Marine Animals Koh Tao

Information about the marine life to see when diving around Koh Tao

Marine Animals, Koh Tao

…and our favourites too!

We’re currently in our low season on Koh Tao, but we have been keeping ourselves busy with various activities including some beach volleyball, some environmental activities and most interestingly over the past few days we’ve been having a debate on what is everyone’s favourite marine creature to see is, when diving Koh Tao.

After a discussion that stretched over a few days (and a few light hearted arguments thrown in for good measure!), we decided the easiest way to determine what Crystal Dive’s favourite Koh Tao marine animal was to have a poll.

Here are the results, and you might be surprised at who is our number 1..!!

8. Yellow Boxfish

The Juvenile Yellow Boxfish is possibly the cutest fish in the world with their little puckered lips sticking out. It can be a little difficult to spot at times despite their unique shape and colours. This is due to their size and choice of habitat.

They like to hide amongst the rocks and corals away from potential predators, even though its bright yellow colour, is not just an indication but also a warning of the strong poison it has for any fish that wishes eat them for dinner.

7. Banded Sea Snake

The banded sea snake or krait as it can also be known can be seen when diving around Koh Nangyuan the small island next to Koh Tao. The snake makes for a very cool sight as you watch it moving gracefully around the reef, and if you are lucky, you will see it occasionally head to the surface to take a breath.

Although it does possess dangerous venom it is a very docile creature that won’t give you a second glance as it elegantly swims through the sea.

6. Nudibranch

Colourful and quite satisfyingly weird looking creatures give divers with a keen eye something different to look out for when swimming around Koh Tao dive sites. A favourite subject for underwater macro photographers they are actually classified as a sea slug but are far more striking than the slugs we have on land.

The vibrant colours they display that look so beautiful are actually a warning to predators as they will secrete poisonous toxins from their body if attacked.

5. Dancing Shrimp

It is easy to spot the larger marine life animals when diving but a lot of our dive team prefer the challenge of finding macro life while out making bubbles. Durban dancing shrimp are very social able creatures and like to live in large groups usually under outcroppings or in crevices.

They are called dancing shrimp due to the way they sway back and forth making it look like they are dancing, once you come across them it looks like you are watching an underwater nightclub with the shrimp colony all partying in their hideout.!

4. Great Barracuda

The fish famous for eating Nemo’s mum in the Disney movie is a common sight on Koh Tao. The name gives it away as these long slender silver fish are great. What makes them so popular with our staff is coming across them during a night dive. When the sun goes down Great Barracuda enter our local sites dive sites, specifically White Rock and Twins looking for their dinner.

They have perfected their hunting techniques at night preying on the unfortunate rabbitfish and have even learnt to use scuba diver’s torch light to assist them in their evening hunt. During the day you can see these magnificent creatures in all their glory just off the main pinnacle out at Chumphon, where they cut striking picture, their silver bodies enhanced as you look out, away from the Pinnacle into the Deep Blue.

3. Hawksbill Turtle

Everybody loves turtles and we are no different with the Hawksbill turtle making the top 3. Hawksbill turtles are the most commonly seen turtle on Koh Tao with a lot of divers who are getting their PADI lucky enough to bump into one during their training dives.

Unfortunately, this species is listed on the endangered species list, with this in mind the Thai Navy has helped set up a small turtle sanctuary on the island to help grow the number of Turtles we have around the island. A diving trip in Thailand wouldn’t be complete without spending some time with one of these cool cats underwater.

2. Whaleshark

Probably the most famous visitor to the waters around Koh Tao, the one that is on every traveller’s bucket list, the whaleshark comes in at second place. The biggest fish in the ocean or as we call it “the big spotty fish” can be seen round these shores but more commonly for Advanced open water divers as they like to cruise dive sites such as Sail Rock and Chumphon Pinanacle.

Seeing one of these creatures while scuba diving Koh Tao will give you an amazing experience you would never forget. These gentle giants that can grow up to 12 meters are filter feeders eating Plankton as they gracefully cruise around the sea.

1. Scribble Filefish

A surprise choice from the Crystal Dive team as our most favourite marine creature on Koh Tao, the “scribbly filefish” as they are affectionately known came in top of the pops. These creatures are actually closely related to one of Koh Tao’s infamous (but still cool) marine creatures, the triggerfish, but they are shy and reserved compared to their more aggressive cousins.

They are oddly shaped with striking blue lines travelling down its body making it a truly beautiful creature to come across. With their amazing colouration, quite strange looks and the opportunity to bump into them on most dive sites, here they have become one of Koh Tao’s number 1 sights.

Author: The Dive Crew – Crystal Dive

Crystal Dive Koh Tao

7/1 Moo 2
Tambon Ko Tao
Koh Tao
Surat Thani


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