Whitsundays Ecosystem — wings.com.au - Wings Sailing Charters Whitsundays

Whitsundays Ecosystem

White Tip Reef Shark

These guys belong to a group of sharks we call requiem sharks which includes other species such as the lemon shark and blue shark. Compared to their cousins, white tips are a relatively small species reaching on average a length of 1.6m.

Brown Booby

Of the six species of boobies in the world the brown booby is one of the most commonly seen and widespread family, Sulidae. It is thought that these birds got their name from the Spanish term bobo which means stupid.

Crested Tern

Terns are seabirds which can be found worldwide. They belong to the family Laridae which includes other seabirds such as gulls, noddies and skimmers. Due to human impacts most species are now exhibiting population declines.

Moray Eel

Moray eels are part of a family called Muraenidae which has around 200 different species. Although eels physically look more like snakes they are actually a type of fish.

Coral Trout

Coral trout is the name given to a number of different reef fish species in the family serranidae which also includes groupers, cod and the much smaller anthias.

Queensland Grouper

The Queensland grouper or giant grouper is one of the largest ray finned bony fish in the ocean and takes the crown for the largest on coral reefs. They are part of the family Serranidae which includes cod, coral trout and the much smaller anthias.


When people hear the word mackerel the first fish that comes to mind is the giant, delicious eating fish the Spanish mackerel. However mackerel is the common name given to a group of fish in the family Scombridae.


Tuna like mackerels are part of the family Scombridae which has about 51 different species. Like their mackerel cousins tuna are large powerful oceanic predators built for speed.


Marine flatworms look nothing like the worms we are used to seeing in our gardens. They belong to the phylum Platyhelminthes which are a group of soft bodied invertebrates, which as the name flatworm suggests, are significantly flattened.

Tasselled Wobbegong

Wobbegongs are members of the carpet shark family. They are called carpet sharks for the intricate patterns that cover the bodies of many members of this family.


Nudibranchs are a family of soft bodied shell-less marine gastropods which are often referred to as sea slugs. However the image that is conjured by the word slug is definitely not an accurate representation of what most nudibranchs look like.

Yellow Boxfish

Box fish belong to an order of fish called tetraodontiformes, this group includes fish like puffers, toadfish and triggerfish. The name boxfish comes from their shape, these fish literally have a hard armoured box shaped body.

Red Emperor

Even though this regal fish is called an emperor it is not actually part of the emperor family, Lethrinidae, it is actually a member of the Lutjanidae family also known as the snappers. The snapper family includes fish like the mangrove jack and red bass.

Lizard Fish

Seeing one of these fish at first glance you may think you have just seen a lizard sitting on the seafloor, but despite their reptilian appearance lizard fish are definitely a fish.

Epaulette Shark

Cute is not normally a word people associate with sharks but cute is exactly what these little guys are. Epaulette sharks belong to the bamboo or long tail carpet shark family.

Stone Curlews

Stone curlews are medium to large sized ground dwelling birds which can be found across temperate and tropical regions of the world including parts of Africa, Asia, Australia, New Guinea, and the Solomon islands.


The lion fish goes by many names including zebrafish, turkey fish, and firefish. These guys belong to the genus Pterois in the family Scorpaenidae.

Scorpion Fish

The name scorpion fish is perhaps the biggest indicator of what these fish are best known for, their sting. Scorpion fish are in the genus Scorpaena which is part of a family of fishes called Scorpaenidae which includes other highly venomous fish such as

Manta Rays

Manta rays are the largest rays on earth and up there with some of the largest fishes. They belong to the genus Mobula which includes devil and mobile ray species. Not only are they one of the largest fishes but they also take the title of the smartest.

Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow lorikeets are classed as true parrots and belong to a small group of parrots called Loriini. The birds in this group are small to medium sized and have the characteristic sharp curved beak of all parrots.