10+ Stunning Fish With Big Lips Of 2023

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Fish come in an astounding array of shapes, colors, and sizes. Among this diversity, some species have evolved remarkably large, protruding lips. The oversized lips serve a variety of functions for the fish, aiding feeding, respiration, communication, camouflage, and more. In this article, BettaFishy will explore some examples of fish with big lips, discuss why they evolved this trait, outline the unique features and behaviors associated with large lips, and cover some popular fish with big lips found in home aquariums.

10 stunning fish with big lips Will Blow Your Mind

There are many species of fish that have evolved to have prominently large lips. Some of the most well-known examples include:

1. Koi (Cyprinus Roburofuscus): 

These ornamental fish, often seen in Japan, symbolize luck, prosperity, and growth. They come in a variety of colors, including white, red, yellow, blue, cream, and sometimes green​​. Koi were once considered a subspecies of the common carp but are now recognized as a separate species due to genetic and meristic differences

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2. Carp (Cyprinus Carpio):

 A hardy greenish-brown fish native to Eurasia and introduced to North America and other regions. They live in weedy, mud-bottomed ponds, lakes, and rivers and are omnivorous. In winter, they become torpid and spawn in spring. They are known for their two barbels on each side of the jaw​​.

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3. Humphead Wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus): 

The largest living member of the Labridae family, males can reach up to 2 meters and weigh 180 kg. Found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, they have a slow breeding rate and a lifespan of about 30 years. They are opportunistic predators, feeding on invertebrates and fish, and are listed as endangered​​​​.

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4. Sweetlips Fish (Plectorhinchus): 

Belonging to the Haemulidae family, these fish live on coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific and feed on bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Their coloring and patterning change throughout their lives, with juveniles looking quite different from adults​​. Known for their big fleshy lips and zebra patterns.

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5. Piranha (Pygocentrus Nattereri): 

Native to South America, found in the Amazon, Paraguay, Paraná, and Essequibo basins. They are omnivorous, feeding on insects, worms, crustaceans, and fish. Despite their fearsome reputation, they are not typically dangerous to humans​​.

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6. Pacu (Piaractus Brachypomus): 

The freshwater Pacu fish is a rare species, only found in the waters of South America. They may share a genus with their notorious cousin, the piranha, but they are much larger in size. In fact, the largest recorded pacu was over three feet long and weighed more than fifty pounds!

With their impressive size and distinctive appearance, it’s no wonder that pacu are highly sought after as aquarium pets. These omnivorous creatures have a diverse diet, which includes fruits, nuts, seeds, and even small animals when they’re living in the wild.

In captivity, it’s important to provide pacu with a well-rounded diet. This can include pellets or flakes, as well as live or frozen food items. By offering them a variety of foods, we can ensure that they receive all the necessary nutrients for a healthy life.

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7. Paddletail Snapper (Lutjanus Gibbus): 

The Paddletail Snapper is a species of ray-finned fish that is part of the family Lutjanidae. This fish is found in the Indo-Pacific region, from the Red Sea all the way to Samoa. It can grow up to 60 cm in length and has a silver body with dark vertical bars. 

This fish, distinguishable by its big fleshy lips and shark-like mouth. They display a unique pattern of dark vertical lines​​.

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8. Gourami (Osphronemidae): 

Gourami fish are a beloved species of freshwater aquarium fish, known for their stunning colors and calm demeanor. They come in various species and can range from 7.5 cm to 50 cm in size​​.

Some of the most sought-after gourami types include the pearl, chocolate, and kissing varieties. The pearl gourami boasts a shimmering appearance due to its pearly scales, while the chocolate gourami is distinguished by its brown or black body and vibrant orange fins. As for the kissing gourami, their name comes from their affectionate habit of “kissing” other fish in the tank.

These omnivorous creatures have a diverse diet, consisting of both plant and animal matter. In the wild, they primarily feed on zooplankton, tiny crustaceans, and insects. However, in captivity, they can thrive on a varied diet of pellets, flakes, live and frozen food, as well as fresh vegetables. It’s crucial to provide them with a balanced diet to maintain their well-being and ensure their success in the aquarium.

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9. Red Shoulder Peacock Cichlid (Aulonocara Hansbaenschi): 

The Red Shoulder Peacock Cichlid is a stunning freshwater fish that hails from the rivers of Central and South America. These cichlids are highly sought after for their striking appearance and friendly nature, making them a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts.

Known for their vibrant colors and amiable personalities, peacock cichlids are a beloved species in the world of fishkeeping. With proper care, they can live up to 10 years, providing long-lasting beauty and entertainment to any aquarium.

As omnivores, red shoulder peacock cichlids have a diverse diet that includes pellets, flakes, brine shrimp, and bloodworms. In their natural habitat, they also feed on algae and other plant matter. To maintain their health and vibrant coloration, it’s important to offer them a varied diet.

These social creatures thrive when kept in groups of six or more. While generally peaceful, they may display aggression if they feel threatened. By providing them with a suitable environment and companions, red shoulder peacock cichlids will flourish and bring life to your freshwater tank.

10. Triggerfish (Balistidae):

The triggerfish, a fascinating marine creature, derives its name from the prominent spine on its dorsal fin. This spine serves as a defense mechanism, allowing the fish to lock itself in place when faced with danger from predators.

These colorful fish can be found in tropical and subtropical waters all around the globe, making them a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts. While most triggerfish are peaceful, some species can display aggressive behavior, especially when protecting their nests.

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Their diet mainly consists of small invertebrates like crabs, shrimp, and snails. However, larger triggerfish may also prey on small fish and crustaceans. Interestingly, some triggerfish have been observed using tools to crack open shells and access their tasty contents.

The triggerfish is a diverse and intriguing species that continues to captivate marine enthusiasts worldwide.


In conclusion, this article has covered a variety of fish that have evolved prominent lips, serving functions like feeding, respiration, communication, and camouflage. Examples ranged from popular aquarium fish like angelfish and plecos, to large marine species like whale sharks and groupers.

Hopefully this overview provides greater appreciation for the form and function of these unique fish features. Fish with big lips remain some of the most charismatic and fascinating members of their diverse group. Their prominent mouths will likely continue intriguing people, both scientists and aquarists alike.



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