Memorizing Types of Fish From Photos? (HELP)

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#1 2 February, 2016 - 03:51
Joined: 1 year 8 months ago

Memorizing Types of Fish From Photos? (HELP)

l have to write down the common names of over 50 different species of fish from photographs on a PowerPoint.

I have no idea how to do this as even if I learnt a name (e.g. Klein's Butterfly Fish makes me think of Calvin Klein) I still don't even know what the fish is meant to look visually amongst all these other fish! I know some of these examples are obvious like the Lemon Peel Angelfish, but what about ones like the Regal Angelfish? Again, these are only SOME of the ones I have to learn, others have names that aren't as indicative of what they look like.

Any guidance would be very much appreciated. I've inserted a picture of the type of slides I'll have to memorise.

angelfish_id_sheet1.pdf (92.86 KB)

4 February, 2016 - 19:47
Joined: 2 years 7 months ago

Do you need to know the scientific name or just the common names?

Regal means royal. You could picture the fish as a king. It also rhymes with eagle and slant-rhymes with decal.

More brainstormed examples:

  • Multi-barred -- a fish that is bar hopping. It also has bars on it.
  • Eibl’s -- eyeballs
  • Vermiculated -- "verm-" comes from "worm", so you could use an image of a worm.
  • Lamarck’s -- you could make a new word "la marker" (the marker) and use a marker (pen).
  • Herald's -- picture a herald with a trumpet.

Since they are all angelfish, you don't need to remember that part for all the fish. If you have more than one category, you could place the images in different rooms -- one room for each category.

4 February, 2016 - 21:18
Joined: 1 year 8 months ago

Just the common names. Thank you for your reply,that's really helpful. I'm still getting into the groove with all these techniques. Would you say it's useful to have a room for each group? It wouldn't be possible to have a room for each fish,would it? Especially as I don't recall what the fish even looks like without the photo.

5 February, 2016 - 07:44
Joined: 2 years 2 months ago

I would find a distinguishing characteristic of each fish, and put your image there. Then, you'll be better able to match the photo of the fish with the correct name.

5 February, 2016 - 12:08
Joined: 2 years 7 months ago

Would you say it's useful to have a room for each group? It wouldn't be possible to have a room for each fish,would it?

I only mentioned the idea of separate rooms for if there is more than one kind of fish group. All of the ones on that page appeared to be angelfish. If you have another group, like salmon, you could put all of the angelfish in one room and all of the salmon in another room. That would reduce the amount of information you need to memorize, since the fish group would be encoded by the location.


Room 1: Angelfish

  • two-spined
  • herald's
  • pearl-scaled
  • etc.

Room 2: Salmon

  • pink
  • chinook
  • coho
  • chum
  • etc.
12 February, 2016 - 23:23
Joined: 1 year 8 months ago

Thank you guys for your help,it's made a difference and I remember all the angelfish now. But what do you guys suggest for fish that look really similar within a group? For example,here are the butterfly fish I need to remember. They ALL have stripes and patches and I can't think of how to make convincing mental pictures to separate them.

Photos 1:
Photos 2:

13 February, 2016 - 08:45
Joined: 2 years 7 months ago

I'd group the ones that are really similar and then look for a distinguishing characteristic. If you have a field identification guide, it may point out those differences for you. (at least they do this in birding guides)

One thing that stands out on the first page is that only one fish has stripes that are perpendicular:

Vagabond butterflyfish

That could be a distinguishing feature, but the second page also has a fish with that feature:

Threadfin butterfly fish

What I would do there is make mental group of the two fish with that feature, and then find another difference. In this case, the Threadfin looks little squashed and has a thread-like fin.

My though process might be something like:

Lines are perpendicular. Mnemonic: roads intersect => travel => "vagabond" (maybe reading a vagabonding book that got me into traveling)
If it's squashed and has a thread trailing from the top, it's the Threadfin.

Basically: group the items that are confusingly similar and then find the small features that distinguish them. Attach the mnemonics to those features.

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