27 Types of Fish with Big Foreheads

Some of the strangest species in the world include fish with large foreheads. These fish are common to the missions of marine researchers, but you may also observe them, particularly when scuba diving. These consist of numerous cichlid species, such as the Midas cichlid and the kamfa, as well as numerous dolphinfish species, napoleon fish, humphead parrotfish, oranda, humphead glassfish, unicornfish, and more varieties. You simply need to be patient, squint hard enough, and wait for your chance. And if you enjoy keeping fish, you’ll be aware of the kinds to add to your aquarium at home. Here is the list of 27 fish with big foreheads.

Fish with Big Forehead

1. Dolphinfish

Mahi-mahi, another name for dolphinfish, is a large-headed ocean fish. It has a forked tail fin, a huge body, a blunt face, and a characteristic forehead form. It is very colorful. The Polynesian meaning of the name mahi-mahi is “strong and powerful.” They can swim up to 60 mph and are exceptionally quick swimmers. Male dolphinfish with larger bodies have rounder foreheads compared to their high, vertical counterparts. Mahi-mahi fishing is most successful in Florida from April through June.

Mahi Mahi is one of the fish with big foreheads that belongs to the family Coryphaenidae. The body length is up to 35 inches (100 cm), and the avarage weight is between 15 and 30 lb (7 and 13 kg). The average lifespan of mahi mahi fish species is up to 5 years in captivity. The fish species is commonly referred to as dorado and the common dolphinfish that prefers to thrive in tropical, subtropical, and temperate waters around the oceans of the world, including the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. Talking about their appearance, they have a long, tall, and narrow body and a blunt head and mouth.

Also Read: 10 Different Types of Fish With Big Teeth


Image Source: Wikimedia

2. Napoleon fish

Huge species of wrasse known as “Napoleon fish” can be found on coral reefs off the east coast of Africa, particularly in Madagascar and some areas of the Pacific Ocean. Its hue lies between purplish blue and green blue. Napoleon fish is one of the animals with big lips that can be identified by its large, projecting forehead, two black lines that run immediately below its eyes, and thick lips. The fish gets its name from its imposing forehead, which resembles Napoleon Bonaparte’s cap. As the fish ages, the forehead keeps expanding.

Also Read: Top 10 Amazing Fish With Big Eyes

Napoleon fish

Image Source: Wikimedia

3. Flowerhorn cichlid

A freshwater fish with a large forehead is called Kamfa. It is a flowerhorn fish, a freshwater hybrid fish created by mating various fish species. It lacks a scientific name and is not acknowledged as a separate species because it was human-created. Kamfa is known for its square body shape, white or yellow eyes, and a big protrusion on the top of their heads that resembles a forehead.

Similar to Kamfa, the flowerhorn is decorative fish that are frequently found in aquariums because of its vivid colors and distinctively shaped heads. These fish are artificial and can only be found in ponds or aquariums. They were created in Malaysia, Taiwan, and Thailand. Although flowerhorns are distinguished by their vibrant colors, they also feature bulbous heads with nuchal humps known as Kok on top. This characteristic appearance is shared by both sexes, however, it is more obvious in the former.

Also Read: 10 Different Types of Fish With Legs

Kamfa or Flowerhorn cichlid

Image Source: Wikimedia

4. Beluga whales

The barreleye fish is a small deep-sea fish with translucent eyes in the shape of a dome on its forehead. The majority of its body is covered with huge scales, and it has a tiny mouth. These tundra animals will typically remain still in water between 2,000 and 2,600 feet deep while supporting themselves on their massive fins. The unique eyes of this beautiful white animal point at a 90-degree angle, gave rise to the name. These winter animals have thier eyeballs are angled upward to get as much light as possible, barreleyes may turn them forward to look for prey.

Beluga whale

5. Midas Cichlid

Orange fish with a broad foreheads are known as midas cichlids. It is a sizable cichlid fish that inhabits Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and the San Juan River. In 1980, it was first found in Florida. The aggressive Midas cichlid is easily identified by its golden hue and “nuchal hump,” a bulge on its head. It also has an oval body. It only exists in men. Omnivorous Midas cichlids typically eat small fish, snails, insect larvae, and worms.

Also Read: Top 10 Ugliest Fishes In The World

Midas Cichlid

Image Source: Wikimedia

6. Green Humphead parrotfish

Reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans are home to green humphead parrotfish. They have unusual mouths with a bill that looks like a parrot’s. The large hump on the green humphead parrotfish’s forehead serves numerous purposes.

The fish has evolved to be able to smash even hard coral, using the hump to break off chunks of coral for simple digestion. This adaptation helps because it allows them to consume coral, which no other animal can, thus eliminating all food competition. The fish also use the hump for defense since they can headbutt other fish during mating or feeding competitions.

Green Humphead parrotfish

Image Source: Wikimedia

7. Oranda Goldfish

Oranda goldfish have a distinctive bubble-like “hood” on their heads that resembles a broad forehead. It is one of the nicest fish species, has a long tail fin, and is an omnivore. Oranda has a fifteen-year lifespan. The red-cap oranda is a type of oranda that has a red head growth that resembles a raspberry on its forehead and a silver body colour. The black goldfish, another oranda species, is a typically black fish with a broad forehead.


Image Source: Wikimedia

8. Humphead glassfish

A saltwater fish called a humphead glassfish lives in the big, swiftly moving rivers of Thailand and Myanmar. The humphead glassfish has a semi-transparent body like all other glassfish species. The huge forehead with a nuchal hump, however, is what sets it apart from other family members. Since this characteristic is more noticeable in males than in females, it is simple to identify them. Although the function of this hump is unknown, studies on other fish species with similar traits suggest that it may have the same role.

Also Read: A List Of Fishes With Big Lips

Humphead glassfish

Image Source: Wikimedia

9. Sperm Whales

The largest-toothed predator, the sperm whale one of the animals with big noses found all around the world. They move throughout certain seasons in order to breed and feed. These enormous whales are distinguished by their enormous heads, which account for at least a third of the animal’s total body weight. Therefore, even when comparing comparably, no fish can match the forehead of a sperm. These strongest sea animals have two spermaceti organs, or oil-filled sacs, are located inside the large forehead. The daily mail reports that scientists believe male sperm whales utilize their broad foreheads to crush rivals in love and small ships.

Also Read: 16 Amazing Aquatic Animals In The World

Sperm Whales

Image Source: Wikimedia

 10. Asian Sheepshead Wrasse

One of the biggest fish with big foreheads wrasse species, Asian sheepshead wrasses have enormous foreheads and also listed as one of the ugly fishes in the world. These fish are indigenous to the rocky reefs in the western Pacific Ocean, and they may grow to be 39 inches long and up to 32 pounds in weight! They are a hermaphrodite species with both male and female organs to change sex readily, also known as Kobudai in Japan. Asian sheepshead wrasses appear menacing, but they are actually quite amiable fish. One Japanese diver has been friends with a fish named Yoriko for more than 30 years.

Asian Sheepshead Wrasse

Image Source: Wikimedia

11. Texas Cichlid

Texas Cichlid also reffende as Pearl Cichlid or Rio Grande Perch is an amazing freshwater species that comes with a feisty personality. The species comes in different color ranges and the scales shimmer in the light. They are the only chichi species native to the United States.  It is mostly seen throughout lakes and rivers in southern Texas and northern Mexico. The avarage lifespan of Texas Cichlid is between 10 to 13 years.

Texas Cichlid

Image Source: Wikimedia

12. Redhump Eartheater

The redhump eartheater is one of the fish with big foreheads trees that comes from freshwater habitats in northwestern South America. It prefers water that is slightly acidic to neutral (6.5 to 7.0 pH) and typically about 24 to 26 °C (75-79 °F).  The redhump eartheater has a unique way of eating where it takes substrate material into their mouths and throws out inedible bits of sand or gravel and consumes detritus and small organisms. The avarage lifespan of a redhump eartheater is between 8 to 10 years.

Redhump Eartheater

Image Source: Wikimedia

13. Front Cichlid

The Front Cichlid also known as Cyphotilapia frontosa or frontosa cichlid is an east African species of fish that is endemic to Lake Tanganyika. The body size can grow upto 33 cm (1.1 ft) in length and have distinct markings with five to seven black vertical bars adorning a white or blue body and head and trailing fins with a distinct blue hue.  It also grows a nuchal hump that is more pronounced in older specimens and hence listed as one of the fish with big foreheads in the world.

Image Source: Wikimedia

14. Raggedfin Parrotfish

The Raggedfin Parrotfish is one of the fish with big foreheads mostly distributed across the eastern Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka, East Andaman Sea (Thailand), Western Australia, and Indonesia (eastern Halmahera). The body length can grow a maximum of 44.2 cm and prefers depth between 1 – 30 m. Talking about their appearance, they are deep purplish to greyish-brown parrotfish along with blue margins on the dorsal and anal fins, however, smaller fish have dull bluish-green body scales with a pinkish to purplish bar on each scale.

Raggedfin Parrotfish

Image Source: Wikimedia

15. Knothead Parrotfish

The Knothead parrotfish is mostly distributed across Indo-West Pacific: Sri Lanka to the Philippines, north to the Ryukyu Islands. Talking about its appearance, it is a dark bluish to almost black parrotfish with a pale blue margin on the dorsal, anal and pelvic fins, a pronounced hump on the head of adults, and contrasting whitish dental plates, however, the presence of the Knothead Parrotfish in Australia is yet to be confirmed.  It is mostly seen in reef-associated, brackish, marine waters at a depth of 35 meters.

Knothead Parrotfish

Image Source: Fishes of Australia

16. Peacock Goby

The peacock gudgeon also known as peacock goby is a tropical freshwater fish that belongs to the family Eleotridae. The species is endemic to the eastern part of Papua New Guinea and mostly seen in the schools hovering over the substrate in rivers and ponds. It can reach upto a length of 7.5 cm (3.0 in) and is the only member of its genus. The peacock gudgeon breeding gives rise to 50-100 individuals per session. It preys on insects and their larvae, small crustaceans, daphnia, small shrimp, and bloodworm.

Peacock Goby

Image Source: Wikimedia

17. Redhead Cichlid

Redhead Cichlid is a large Central American Cichlid  species that can be seen in multiple colours. The coloration of fish species reaches its peak at maturity where males can grow larger than females by developing nuchal humps.  Talking about its appearance, there is a series of  black blotches or a black stripe scattered on the body, however, breeding males have bright red-orange or yellow and develop a large nuchal hump. The native range includes Tropical America. Atlantic Slope of Middle America including southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize.

Redhead Cichlid

Image Source: Wikimedia

18. Three Spot Cichlid

The Three spot cichlid also known as trimac or red-eyed cichlid is one of the fish with big foreheads belongs to  Mexico and Central America. They are known to have a large heavy bodied cichlid and have a green or yellow hue base with the distinct spots on its sides.  The male species is much larger than females and also have longer more pointed fins and a large red spot behind his gills.  They are mostly seen in the slow flowing stretches in the lower river valleys of the rivers of the Pacific Slope of Central America from Mexico to Panama.

Three Spot Cichlid

Image Source: Wikimedia

19. California Sheephead

California Sheephead mostly seen across Eastern Pacific Ocean along the coast of California and prefers to thrive in the kelp beds rocky reefs along the shore. The average lifespan of California Sheephead is upto 53 years in the wild. They are known for distinctive black and red coloring. It is mostly seen in small groups along the rocky coastline of California.

California Sheephead

Image Source: Wikimedia

20. Chairel Cichlid

The chairel cichlid scientific name is Nosferatu pantostictus and is a species of cichlid  native to the Panuco River drainage of Mexico’s Atlantic coast. The body length is upto 12.6 centimetres, however, ,most of them cannot exceed 5.6 centimetres (2.2 in) . They are also one of the popular aquarium fishes and prefers refers coastal lacustrine environment which is slightly salty and turbid and which has mud or sand bottom. 

chairel cichlid

Image Source: Wikimedia

21. Hump-Headed Blenny

Hump-Headed Blenny is one of the fish with big foreheads also known as  hump-headed blenny, bullethead rockskipper or picture rockskipper. They are mostly seen around regions of  coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans from East Africa in the west to the Hawaiian, Line and Ducie Islands. The fish species was first recorded by French biologists Quoy and Gaimard in the year 1824.

Hump-Headed Blenny

Image Source: Wikimedia

22. Red devil cichlid

Red Devil is among the fish with big foreheads that belong to the family Cichlidae. The body. Length is up to 15.0 inches (38.10 cm) in length, and it was described by Gunther in 1864. They are mostly found in Central America, near the Atlantic slopes in Nicaragua. The fish species prefers to thrive in open waters and is rarely found in rivers. The scientific name is Amphilophus labiatus, and the coloration is quite variable; however, mostly it is often a dark brown to grey, which helps them blend into their natural surroundings and the substrate. The average lifespan of Red Devil is up to 12 years.

Red devil cichlid

Image Source: Wikimedia

23. Tapajos Orange Head Geophagus

Tapajos Orange Head Geophagus is among the Geophagus family of fish and quite popular in South American cichlids for coloration, peaceful behaviour, and other benefits as well. Talking about appearance, they have an orange head and different striking colours across their body. The body is large and oval-shaped, and it looks like a saltwater bream or snapper. The juveniles have very basic colouration; however, as the fish species grows up, they develop a stunning yellow base colour with jade green spotting that turns to horizontal stripes. They also have large fins, and the most notable will be the pelvic fin, which is almost half the length of the fish.

Tapajos Orange Head Geophagus

Image Source: Pinterest

24. Chocolate Cichlid

Emerald Cichlid, also known as Emerald Cichlid, is a large South American Cichlid species that prefers to thrive in calm, deep, and slow-moving rivers of the Amazon River Basin in South America. The body length is up to 12 inches (30 cm) and it prefers temperatures up to 76–86°F (24–30°C) in the tank. It is scientifically known as Hypselecara temporalis, which is quite difficult to take care of. However, it is one of the best options to add a colourful dimension to your tank. The average lifespan of chocolate cichlids is 10+ years.

Chocolate Cichlid

25. Green Terror

Green terror is a unique freshwater fish that can grow up to 8 inches. Talking about appearance, the coloration varies a bit, especially with females, who are more colourful than males. The juveniles have a distinctive appearance with a silvery-blue hue and turn metallic green as the fish get older. Green terror is a ray-finned fish that is supported by thin spines, and the most evident is the dorsal fin. The average lifespan of green terror is between 7 and 10 years in captivity.

Green Terror

Image Source: Wikimedia

26. Hump-Headed Blenny

Hump Headed Blenny is also among the fish with big foreheads distributed across East Africa to the Hawaiian, Line, and Ducie Islands, and north to Marcus Island. The scientific name is Blenniella gibbifrons, which was first recorded by French biologists Quoy and Gaimard in 1824. They prefer to stay from 0.5 to 1.5 m deep, where the substrate consists of a thin carpet of algal turf and sand. It is oviparous, with the eggs and young left to fend for themselves and the larvae found swimming in shallow, coastal waters.

Hump-Headed Blenny

Image Source: Queensland State Archives

These are the 27 types of fish with big foreheads. Kindly share and do post your comments.

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