19 Types of Fish With Big Eyes: What No One Is Talking About

It’s easy to imagine a plethora of land animals that have large eyes. In this article, we’ll provide you with a list of 19 types of fish with big eyes.

Fish are an extremely varied group of creatures and there are more than 35,000 species of fish currently in existence! It is not surprising that there are many distinct traits and characteristics that distinguish each species from the others. One of these characteristics is eye size.

Eyesight is as crucial for sea creatures that live full-time as they are to animals living on land, and more so for fish specifically.

However, the presence of light is crucial for seeing. The light from above only gets to depths of 3200 feet below sea level. At 650 feet, there’s plenty of light leaking into the ocean.

In this case, fish must live without light. In this way, the body’s components are modified to permit seeing in low light. This is why you see larger eyes than normal.

19 Types of Fish With Big Eyes

Fish eyes are specialized and have an ointment that protects them and lets them see clearly underwater, similar to if they were built-in goggles. In addition, the eyes of fish are like our eyes and they are able to see shades and colors. Certain fish have bigger eyes, which can be an adaptation to life in deep waters with little or any lighting.

Let’s take a look at these fish with big eyes.

1. Bigeye Tuna

bigeye tuna

The scientific name is Thunnus obesus

As the name implies, bigeye tuna have large eyes. Tuna generally are huge fish as is the case with Bigeye tuna. Bigeye tuna can exceed eight feet long and up to 400 pounds!

The species has been known to move between shallow and deep waters and can swim at different depths in the water column. This could be made simpler by their eyes, which are large and enable them to see more clearly when they are in deeper areas of the ocean.

2. Celestial Goldfish

Celestial Goldfish

Celestial goldfish are fascinating with massively large eyes that protrude from their heads, and with their eyes pointed toward the sky. One eye could be as big as the fish’s entire head.

Their bodies are smaller than the majority of fancy goldfish and more like those of common goldfish. But, they usually feature very long and elegant fins and are available in a range of colors.

Although their appearance may be bizarre Some fish keepers aren’t able to get enough. They’ve been well-known and sought-after fish for a long time.

They are great in both ponds and aquariums and are loved as pond fish since their eyes always look at you. Even though they’re unable to see towards the sides, however, that doesn’t stop their eating habits or leading a normal lifestyle of a fish.

Their name comes from their large eyes. They are unable to be able to see anything other than the vast skies and the sky which is why they are called celestial.

The distinctive eyes are the most attractive feature of this species of fish. But, the reason why they have their upward-facing eyes isn’t known. The mystery and the enticement of this fish have many people captivated by them.

The minimum tank size is 40 Gallons

Diet: Herbivore

pH: 6.0-8.4

3. Porbeagle Shark

Scientific name: Lamna nasus

A Porbeagle shark is smaller than its cousin, the Great White, and typically does not exceed seven feet in length. Although they are smaller they are extremely active and efficient hunters and can chase cephalopods and fish like squid. Since their prey is usually located in deeper, darker waters, having eyes that are large aids the porbeagle in hunting.

4. Squirrel Fish

Scientific name The family is called the Holocentridae Family.

Taxonomic Family Holocentridae is a family of carnivores from subtropical and tropical fish that inhabit coral reefs. They typically are a vivid shade of red or orange and possess big, dark eyes. Coral reefs are typically located in shallow water and provide plenty of light Squirrels are nocturnal and require their eyesight to hunt during the night.

5. Bigeye Thresher Shark

Scientific name: Alopias superciliosus

The Bigeye Thresher shark is a cartilaginous fish. Thresher sharks are renowned for the enormously long tails they employ to whip fish. This is awe-inspiring and allows sharks to effortlessly devour them.

As the name implies, Bigeye thresher sharks have eyeballs that are quite large in comparison with their bodies. The fish can reach 13 and 11 feet long, and have eyes that measure at least four inches in diameter.

6. Swordfish

The scientific name is Xiphias gladius

Swordfish are a magnificent species of fish that is known for their long with a sharp, sharp-edged snout.

They are skilled hunters who can effortlessly find and capture prey that is made simpler by their ability to travel at speed at breakneck speeds.

The other thing that is equally important for hunting is their vision. Indeed, swordfish possess special muscles around the eyes which help to keep their eyes warm and ready to spot and hunt the prey.

7. Horse-Eye Jack

Name of the scientific name Caranx latus

Horse-eye jacks can be quite big fish, reaching a height of more than two feet. They prefer to be found in large groups and are sought-after by fishermen for game fish.

The horse-eye jack is large in its eyes relative to its body. This enables them to locate their prey, usually tiny fish and invertebrates, such as shrimp.

8. Bigeye Fish

Name of the scientific name is: Family Priacanthidae

It is the Bigeye Fish Family is a species of large-eyed fish with big eyes. Similar to Squirrelfish They have big eyes, and are typically bright orange or red.

There are 19 varieties of Bigeye fish fourteen of which are located in the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean. Five species are indigenous to that region of the Atlantic Ocean. Their large eyes complement their nocturnal habits and let them hunt for their prey.

9. Barracuda

The scientific name is Sphyraena spp.

Barracuda have earned themselves a reputation for being a terrifying and intimidating fish, due to their sharp, large teeth which protrude from their mouths.

But, in reality, they’re quite cautious and frightened of people. They also have large eyes which they use when they are skulking around coral reefs.

10. Norman’s Lampeye Killifish

The tiny killifish is an extremely underrated fish. They’re often overlooked in favor of bigger or flashier fish, but it is worthwhile to think about giving them a shot.

Their bodies are pale and tan and they sport transparent fins that cause many people to miss their fins. But their huge eyes fill up more than half their face and have a brilliant blue reflection.

The reflective blue hue of their eyes and the light coloration of their bodies is what gave them the nickname “lamp eye”. They appear as if their eyes glow.

They are able to see with their large eyes due to two reasons. The primary reason is that their bodies are pale to avoid predators. Their diet is second. to insects as well as small creatures that move fast. They follow using their eyes.

Although the goldfish breeds listed above may come in various eyes and colors, none are able to create the illusion that glowing eyes. When it comes to fish that have stunning large eyes, they are the top of the cake.

Minimum Tank Size 10 Gallons

Diet: Carnivore

pH: 6.0-7.5

11. Spotted Ratfish

The scientific name for this species is Hydrolagus colliei

Spotted ratfish is a chimera cartilaginous fish that is close to sharks and rays. It is not considered to belong to its own taxonomic clan.

They are named ratfish due to their long pointed tails that look like a rat tails. Spotted ratfish can be distinguished from other fish due to their distinctive spot, rodent-like tail, and large reflective eyes.

12. Tarpon

The scientific name for Megalops spp. is Megalops spp.

There are two varieties of Tarpon which are excellent game fish, known for their ability to put an effort to fight on fishing lines.

They’re large fish that have big shiny, half-dollar-sized scales. This is why they also have big eyes. They consume virtually every kind of fish, including the dead.

13. Telescope Goldfish

Name of the scientific term: Carassius auratus

Telescope goldfish have big eyes, however, not necessarily for the same reason that the majority of the fish in this list have eyes that are large.

The huge, protruding eyes that are characteristic of Telescope goldfish are actually the cause of the naturally occurring and rapidly expanding brain tumors that make their eyes bulge out.

The tumors do not appear to impact the everyday activities of the goldfish. However, these fish have poor vision.

14. Blue Shark

Name of the scientific name is: Prionace glauca

Blue Sharks are named for the Blue shade of the dorsal portion of their bodies. This shark species prefers shallow, cool waters. It is located all the way to the north of the coast of New England and as far south as South America. They are big and have broad eyes, which give them a snarky appearance.

15. Pufferfish

Scientific name: Tetraodontidae

Diet: Carnivore

Apart from their bulging eyes appearance, pufferfish also have sharp eyesight. Their eyesight is a vital survival skill since it helps to detect threats from an extended distance and even a potential food source.

They are also known as blowfish, fugu, and globefish. These names are due to their capacity to expand over twice their normal size when they gulp water.

This metamorphosis in appearance occurs when they’re in danger, but when they are in danger, they swim at a lower rate than they normally do.

These adorable fish are considered to be the 2nd largest vertebrates that are poisonous. In one fish there are enough toxins that can kill 30 people.

16. Bubble-Eyed Goldfish

The bubble-eyed goldfish is usually visible in images that circulate on the internet, but surprisingly most people aren’t aware that it’s more than an image that has been manipulated. Even among fish with big eyes, the bubble-eyed goldfish appears to be an alien being.

Although not all have their eyes actually larger (though certain do! ) they do have massive fluid-filled sacs under their eyes. Like celestial goldfish and the celestial goldfish, their eyes are upward-facing, creating the appearance of being bigger since they’re no longer hidden inside the skull.

Additionally, they share a slim body and fancy fins. Despite the slight impairment of their fluid-filled sacs, they are skilled swimmers and are not recognized for bottom sitting like others. They are also extravagant goldfish breeds.

The sacs that are filled with fluid can expand to half the size of your body, but 1/3 up to 1/4 is more typical. They require extra care since these sacs are much more sensitive than the eyes that are larger.

They shouldn’t receive any decorations that are slightly sharp, since the sacs could easily break. So long as you place them on a smooth surface with decorations that are soft and smooth, they are able to live their life in a foreign world.

The minimum tank size is 40 Gallons

Diet: Herbivore

pH: 6.0-8.4

17. Rockfish

The scientific name is Sebastes spp.

Fish belonging to the Sebastes Genus is also referred to as redfish or seaperch. The majority of species are located in the warm water of the north Pacific however, certain species can be present throughout the Atlantic ocean too.

Certain species are found in the intertidal zone and some species are found in waters up to 9,000 feet in depth, so their eyes are large and are useful to observe in dim light.

18. Shell Dwelling Cichlids

Shell-dwelling cichlids can be popular fish with big eyes. The large size of their eyes is because they are prey, and therefore need to look for predators and the necessity to hunt for prey for themselves.

As the name suggests, the cichlids live in tiny shells. They hide inside the shells and emerge in the event that they don’t spot predators in the area and have the chance to capture some prey.

The beautiful fish are tan in color with various shades of pink as well as several thin brown vertical stripes. The color assists them in blending into the shell-littering substrate they live in, securing themselves from predators and prey.

They are spotted with noticeable blue eyes, with an elongated black vertical stripe that makes their eyes appear more massive than they appear to be. The eyes occupy about 1/3 of the vertical area on the head.

Their tiny size of around 2 inches, coupled with their huge eyes give them an adorable appearance. But, their unique behavior centered around their shell-dwelling lifestyle is what keeps fish keepers interested.

Minimum Tank Size 10 Gallons

Diet: Carnivore

pH: 8.0-8.5

19. Genie’s Dogfish

Scientific name: Squalus clarkae

The last member on our listing of fish that have big eyes is Genie’s dogfish. It is actually a newly recognized shark species just discovered in 2018.

It was thought to be a different kind of dogfish called the Shortspine dogfish. However, genetic studies showed that it was actually its own species.

The dogfish species is characterized by its large eyes that look cartoonish. They are set on tiny bodies as they can only be found between 20 to 28 inches.


What is fish Popeye?

Popeye known as exophthalmia is swelling in one or both eyes in the fish that live in aquariums. It’s difficult to treat, but it is easy to stop.

How long will the big-eyed goldfish live?

Their dark coloration and eye protrusions change with age. They may grow to the length of 4 to 10 inches, however, they could be lost in their velvety appearance with the passage of time (lifespan: 6 to 25 years).

Is Popeye painful for fish?

Popeye is actually extremely difficult for fish. It puts a quantity of pressure on the eyes. If you do notice changes appearing in the eyes of your fish this is not something to be ignored.

Final Thought

Big-eyed fish are charming and original fish to have in your aquarium. They make great for conversation, and they interact with their owners as well as their surroundings. Although these are all great alternatives, take a look at the redeye tetra bluefin notho, Korthausae killifish, and striped panchax. Also, the yellowfin borleyi Tretocephalus cichlid redfin for more large-eyed options.


Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of FishCampRehab.com, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.