You probably won't want to choose your fish based on the first letter of their name, but it's fun and instructive to see what's out there. All fish have both common and scientific names, and the fish names listed here include both. Many fish have multiple common names but only one scientific name.
If you're intrigued by a description, explore more deeply by looking up the fish by its scientific name. For example, if Adolfo's Cory sounds like a fish you might like to own, look it up as Corydoras adolfoi. That way, you'll be sure to find the right fish when you go shopping.
Most Intriguing Fish Starting with the Letter A
Not all fish are ideal for a community tank, but many are worth learning about. Here are some of the most intriguing fish whose names begin with the letter A.
Adolfo's Cory (Corydoras adolfoi). The scientific name for this freshwater fish comes from the Greek korus (helmet) and dora (skin or hide), probably referring to the orange and black "helmet" the fish wears as well as the plates running along its flanks. Native to Rio Negro in equatorial Brazil, this attractive fish is described as peaceful, playful and friendly and usually gets along with most other fish in its environment.
African Knifefish (Xenomystus nigri). Found in coastal rivers of central Africa, this fish makes up for a somewhat bland appearance with some extraordinary traits. It has no dorsal fin, and its anal and caudal (tail) fins are joined, enabling it to swim backward. It also uses its swim bladder to make a barking sound!
Albino Red-Tailed Shark (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor). An attractive species primarily from the Chao Phraya river in Thailand, with a dark gray to black body and a large, bright orange tail, this fish is highly endangered in the wild and was declared extinct in the mid-1990s. Small populations have been found since then. Warning: Seek expert advice before keeping this fish with others; they can be challenging in community settings.
Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula). Not a good candidate for the home aquarium, the Alligator Gar is one of the largest freshwater fish in North America, typically growing to 6 1/2 feet and about 100 pounds, but can get much larger. Its long, tooth-filled snout and torpedo-shaped body give it a resemblance to alligators, but there are no reported attacks on humans.
American Eel (Anguilla rostrata). Found in Greenland and along the eastern coast of Canada, the U.S. and south to Trinidad, this species migrates to spawn in the Sargasso Sea. It can live over 40 years and can take 40 years to reach sexual maturity.
Angel Fish (Pterophyllum scalare). One of the most popular aquarium fish, the Angel Fish has a disc-shaped body, stunning spiny rays, and a large, triangular dorsal fin. Male and female partners team up during the brooding cycle to protect their eggs.
More Fish With Names That Start With A
While it's not a comprehensive list, this set of fish names should give you plenty of ideas to consider as you expand your home aquarium.
- Aba Aba (Gymnarchus niloticus)
- Ablabes Barb (Barbus ablabes)
- Adonis Characin (Lepidarchus adonis signifer)
- Adonis Pleco (Acanthicus adonis)
- Adonis Tetra (Lepidarchus adonis)
- African Blockhead Cichlid (Steatocranus casuarius)
- African Brass Tetra (Brycinus humilis)
- African Broad-Band Darter (Nannocharax parvus)
- African Butterfly Cichlid (Anomalochromis thomasi)
- African Glass Catfish (Pareutropius buffei)
- African Moon Tetra (Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)
- African Peacock Cichlid (Aulonocara nyassae)
- African Pike-Characoid (Hepsetus odoe)
- African Red-Eyed Characin (Arnoldichthys spilopterous)
- African Tiger Fish (Hydrocynus goliath)
- African Whiptail Catfish (Phactura ansorgii)
- African Wood Catfish (Chrysichthys ornatus)
- Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma agassizii)
- Ahl's Rummy Nose Tetra (Hemigrammus rhodostomus)
- Akure Aphyosemion (Fundulopanchax gardneri)
- Alabama Hog Sucker (Hypentelium etowanum)
- Albert's Synodontis (Synodontis alberti)
- Albino Driftwood Cat (Auchenipterus nuchalis)
- Albino Fetivum (Mesonauta festiva)
- Albino Ram (Microgeophagus ramirezi)
- Albino Tiger Barb (Barbus tetrazona)
- Algae Eater, False Siamese (Epalzeorhynchos sp)
- Algae Eater, Lemon (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri)
- Algae Eater, Siamese (Crossocheilus siamensis)
- Altum Angel (Pterophyllum altum)
- American Flagfish (Jordanella floridae)
- Amur Catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco)
- Angelicus (Synodontis angelicus)
- Anostomus (Anostomus anostomus)
- Ansorge's Neolebias (Neolebias ansorgii)
- Apollo Shark (Luciosoma trinema)
- Arapaima (Arapaima gigas)
- Arched Corydoras (Corydoras arcuatus)
- Archer eelpout (Lycodes sagittarius)
- Archerfish (Banded) (Toxotes jaculatrix)
- Archerfish (Common) (Toxotes chatareus)
- Armor Bill Tetra (Phago loricatus)
- Armored Catfish (Callichthys callichthys)
- Armoured Bichir (Polypterus delhezi)
- Arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum)
- Arulius Barb (Puntius arulius)
- Asian Arowana (Scleropages formosus)
- Asian Bumblebee Catfish (Leiocassis siamensis)
- Asian Redtailed Catfish (Hemibagrus wyckioides)
- Asiatic Knifefish (Notopterus notopterus)
- Atlantic Mudskipper (Periophthalmus barbarus)
- Atlantic Sturgeon (Acipenser sturio)
- Auratus (Melanochromis auratus)
- Aurora Cichlid (Pseudotropheus aurora)
- Australian Bass (Macquaria novemaculeata)
- Australian Lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri)
- Australian Pearl Arowana (Scleropages jardini)
- Australian Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia fluviatilis)
- Australian Spotted Arowana (Scleropages leichardti)
- Australian Swamp Eel (Ophisternon gutturale)
- Axelrod's Corydoras (Corydoras axelrodi)
- Axelrod's Rainbowfish (Chilatherina axelrodi)
- Azureus Cichlid (Copadichromis azureus)