Explore 80+ Fish That Start With Y (Common Names)

Written by Hannah Crawford
Published: August 29, 2023
Share on:


We have scoured the waters and looked at the 3.5 trillion fish that are in the Earth’s waters. As we can imagine these fish have trillions of names that so many dedicated scientists have renamed with common names to make it easier for people to research and pronounce.

We will find that a lot of the common names of fish can have a direct reflection on what those fish look like. For example, in this article, we will discuss the yellow bass fish, yellow bullhead catfish, and yellow tang fish. These fish all have two things in common. One, they all start with the letter “y.” Second, they are all yellow in appearance!

Let’s take a look at the top 10 fish we found that start with the letter “y.” Next, we will move on to the largest fish that starts with the letter “y.” Lastly, we will end by providing you with a complete list of 80+ fish whose common names start with the letter “y” and a list of their scientific names.

82,254 People Couldn't Ace This Quiz

Think You Can?

Yellow Bass (Morone mississippiensis)

Yellow Bass

The yellow bass gets its specific name (mississippiensis) from the Mississippi River. 

©Kevin H Knuth/Shutterstock.com

The smallest member of the temperate bass family is the yellow bass (Morone mississippiensis) of the family Moronidae. They weigh only one pound and reach between 5-11 inches long. There is one yellow bass that weighs 2.95 pounds and is 16 inches in length. 

North America is where the yellow bass fish resides, with a population of millions.

As carnivores, they eat copepods, aquatic insects, and fish. These small fish have an estimated population of millions.

Yellow Bullhead Catfish (Ameiurus Natalis)

Yellow Bullhead Catfish Ameiurus natalis swimming over weeds in an inland lake.

The yellow bullhead catfish are slightly venomous with a medium aggression level.

©Focused Adventures/Shutterstock.com

The yellow bullhead catfish (Ameiurus natalis) is a rather bland-looking fish. Of the family Ictaluridae, the yellow bullhead catfish is two to six pounds and reaches anywhere from 5-14 inches in length. 

What’s interesting to note about these fish is that they are venomous. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, they offer their expertise on the poison of the yellow bullhead catfish. 

“They also produce a mild poison that runs down the spines and into the wound of a victim punctured by one of these spines. While the poison causes a stinging or burning sensation if you are punctured, it is essentially harmless to humans.”

Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens)

Yellow Perch jumping

The yellow perch jumps out of the water to snare a favorite insect.


Yellow perch (Perca flavescens) are very bright, colorful-looking fish. They are yellow and gold in appearance. The yellow perch are omnivores and, as such, will feast on crustaceans and invertebrates usually. 

These small fish weigh between two to three pounds and reach 4-14 inches in length. They have a very low aggression level, as fish that live in a school-type setting.

Caught on Lake Cascade in Idaho, the largest yellow perch weighed a whopping 89.62-pound fish. Take a look at the link and see just how enormous this fish is in comparison to the man who caught it. 

Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens)

yellow tang

The yellow tang fish can live up to 30 years in the wild!


The yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens) fish is rightly named this due to its bright yellow appearance. These small fish reaching up to eight inches in length, are solitary creatures. 

Yellow tang fish are solitary animals. They are vulnerable to the many predators that will hunt and eat them such as sharks, octopuses, and crabs. 

Yellowtail Snapper (Ocyurus chrysurus)

Yellowtail snapper

The biggest threat to the yellowtail snapper is overfishing.

©iStock.com/Alberto Carrera

Yellowtail snappers (Ocyurus chrysurus) have a yellow tail hence their name. These fish of the family Lutjanidae reach approximately 16 inches in length. And they weigh only between 2-5 pounds. While this might seem small when you think about it, this is “about the size of a large pizza.” 

Yellowtail snappers can be found in oceans all over the world. They are often found in locations like the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. 

These snappers’ diets consist of zooplankton, shrimp, and various small fish. The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines zooplankton as the following. “Zooplankton are small, aquatic microorganisms in the water column that include crustaceans, rotifers, open water insect larvae, and aquatic mites.”

Yellow Lab (Labidochromis caeruleus)

Two yellow cichlids in an aquarium with an oranda goldfish

Yellow cichlids can be found in a school-type setting.

©Rani Restu Irianti/Shutterstock.com

Not to be confused with the yellow lab dog known as the Labrador Retriever Dog.  Yellow lab (Labidochromis caeruleus) is a fish in the ocean known for its, you guessed it, yellow appearance. 

These small fish are only five inches in length. This could almost fit in the palm of a human’s hand! 

The yellow lab fish will eat food such as shrimp, bloodworms, vegetable matter, or fish pellet food. 

Yellow Regal Peacock Cichlid (Aulonocara baenschi)

Selective focus of The Yellow Peacock cichlid, Aulonocara baenschi from VGP freshwater aquarium.

An interesting fact about this nkhomo-benga peacock (yellow regal peacock cichlid) is that it is often captured for aquarium trades.

©NiAk Stock/Shutterstock.com

Yellow regal peacock cichlid (Aulonocara baenschi) is a gorgeous-looking fish that is bright yellow with hues of blue tangled into its fins and scales. This fish also is more commonly referred to as the nkhomo-benga peacock fish. Rightly named, peacocks are known for their flourishing beauty of color it has.

The yellow regal peacock cichlid has only been found largely in Lake Malawi, Africa. It has also been sighted on occasion at the Maleri Islands, Chipoka, Nkhomo Reef near Benga, and Usisya. 

Yellow King Piranha (Serrasalmus ternetzi)

piranha also called caribe or piraya they are the most ferocious fish .

Yellow king piranha fish are circular in appearance.


The yellow king piranha (Serrasalmus ternetzi) is labeled one of the largest piranhas in the wild. It reaches a length of 50 centimeters, or over a foot and a half long. When we think of piranhas, our minds typically go to something ugly with giant teeth. However, this piranha is labeled as a very beautiful fish. 

According to Wikipedia, this yellow king piranha also goes by other names such as Rio São Francisco piranha, black-tailed piranha, and king emperor piranha. 

This piranha’s diet consists mainly of small fish, insects, seeds, and aquatic plant material. As omnivores, piranhas are also known to seek out flesh to eat.

We have looked at the top 10 fish we found that start with the letter “y.” Now we can dive into the largest of these fish!

The Largest Fish That Starts With the Letter “Y”

Yellowfin tuna out in the open ocean in crystal clear blue water

The yellowfin tuna fish can reach up to incredible speeds of 50 miles per hour!

©Al McGlashan/Shutterstock.com

We scoured the oceans to find the largest fish that start with the letter “y.” And while we came up with some interesting options, we landed on the yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares). This is the largest fish with the letter “y.” 

Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) are very sleek in their appearance. Their almost metallic-looking bodies have fins yellow in appearance. In addition, they also have a yellow stripe down their bodies in some cases. 

These large fish reach up to 450 pounds! To give us an idea of how much this weighs, we can compare it to the smaller grand pianos, which weigh 500 pounds. Can you imagine a grand piano just swimming towards you in the ocean?

Yellowfin tuna are carnivores that will feast on fish, crustaceans, cephalopods, and mollusks. Sharks, whales, marlins, seabirds, humans, and various other fish hunt the yellowfin tuna.

These top ten fish that we have found that start with the letter “y” just goes to show us how much variety there is in the ocean! Now that we have covered that let’s dive down deep and find our complete list of 80+ fish whose common names start with the letter “y.” And because we like to be as thorough as possible, we’ve added in their scientific names as well.

Complete List of #80+ Fish

Common Names (Fish That Start With “Y”)Scientific Names (Fish That Start With “Y”)
Yellowtail SnapperOcyurus chrysurus
Yellowfin GrouperMycteroperca venenosa
Yellowedge MorayGymnothorax flavimarginatus
Yellow-Eye MulletAldrichetta forsteri
Yellowtail BarracudaSphyraena flavicauda
Yellow BassMorone mississippiensis
Yellowfin TunaThunnus albacares
Yellowfin CroakerUmbrina roncador
Yellowfin Pike Dinolestes lewini
Yellow-Spotted GraylingThymallus flavomaculatus
Yarrell’s BlennyChirolophis ascanii
Yellowhead JawfishOpistognathus aurifrons
Yellowmargin TriggerfishPseudobalistes flavimarginatus
Yellow-Belly BreamSerranochromis robustus
Yellowfin CroakerUmbrina roncador
Yellow-Prawn GobyCryptocentrus cinctus
Yellow AcaraAequidens metae
Yellow JackAequidens metae
Yellow PerchPerca flavescens
Yellowtail ClownfishAmphiprion clarkii
Yellow Pigmy BrotulaDinematichthys iluocoeteoides
Yellow SoldierfishMyripristis clarionensis
Yellowtail BarracudaSphyraena flavicauda
Yellow TriplefinEnneapterygius abeli
Yellow Fin MojarraGerres cinereus
Yellow Garden EelHeteroconger luteolus
Yellow RazorfishXyrichtys sanctaehelenae
Yellow MeekiThorichthys affinis
Yasuhikotakia Caudipunctata – Speckle-tailed LoachBotia caudipunctata
Yellow-Spotted Cat SharkScyliorhinus capensis
Yellow-Axil ChromisChromis xanthochira
Yellow-Striped SquirrelfishNeoniphon aurolineatus 
Yellow-Eye MulletAldrichetta forsteri
Yellowback FusilierCaesio xanthonota
Yellowback SeabreamDentex spariformis Ogilby
Yazoo ShinerNotropis rafinesquei
Yellow-Eyed Comb-ToothEcsenius melarchus
Yellow DartfishNemateleotris magnifica
Yellowtail KingfishSeriola lalandi
Yaldwyn’s TriplefinNotoclinops yaldwyni
Yellow-Threaded GoatfishParupeneus chrysonemus
Yellow Pygmy-GobyLubricogobius exiguus
Yellow-Tipped SquirrelfishSargocentron seychellense
Yellow SwordtailXiphophorus clemenciae
Yellow WeaverParapercis gilliesii
Yellow-Lined GrunterPomadasys quadrilineatus
Yellow-Mouth EelGymnothorax nudivomer
Yellow Finned MedakaOryzias profundicola
Yawning StardrumStellifer oscitans
Yazoo DarterEtheostoma raneyi
Yellow-Barred Shrimp-GobyCryptocentrus pavoninoides
Yellow-Band CardinalfishApogon cyanosoma
Yangtse Grenadier AnchovyCoilia brachygnathus
Yellow-Eyed ToadfishTorquigener parcuspinus
Yellowbanded PerchAcanthistius cinctus
Yellow BarbBarbodes semifasciolatus
Yellow Teardrop ButterflyfishChaetodon interruptus
Yellow Belly CichlidCichlasoma salvini
Yellow-Green GobyPriolepis aureoviridis
Yellow-Lip Threadfin BreamNemipterus aurifilum
Yellow And Blueback FusilierCaesio teres
Yellow TilefishHoplolatilus luteus
Yellow-Edged MorayGymnothorax flavimarginatus
Yellow-Eye Combtooth-BlennyEcsenius ops
Yellow-Mouth PikeblennyChaenopsis limbaughi
Yellow-Speckled ChromisChromis alpha
Yellow-And-Black TriplefinForsterygion flavonigrum
Yarra Pygmy PerchNannoperca obscura
Yellow-Belly DamselPomacentrus auriventris
Yellow-Spotted Snake-EelCallechelys lutea
Yellow Bullhead CatfishAmeiurus natalis
Yellow TangZebrasoma flavescens
Yellow Banded MoenkhausiaMoenkhausia sanctaefilomenae
Yellow JulieJulidochromis ornatus
Yellow King PiranhaSerrasalmus ternetzi
Yellow KribensisPelvicachromis humilis
Yellow LabLabidochromis caeruleus
Yellow Regal Peacock CichlidAulonocara baenschi
Yellow-Finned XenotilapiaXenotilapia flavipinnis

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Rani Restu Irianti/Shutterstock.com

Share on:
About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.