Highlight from this gallery: Look for the label pointing out which animals were born and raised at Mote Aquarium. Raising animals allows us to educate visitors about them while decreasing collection from the wild.

Creatures from the Coastal Oceans

Discover angelfish, butterflyfish, spiny lobster, filefish, porcupinefish and other examples of the incredible biodiversity that relies on the barrier coral reefs of southeastern Florida.

For each species you see at Mote, remember that there are hundreds to thousands more in the wild, and they need our respect and protection. For example, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary hosts about 6,000 species of marine life.

Beyond south Florida’s reef-dwellers, check out what hides in west-central Florida’s seagrass beds — including animals found near Mote’s home base on Sarasota Bay! See urchins, cowries with glossy shells, tulip snails, whelks, seahorses, killifish, sea cucumbers and more.

Find out which sea jellies drift through Sarasota waters, why they have stinging cells, how they make babies, why some jellies live upside-down, and how sea jellies differ from the non-stinging comb jellies.

This exhibit gallery also contains some species from outside Florida – including the beautiful but dangerously invasive lionfish spreading in our waters!