Francois Libert

Joined: Aug 26, 2022 Last Active: Dec 10, 2023 iNaturalist

I was born a naturalist!
Interested in all animal forms for as long as I can remember, I "specialized" in fishes many years ago through fishkeeping and aquarium photography, and kept a keen interest until I graduated in Systematics at the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris. After that I had to choose another career path, but although there were times when I was interested in other animal groups as well, this interest for fish was always stronger. It grew even more when I started scuba diving in 2009, allowing me to photograph them in their habitat. As a result, I also started focusing more on reef fishes, and mainly the Indo-Pacific species.

I try to collaborate with a few popular marine life sites (,,,, when I have time to help identifying fishes, or by sharing my photos, and post my photos on Flickr (

Other popular websites also use my photos:

My photos are also used in exhibits, magazines, books, and scientific publications (my pictures of Chromis torquata were used to describe the species).
In 2019, I wrote a book with co-author Steven Weinberg, another natural born naturalist.

Books using my photos:

  • KUITER, R. & KOZAWA, T. (2019). Cardinalfishes of the World. Aquatic Photographics & Anthis (Nexus)
  • MORALES SERRANO, N. & HERMOSO BELTRAN, M. (2023). Guia Ika Rapa Nui. Editorial Rapanui Press
  • RIANSKY, A. (2019). Reef Fishes of the Coral Triangle. Reef ID Books
  • RIANSKY, A. (2022). Red Sea Marine Life. Reef ID Books
  • ROSENSTEIN, M. (2019). Fiji Reef Fish. Fish Publishing
  • ROWLAND, P. & EIPPER, S. (2018). A naturalist's guide to dangerous creatures of Australia. Australian Geographic
  • WEINBERG, S. & LIBERT, F. (2018). Découvrir la vie sous-marine – Mer Rouge, océan Indien, océan Pacifique. Tome 2. Éditions GAP


Scientific publications:

  • Allen, G. R. (2018)
    Chromis torquata, a new species of damselfish (Pomacentridae) from Mauritius and Réunion. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology v. 24 (no. 1): 15-22.

  • Baraf, L. M., Pratchett, M. S. & Cowman, P. F. (2019)
    Ancestral biogeography and ecology of marine angelfishes (F: Pomacanthidae). Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 140, 106596. (doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2019.106596)

  • Grupstra C. G. B., Howe-Kerr L. I., van der Meulen J. A., Veglia A. J., Coy S. R. & Correa AMS (2023)
    Consumer feces impact coral health in guild-specific ways. Front. Mar. Sci. 10:1110346 (doi: 10.3389/fmars.2023.1110346)

  • Hemingson, C. R., Cowman, P. F., Hodge, J. R., & Bellwood, D. R. (2019)
    Colour pattern divergence in reef fish species is rapid and driven by both range overlap and symmetry. Ecology Letters, 22 (1). pp. 190-199 (doi: 10.1111/ele.13180)

  • Hemingson, C. R., Cowman, P. F. & Bellwood, D. R. (2018)
    Body size determines eyespot size and presence in coral reef fishes. Ecology and Evolution, 10 (15). pp. 8144-8152. (doi: 10.1002/ece3.6509)

  • Hodge, J. R., Santini, F. & Wainwright, P. C. (2020)
    Colour dimorphism in labrid fishes as an adaptation to life on coral reefs. Proc. R. Soc. B.2872020016720200167 (doi: 10.1098/rspb.2020.0167)

  • Hodge, J., Song, Y., Wightman, M., Milkey, A., Tran, B., Štajner, A. Roberts, A., Hemingson, C., Wainwright, P. & Price, S. (2021)
    Constraints on the Ecomorphological Convergence of Zooplanktivorous Butterflyfishes. Integrative Organismal Biology. 3 (doi: 10.1093/iob/obab014)

  • Perevolotsky, T., Martin, C. H., Rivlin, A. & Holzman, R. (2020)
    Work that body: fin and body movements determine herbivore feeding performance within the natural reef environment. Proc. R. Soc. B.28720201903 (doi: 10.1098/rspb.2020.1903)

  • Siqueira, A.C., Muruga, P. & Bellwood, D.R. (2023)
    On the evolution of fish–coral interactions. Ecology Letters, 00, 1–11 (doi: 10.1111/ele.14245)

  • Tebbett, S.B., Siqueira, A.C. & Bellwood, D.R. (2022)
    The functional roles of surgeonfishes on coral reefs: past, present and future. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries 32, 387–439 (doi: 10.1007/s11160-021-09692-6)

  • Tebbett, S.B., Bennett, S. & Bellwood, D.R. (2023)
    A functional perspective on the meaning of the term ‘herbivore’ patterns versus processes in coral reef fishes. Coral Reefs (doi: 10.1007/s00338-023-02378-4)

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