New England Species ID

New England Species ID

Whether you view the water from above or below, you may have wondered just what calls our local waters home. There are some awesome reference books available, including the ones by Andrew Martinez and Margaret “Peg” Stewart Van Patten + Charles Yarish  – they were used in the creation of this page. Many of our members keep them in their cars for when they need to look up a New England Species ID post-dive. But if you’re just looking for a quick ID and dichotomous keys aren’t your forte, you’ve come to the right place! Feel free to let us know what you think about the page or send us some of your images ( Species featured here are one you will most likely encounter in at the local dive sites in Southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island, but images were taken from CT to ME. Species marked with an asterisk (*) are uncommon to the CT/RI dive sites; they are typically found from Massachusetts and further north, though they occasionally make an appearance. Stay tuned as it is an ongoing project – big thanks to the members who’ve contributed! Species with a double asterisk (**) are considered to be invasive to the area, even if the invasion occurred so long ago that they are now considered a normal part of the ecosystem.

Anemones + Corals | AnnelidsArthropodsBryozoans + Sponges + Tunicates

EchinodermsEggs + Egg Casings | Fish | Fish – Tropicals 

 Jellyfish + Non-Stinging Jellies | Molluscs | Rays, Sharks, + Skates | Seaweed

Anemones + Corals:



Bryozoans + Sponges + Tunicates:


Eggs + Egg Casing:


Fishes – Tropical Visitors:

Jellyfish + Non-Stinging Jellies


Rays + Sharks + Skates:


New England Species ID Updated 10/12/20
Please send any ID corrections to

Big thanks to the following SECONN members and friends for the use of their photographs: Amanda Anderson, Adam Cohen, Chris Dodge, Mike Dziejma, Peggy Friest, Eric Heupel, Lily Glynos, Corey A. Leamy, Jamie Parent, Lana Smithson, Sharon Teel, and Peter Venoutsos