollusks, shrimps, clams, and sea-oysters. Other than this, these creatures also feed on hermit crabs and sea urchins that they crush with their sharp and flat teeth.

Fun Facts about Eagle Rays

  • The eagle ray’s sting isn’t just excruciatingly painful but also causes a bacterial infection (which isn’t fun after all).
  • Just like human fingerprints, an eagle’s rays spots are unique to each individual.
  • During copulation, a male eagle ray bites the wings of its partner. 


6.) Bubbles – Yellow Tang

Yellow Tang

Yes, Bubbles is related to Dory, not in the movie but in real life- both blue and yellow tang belong to the surgeonfish group. He is a hyperactive fish who has a peculiar obsession with the bubbles that come from within the treasure box in the tank where he lived with the other tank members and thus, the name Bubbles. 


The vibrant yellow body of this beautiful creature can even dull down the sun that can sometimes be aggressive. They are oval in shape with a long snout and a white spine. An adult tang can grow to be about 20 centimeters with a life expectancy of about 30 years in the wild. 

Where are they found?

Yellow tangs are primarily native to the Pacific Ocean and are abundantly populated in the Central and Northwest Pacific. You can often spot them in Hawaii (about 70% thrive here) and east of Japan, mostly found near shallow reefs.

What do they eat?

They feed on benthic turf algae, which is commonly found in their habitat. Since they live in coral reefs, yellow tangs have plenty of food that mainly comprises marine plant material. 

Fun Facts about Yellow Tangs

  • Yellow tangs start as clear baby tangs, later developing the yellow pigment that colors their body.
  • In the dark, Yellow tang appears to be brownish in color with a white patch, which helps it hide from predators.


7.) Peach – Sea star

sea star

If you’re wondering how peach is different from other Starfish, well, she can read English. Stuck to the side of the tank, peach usually talks in a muffled voice. The funniest part was her clinging to the screen when the credits rolled and then falling off, all of a sudden.


Most Starfish have spiny skin and five arms surrounding a central disk-shaped body. They slowly creep along the ocean floor with the help of their arms covered with pincer-like organs and suckers. They are about 4.7-9.4 inches in size, weigh up to 11 pounds, and their average lifespan is about 35 years. 

Where are they found?

They are mostly prevalent in the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Indian, and the Pacific Ocean. There are other varieties of Starfish living in the Mediterranean Sea.

What do they eat?

The diet of Starfish includes oysters, arthropods, clams, small fish, and since they are not pure carnivores, they also feed on algae.

Fun Facts about Starfish

  • Starfish don’t have a brain and blood. 
  • Starfish can regenerate their limbs and even half of their body.
  • They can digest food outside the body, which helps them eat food larger than their mouth.


8.) Sheldon and Bob – Seahorses

Sheldon and Bob - Seahorse

The first seahorse that is, well, H2O intolerant- we know it’s absurd. Sheldon was one of Mr. Ray’s students who mocked Nemo for his small fin and was later scolded by his father Bob (also a seahorse) for it.


Seahorses have a horse-shaped head, bent necks, a long snout, and puckered mouth. Their long prehensile tail helps them to hold on to corals, seagrasses, and other surfaces. They are upright fish who stand in the water column. Seahorses range in size from 1.4 to 36cm; they weigh about 7 ounces to 1 pound, and their lifespan is of 1-4 years.

Where are they found?

They live in shallow and temperate saltwater throughout the world. Some of their species are found in Pacific waters from North America to South America.

What do they eat?

The Seahorses eat seaweed, kelp algae, brine, and ghost shrimps. A part of their diet also consists of daphnia. Both the adult and young sea-horses eat a lot, with the adults eating about 50 times a day. The young sea horses can eat 3000 pieces of food in a day alone.

Fun Facts about Seahorses

  • The Male Seahorses carry the eggs in their pouch and take care of their offspring.
  • They are monogamous creatures who stay with their companion throughout their entire life.
  • Their eyes are independent of one another. They can look both forward and back with each eye at the same time.


9.) Jacques – Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

skunk cleaner shrimp
“Cleaner Shrimp” by Public.Resource.Org is licensed under CC BY 4.0

The French-accented shrimp in the tank is the controller of ‘Ring of Fire’ on some Mount Wannahocka-whatever. He decontaminates Nemo in the tank and also invites him to his royal Tank Gang.


The Shrimps have a flattened body from both sides, a long narrow muscular abdomen, long and whiplike pairs of antennae. With slim legs and pleopods, shrimps are an average size of about 4 to 9cm; they weigh about 40gm, and their lifespan is about 1-6 years.

Where are they found?

The shrimp are bottom-dwellers who are found on muddy river beds and ocean floors. An interesting type of shrimp called burrowing shrimp is found in Southeast Asia. 

What do they eat?

Shrimps are scavengers looking for algae, bacteria, other decaying plants, and on a dead fish. They aren’t exactly cannibalistic; however, they do eat dead shrimps as well. 

Fun Facts about Shrimp

  • They are born male and then mature into females. 
  • A mantis shrimp can break aquarium glass with one fast and powerful swing.


10.) Pearl and Ted – Flapjack Octopus

Pearl and Ted - Flapjack Octopus
“Flapjack Octopus” by National Marine Sanctuaries is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Pearl is one of the friendly classmates of Nemo at the Marine Schooling who is pink, just like her father. She claims to have one short tentacle and that she can walk on land. When nervous, she releases ‘inks’ in the water. 


The Flapjack Octopus are somewhat oval in shape (maybe called ovoid) with a gelatin-textured, spongy body. Usually found in red and purple colorations, these octopuses can also be bright-pink as Pearl. They have eight legs/ tentacles fixed to the body. Their average lifespan is between 1.4 – 2.6 years, weigh about 25-30 gms, and are about 20cm in size.

Where are they found?

They live very deep down in the ocean where there is low light. They are found in California, the Bering Sea, in the northwestern regions of the Pacific Ocean, and in Japan.

What do they eat?

Flapjack octopus feed on small fishes, plankton, and other crustaceans. They are predators that are equipped with the ability to kill and hunting their prey.

Fun Facts about Flapjack Octopus

  • They belong to the genus Opisthoteuthis, the members of which are called “Flapjack Devilfish.”
  • They are addressed as ghost octopus for its appearance like a moving ghost cover in a mantle.


11.) Squirt and Crush – Sea Turtles

Squirt and Crush - Sea Turtles

The cute, beady-eyed turtle squirt was one of the minor characters in Finding Nemo who plays with Dory and listens to Marlin tell the tale. His father Crush talks in a manner a cool surfer dude would, and Squirt has learned the same from him. 


Turtles can easily be recognized because of its shell. It is a no brainer that they have a tough shell, but what does it do? It protects the turtles from predators and allows the turtle to pop its head when in danger. Their limbs are flippers adapted for swimming, and they are vulnerable on land. They can grow over 130 cm in length, weigh about 350 kg, and their average lifespan is about 60-70 years.

Where are they found?

You can find turtles in any part of the world since they are highly adaptable. However, due to the harsh climatic conditions of Antarctica, there are no turtles there. Most of the species of turtle are found in southeastern North America and South Asia.

What do they eat?

Turtles can eat a variety of foods, including worms, snails, beetles, grass, fruit, flowers, mushrooms, and carrion. 

Fun Facts about Turtle

  • They have an incredibly long lifespan, and the oldest ever recorded lived for 188 years.
  • The turtles date back to the time of dinosaurs, beating crocodiles, and so many other animals.


12.) Deb – Black & White Striped Damselfish

Deb is a delusional damselfish that looks at her own reflection in the tank and thinks she has a sister (the reflection) named Flo. She was one of the tank members in the fish tank at the dentist’s place in Sydney, Australia.


They have yellow eyes, black spots with an extended dorsal fin. They grow up to 20cm in size, weigh 3 to 40 gm, and their average lifespan is likely 2-6 years.

Where are they found?

Damselfish are usually found most abundantly in the Red Sea. They are also highly concentrated in the Indian Ocean near the reefs.

What do they eat?

They usually feed on algae, small invertebrates, plankton, and floating weeds.

Fun Facts about

  • Damselfish are extremely territorial animals and greatly cannibalistic that prey upon their own species. 
  • The juvenile blue-white striped damselfish is of a different color.


13.) Gurgle – Royal Gramma 

Royal Gramma 
“Plymouth” by Abi Skipp is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Remember the germaphobic and downright pessimistic purple thingy from the tank where Nemo was kept with the other tank members? Yes, Gurgle is a Royal Gramma (and sure acts like one) who escapes in the ocean towards the climax.


The Royal Grammas can be distinguished in the oceans and seas by their purple and almost ‘royal violet’ color that dominates the major part of their body (from the head to the middle). They have a vibrant yellow tail that stands out. They are about 3 inches in size, and they can live for at least five years.

Where are they found?

Royal Gramma are native to reef environments of the western Atlantic Ocean and are also found in the Caribbean Sea. They aren’t abundant in the Great Barrier Reef. These fishes likely live in caves in the coral reefs.

What do they eat?

They commonly eat krill, brine, and Mysis shrimp when in the wild, and in captivity, they can feed on flake and pellet foods that are either dry or wet.

Fun Fact about Royal Gramma

  • The Royal Gramma gets its name due to the royal and vibrant purple frontal part of its body.


14.) Bloat – Porcupine Pufferfish

Porcupine Pufferfish

Bloat, the porcupine pufferfish, was bought by the dentist from Bob’s Fish Mart. It was fun to see Bloat bloat when scared and pained, and then the other fishes had to deflate him. You definitely can not forget how Gill and Gurgle spiked Bloat like was a ball when the credits rolled.


These are slow-moving fish with the ability to inflate themselves, increasing their size to reduce the range of potential predators’ mouth, which also makes their spine radiate outward, which serves as a defense mechanism. A Porcupine puffer can be about 40-90cm in size, weigh about 1-2.8 kg, and have an average lifespan of 10-15 years.

Where are they found?

Due to their high adaptability, Porcupine Puffer can be found in shallow temperate and tropical seas worldwide, including Bahamas, Florida, and Africa.

What do they eat?

They feed on a variety of foods, including squid, krill, mussels, hard-shelled shrimp, and many other invertebrates. Mostly, these fishes live on marine plant-like animals and algae that are found in plenty around them.

Fun Facts about Porcupine Pufferfish

  • The teeth of a Puffer never stop growing. 
  • The toxin in Porcupine Puffer’s flesh is deadly and in a tiny amount gives the feeling of euphoria. However, it’s highly lethal and can easily kill a human. 



Finding Nemo Characters, Fandom.

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