Parts of a Fish: Useful Fish Anatomy with Pictures

Last Updated on November 8, 2023

Being able to name the parts of a fish will not only improve your English and bring you well on your way to sounding like a native speaker but it will also prove useful in a variety of conversations. This could be at a fish market when buying them for food or it could be in a conversation about fishing or keeping them as pets.

In this section, you will be learning how to refer to the English names of the parts of a fish which is excellent for adding to your vocabulary.

Parts of a Fish

Parts of a Fish: Useful Fish Anatomy with PicturesPin

Fish Body Parts List

  • Caudal fin
  • Anal fin
  • Pelvic fin
  • Pectoral fin
  • Gill
  • Gill cover
  • Mouth
  • Eye
  • Nostril
  • Dorsal fins
  • Scales
  • Lateral line

Parts of a Fish: Useful Fish Anatomy with PicturesPin

  • Parts of a Fish with Examples

Learn these fish body parts names to improve and enhance your English words about animal anatomy in English.

Caudal fin

The caudal fin is the main propeller for a fish.

Anal fin

Some fish have elongated anal fins that can be used for display or as a defensive mechanism.

Pelvic fin

Some fish use their pelvic fins to cling to rocks or other surfaces.

Pectoral fin

The pectoral fin is used by fish to control their direction and speed while swimming.


Fish use their gills to filter oxygen from water as it flows over them.

Gill cover

The gill cover is an important anatomical feature that helps fish survive and thrive in their aquatic environments.


The lips and teeth surrounding a fish’s mouth can be used to grasp and crush prey.


The eyes of fish, like those of other vertebrates, are essential for sensing their surroundings.


Some fish, such as catfish, have specialized nostrils called barbels that are used to taste their surroundings and locate food.

Dorsal fins

The spines on the dorsal fin of some fish, such as catfish, can be dangerous if not handled carefully.


Fish scales protect the body of the fish from damage and injury.

Lateral line

Fish use their lateral line to detect prey, predators, and other fish in their environment.

Animal Body Parts Vocabulary

Learn useful animal body parts with different types of animals and animals images.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main external parts of a fish?

The main external parts of a fish include the mouth, scales, fins, nares (nostrils), eyes, and gills. These parts aid in various functions such as movement, respiration, and sensing the environment.

What are the key internal parts of a fish?

Some key internal parts of a fish are the swim bladder, liver, kidney, heart, stomach, intestine, and gill arches. These organs play crucial roles in maintaining buoyancy, digestion, excretion, and circulation within the fish.

What are the functions of different fish parts?

Each fish part has a specific function. Fins help with movement, stability, and steering. Scales provide protection against external threats. Gills facilitate respiration by extracting oxygen from water while expelling carbon dioxide. The internal organs aid in digestion, excretion, and maintaining overall health.

How do fish body structures help in swimming?

Fish body structures, such as streamlined and flexible body shape, along with the presence of fins, contribute to efficient movement through water. The arrangement of muscles and bones enables fish to generate thrust, steer, and maintain balance, which together allow for various swimming styles and speeds.

What are the sensory organs on a fish?

Fish have a variety of sensory organs to help them navigate their surroundings. These include eyes for visual information, nares (nostrils) for detecting smells, lateral line system for sensing vibrations and changes in pressure, and taste buds for tasting chemicals in the water. These sensory adaptations enable fish to find food, avoid predators, and communicate with other fish.

What are some differences in fish body parts among various species?

Fish body parts can exhibit variations among different species. Examples include the elongated, leaf-like body shape of sea dragons that enable them to camouflage in their habitat and the eye-like spots on butterflyfish, which create an illusion of a bigger predator to deter potential attackers. These unique adaptations help fish survive and thrive in specific living environments. 

Parts of a Fish Vocabulary Practice

Listening Practice

Drag and Drop


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