From Puffers to Penguin Tetras, you know more fish that begin with P than you think you do. The sheer scale (haha) of P fish is huge, so I’ve covered as many as possible below.
Whether you’re sneakily cheating at word games at Christmas or you just really like things beginning with P, hopefully you’ll find this list useful.
- Pacific Albacore Tuna (Thunnus Alalunga)
- Pacific Argentine (Argentina Sialis)
- Pacific Cod (Gadus Macrocephalus)
- Pacific Whiting/Hake (Merluccius Productus)
- Pacific Herring (Clupea Pallasii)
- Pacific Lamprey (Lampetra Tridentata)
- Pacific Trout (Oncorhynchus)
- Pacific Viperfish (Chauliodus Macouni)
- Pacu (Colossoma Macropomum)
- Paddlefish (Polyodontidae)
- Pahrump Poolfish (Empetrichthys Latos)
- Paperbone (Luciosudis Normani)
- Paradise Fish (Macropodus Opercularis)
- Parore (Girella Tricuspidata)
- Parrotfish (Scaridae)
- Peacock Flounder (Bothus Mancus)
- Peamouth (Mylocheilus Caurinus)
- Pearl Gourami (Trichopodus Leerii)
- Pearl Perch (Glaucosoma)
- Pearl Perch (Scopelarchidae)
- Pearlfish (Carapidae Family)
- Pelagic Cod (Melanonus Gracilis)
- Pelican Gulper Eel (Eurypharynx Pelecanoides)
- Pencil Catfish (Trichomycterus Striatus)
- Pencil Smelt (Microstomatidae)
- Penguin Tetra (Thayeria Boehlkei)
- Peppered Corydoras (Corydoras Paleatus)
- Perch (Percidae)
- Peters' Elephantnose (Gnathonemus Petersii)
- Pickerel (Esox Niger)
- Pigfish (Bodianus Unimaculatus)
- Pike (Esox Lucius)
- Pike Characin (Hepsetus Odoe)
- Pike Conger (Muraenesocidae)
- Pikeblenny (Chaenopsis Limbaughi)
- Pikehead (Luciocephalus Pulcher)
- Pikeperch (Sander Lucioperca)
- Pilchard (Sardina Pilchardus)
- Pineapplefish (Cleidopus Gloriamaris)
- Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus Gorbuscha)
- Píntano (Abudefduf Saxatilis)
- Pipefish (Syngnathidae)
- Pirarucu (Arapaima Gigas)
- Pirate Perch (Aphredoderus Sayanus)
- Plaice (Pleuronectes Platessa)
- Platy (Xiphophorus Maculatus)
- Pleco (Hypostomus Plecostomus)
- Plownose Chimaera (Callorhinchidae)
- Plunderfish (Harpagifer Spinosus)
- Poacher (Agonidae)
- Polka Dot Loaches (Botia Kubotai)
- Pollock/Pollack (Pollachius)
- Pomfret (Bramidae)
- Popeye Catalufa (Pristigenys Serrula)
- Porbeagle Shark (Lamna Nasus)
- Porcupinefish (Diodontidae)
- Porgy (Sparidae)
- Powan (Coregonus Clupeoides)
- Priapium Fish (Phallostethidae)
- Prickleback (Stichaeidae)
- Pricklefishes (Stephanoberycidae)
- Prickly Shark (Echinorhinus Cookei)
- Prowfish (Zaprora Silenus)
- Pufferfish (Tetraodontidae)
- Pupfish (Cyprinodontidae)
- Pygmy Sunfish (Elassoma)
Here’s some useful information about each of the P fish in our list:
Pacific Albacore Tuna (Thunnus Alalunga)
Found in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans, these alpha predators eat an enormous amount of food including other fish like sardines, as well as crustaceans and squid.
Pacific Argentine (Argentina Sialis)
The Pacific Argentine grows to a length of 8-9 inches in its natural habitat of the Eastern Pacific and is identified by its distinctive iridescent silver stripe.
Pacific Cod (Gadus Macrocephalus)
The Pacific Cod is a close relative of the Atlantic Cod but is less popular amongst fishermen and health-conscious fish eaters due to its lower levels of omega-3 and protein.
Pacific Whiting/Hake (Merluccius Productus)
Pacific Whiting is known as Pacific Hake outside of the US and can be found off the West Coast of America, feeding on a varied diet including shrimp, crabs, and small invertebrates.
Pacific Herring (Clupea Pallasii)
Growing to around 10 inches in length, the Pacific Herring is a striking species with a green stripe down its back and a silver body.
Pacific Lamprey (Lampetra Tridentata)
These guys look like something out of a nightmare and given that they exclusively feed on live fish, I won’t be looking to add one to my community tank any time soon.
Pacific Trout (Oncorhynchus)
The Pacific Trout is one of two fish along with the Pacific Salmon that make up the genus Oncorhynchus in the family Salmonidae, native to the Pacific Ocean as the name suggests.
Pacific Viperfish (Chauliodus Macouni)
These handsome devils are actually catfish and can be kept as pets with similar species such as Corys. Be warned though, not only do they live to bite you while you maintain the tank, but they live between 30 and 40 years!
Pacu (Colossoma Macropomum)
Native to South America, Pacu have been known to stray up to the US and are often found in Arizona. They’re related to Piranha with teeth that look weirdly like our own!
With their large mouths, Paddlefish spend their days lazily filter-feeding on zooplankton and insect larvae in the Mississippi River basin and the Gulf of Mexico.
Pahrump Poolfish (Empetrichthys Latos)
The Pahrump Poolfish is native to Nevada and is on the brink of extinction due to excessive groundwater pumping, but is clinging on thanks to efforts from conservationists.
Paperbone (Luciosudis Normani)
The slender and odd-looking Paperbone, or Waryfish, lives in the depths of the world’s oceans up to 600m below the surface.
Paradise Fish (Macropodus Opercularis)
A great addition to a community tank of larger fish as long as they’re peaceful, as Paradise Fish can be quite aggressive.
Parore (Girella Tricuspidata)
The Parore fish is more commonly known as the Black Bream or Luderick, but let’s be honest, those names don’t fit in this list.
One of the more common fish you might see when diving around tropical reefs and as well as growing up to 4 feet in length, you’ll spot them by their distinctive ‘beak’ that gives this fish its name.
Peacock Flounder (Bothus Mancus)
A master of disguise, the Peacock Flounder has been observed changing color in just eight seconds and even matched the pattern of a checkerboard!
Peamouth (Mylocheilus Caurinus)
A member of the Minnow family, you’ll find the Peamouth in the Lakes and Rivers of Montana’s Continental Divide.
Pearl Gourami (Trichopodus Leerii)
Pearl Gouramis are freshwater fish native to Southeast Asia that are popular in the aquarium trade for their striking pearlescent scales, peaceful temperament, and compatibility with other fish species.
They are known to be hardy and relatively easy to care for, making them a popular choice for both beginner and experienced aquarium hobbyists.
Pearl Perch (Glaucosoma)
Notable for the shiny area behind their gills, Pearl Perch enjoy a varied diet of invertebrates like Octopus and Squid, as well as insects and small worms.
Pearl Perch (Scopelarchidae)
These very cool medium-sized fish grow up to 14 inches and have telescopic eyes that allow them to find food and spot danger even in almost total darkness!
Pearlfish (Carapidae Family)
Prepare yourself… Pearlfish live in the anus of other animals like Sea Cucumbers and Starfish. They’re not parasites as they live symbiotically, but yeah… what a life.
Pelagic Cod (Melanonus Gracilis)
The Pelagic Cod makes up the family Melanonidae with its relative the Arrowfish and is found in deep waters in subantarctic and temperate waters.
Pelican Gulper Eel (Eurypharynx Pelecanoides)
You probably wouldn’t want to encounter these guys on a swim, but they are pretty cool to look at and given that they’re deep-sea creatures, it’s not likely you’ll come across one any time soon.
Pencil Catfish (Trichomycterus Striatus)
Pencil catfish are slender fish that come from South America and grow up to 8 inches long, making them an ideal addition to a tropical community tank.
Pencil Smelt (Microstomatidae)
Found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pencil Smelts are part of the Smelt family of silver fish which travel from saltwater oceans to freshwater to spawn in the spring.
Penguin Tetra (Thayeria Boehlkei)
These well-known freshwater fish are common in the fishkeeping world due to their peaceful temperament and hardiness which make them easy fish to care for.
Peppered Corydoras (Corydoras Paleatus)
Peppered Corys grow to just 3 inches in length and, like all Cory Catfish, are very social in nature, thriving in groups of six or more.
Read more: Keeping Cory Catfish with Betta fish
While popular with game fishermen, it is possible to keep Perch as aquarium pets but due to their aggressive nature, it’s not recommended.
Peters’ Elephantnose (Gnathonemus Petersii)
Found in West and Central Africa, this curious-looking fish survives on a varied diet including small worms and mosquito larvae but will happily eat bloodworms and even flakes when kept in an aquarium.
Pickerel (Esox Niger)
This game fish can grow up to two feet in length and is often confused with the similar-looking Pike, although they are two distinct species.
Pigfish (Bodianus Unimaculatus)
Pigfish get their name by making a grunting sound when caught which is remarkably similar to that of a pig, despite being less than 8 inches long when fully grown.
Pike (Esox Lucius)
Another game fish, Pike are aggressive predators who slowly stalk their prey before striking with a remarkable burst of speed to make a kill.
Pike Characin (Hepsetus Odoe)
These carnivorous fish are most commonly found in Panama and South America, and possess razor-sharp teeth inside their large mouths.
Pike Conger (Muraenesocidae)
A member of the Conger Eel family, these fierce predators are also known as Daggertooth eels and hunt smaller fish and invertebrates at night.
Pikeblenny (Chaenopsis Limbaughi)
Blennies make interesting aquarium fish and are easy to care for. These slender bottom-dwellers are not fussy eaters and provide an entertaining watch for any fishkeeper.
Pikehead (Luciocephalus Pulcher)
Growing up to 8 inches in length, the Pikehead might not look the most fearsome predator but thanks to its protrusible jaws, it can swallow fish half its own body length, so be careful which tankmates you choose for them!
Pikeperch (Sander Lucioperca)
Found in the Northern Black Sea around Russia and Ukraine, Pikeperch are carnivorous and enjoy a diet of various smaller fish.
Pilchard (Sardina Pilchardus)
Pilchards are similar to Sardines and are technically the same species, only distinguished by their size. Fish of around 11 inches are called Pilchards while the smaller variety is classified as a Sardine.
Pineapplefish (Cleidopus Gloriamaris)
The Pineapplefish gets its name, predictably, from the fact that it bears a striking resemblance to the tropical fruit. Similarly, they are also known as Pinecone Fish.
Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus Gorbuscha)
The Pink Salmon is the most common of all varieties of Pacific Salmon and spawn in rivers in Canada and the US between June and October.
Píntano (Abudefduf Saxatilis)
Also known as the Sergeant Major Fish because of the stripes (or ‘bars’) on its side, this Damselfish grows to around 9 inches and can be kept in groups in a suitably large aquarium.
Pipefish are related to, but distinct from, Seahorses. Both belong to the family Syngnathidae.
Pirarucu (Arapaima Gigas)
This giant is commonly caught by fishermen who snag them as they come up to breathe air, which they need to do every 15 minutes. Some even keep them as pets in huge home aquariums.
Pirate Perch (Aphredoderus Sayanus)
Commonly found off the East Coast of the US, the Pirate Perch is a slightly odd fish in that its anus is located on its throat.
Plaice (Pleuronectes Platessa)
Growing up to 18 inches in length, the Plaice is one of the most popular fish to eat due to its mild taste and bones which are easily removed.
Platy (Xiphophorus Maculatus)
The Platy will always have a special place in my heart as it was the first fish I ever had as a pet. Be warned, they breed like crazy!
Pleco (Hypostomus Plecostomus)
Plecos make great community fish as they are a hard-working clean-up crew member, feeding on any leftovers that fall to the tank floor and cleaning algae off rocks and tank walls.
Read more: Quantum Black Beard Algae Remover review
Plownose Chimaera (Callorhinchidae)
Also known as the Elephant Fish due to its long, flexible snout, the Plownose Chimaera uses this unusual appendage to find meals of small crustaceans buried in the sand.
Plunderfish (Harpagifer Spinosus)
To give this fish its full name, the Antarctic Spiny Plunderfish is commonly found in the Southern Ocean and doesn’t usually grow more than 4 inches in length.
Also known as the Alligator Fish, Poachers are a family of bottom-dwellers found in the oceans of the Northern Hemisphere, feeding on small crustaceans and worms.
Polka Dot Loaches (Botia Kubotai)
Polka dot loaches are freshwater fish native to Thailand. They’re popular in the aquarium trade for their distinctive polka dot pattern, playful behavior, and ability to eat snails and other small aquatic creatures.
Pollock and Pollack are the same fish, but the spelling changes depending on where they are caught. If caught in the North East Pacific Ocean they’re Pollock, but become Pollack if caught in the North East Atlantic Ocean. And no, I’m not sure why this needs to be a thing, either!
Originating from India, the Pomfret is a carnivorous fish that grows to around 13 inches in length and feeds on worms, shrimp and other small ocean creatures and fish.
Popeye Catalufa (Pristigenys Serrula)
This is a fish of many names, including the Bigeye Soldierfish and the Bastard Soldierfish. They’re well known for their tendency to float upside down in caves, make clicking noises audible to divers, and change color when threatened.
Porbeagle Shark (Lamna Nasus)
Despite commonly growing up to eight feet in length, attacks on humans by Porbeagle Sharks are very rare.
Porcupinefish get their name from the spines along its body which stand on end when the fish inflates by sucking in water when threatened. They grow up to three feet in length.
Porgies are fish belonging to the Sparidae family, commonly known as Sea Bream. They’re found in the Atlantic Ocean, especially between Long Island and Massachusetts.
Powan (Coregonus Clupeoides)
The Powan is found exclusively in Loch Lomond and Loch Eck in Scotland, and is currently the subject of a conservation effort due to dwindling numbers. Best not to speculate why there are none in Loch Ness…
Priapium Fish (Phallostethidae)
Native to South-East Asia, the Priapium Fish get their name from the appendage under the head of the male that is used to grip the female during breeding.
Found exclusively in the Northern Pacific, they may not be the prettiest fish in the ocean but Pricklebacks can breathe oxygen, so there is that.
Pricklefishes get their name because of their large, spiny scales and can be found in the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Prickly Shark (Echinorhinus Cookei)
A member of the Echinorhinidae family of sharks, the Prickly Sharks eat a varied diet of smaller sea creatures, but sadly they are currently endangered due to the impact of deepwater trawling.
Prowfish (Zaprora Silenus)
The Whiskered Prowfish is found exclusively in the waters off South and South Western Australia and lives on a diet of small fish, although the juveniles enjoy eating Jellyfish.
There are many species of Pufferfish, including the Pea Puffer which is popular with fishkeepers who find themselves with an infestation of pest snails, a favorite snack of the Pea Puffer.
A member of the Killifish family, Pupfish are one of the smaller species at under one inch in length. Interestingly they are hermaphrodites that self-fertilize to reproduce.
Pygmy Sunfish (Elassoma)
The territorial Pygmy Sunfish can be kept in an aquarium and at just 1.5 inches in length, they don’t demand a huge tank.
That’s the end of our list – if you know another type of fish that starts with P feel free to email me at [email protected] and I’ll be sure to add it!
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