Species in the Algarve
Here are the main species in our waters and the ones that you can see most frequently when diving in the Algarve. The pages are organised into broad groups. When selecting one, a list will appear with the species grouped together.
On selecting a species, the respective tab will appear. We will gradually update the list of species.
This large group of animals, namely, marine finfish, belonging to which belong to the Osteichthyes category (from the Greek osteos= bone, and ichthyos = fish), is characterised by the existence of an internal skeleton of an osseous origin and, in the majority of cases, by the existence of gills, dorsal fins and a mouth in a frontal position.
Nudibranches, or sea slugs, belong to the opisthobranchs mollusc groups (Opisthobranchia sub-category: Opistho = "backwards"; brankhia = "gills"), and are characterised by having their gills located behind the heart. They possess two pairs of tentacles and a small or almost non-existent shell.
On the coast of the Algarve, at least 150 of nudibranch exist, and due to this they are among the most common species.
Crustaceans (Subfilo Crustacea, from the Latin crusta = hard shell) are animals that possess a chitin skeleton, a characteristic of this group. The have five pairs of appendices and two pairs of antennae, and the body can be split in two ways: head, thorax and abdomen or the cephalothorax and abdomen. The majority of crustacean species live in the ocean, but they can also be found on land and in freshwater environments.
Cephalopods (Cephalopoda, from the Greek kephale – pous head, podos, feet) are the category of marine molluscs that takes in octopus, giant squid and cuttlefish. Cephalopods, which are among the fastest and most intelligent invertebrates, have a body divided into the head, the visceral mass and tentacles. Their bodies display a bilateral symmetry, very well developed head and eyes head, a rounded mouth with a chitinous tip and surrounded by arms and tentacles, and it is on the mouth where the most striking characteristic of the mollusc is found, the radula (a type of file).
The Cnidaria phylum (from the Greek knidos - stinging) encompasses more than 10,000 species, which are found mostly in a marine environment, with anemones and jellyfish being the best-known examples.
They have cells that sting, cnidocytes, which they use to inject a spine, called a nematocyst, within which there is a toxin used as a defence mechanism and for capturing prey.