Home > Fishes > Parrotfishes

Updated 7/5/2013

Family Scaridae

Parrotfishes

Parrotfishes are common on reefs where they feed upon algae and form harems.  These thick-bodied fish have stout jaws composed of fused teeth for nibbling tough seaweeds or gnaw away coralline algae and live coral.  Bony plates within the throat pulverize the mix into fine sand which eventually passes through the digestive tract to be deposited back on the reef.  They swim using the pectoral fins and start life as females which are generally gray, red, or brown.  Large fish may eventually switch gender and assume a color pattern that includes some blue, green or yellow.  In Hawai‘i parrotfishes are especially popular on the dinner table and threatened by overfishing.

Bite marks on Porites coral

 

Bite marks on coralline algae

 

HAWAII  

Calotomus carolinus

STAREYE PARROTFISH, Female

 

Calotomus carolinus

STAREYE PARROTFISH, Male

Calotomus zonarchus endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

YELLOWBAR PARROTFISH, Female

 

Calotomus zonarchus endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

YELLOWBAR PARROTFISH, Male

 

Scarus dubius  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

REGAL PARROTFISH, Female

 

Scarus dubius  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

REGAL PARROTFISH, Male

 

Scarus psittacus

 PALENOSE PARROTFISH, Female

 

Scarus psittacus

 PALENOSE PARROTFISH, Male

 

Scarus rubroviolaceus

REDLIP PARROTFISH, Female

 

Scarus rubroviolaceus

REDLIP PARROTFISH, Male

Chlorurus spilurus

BULLETHEAD PARROTFISH, Female

 

Chlorurus spilurus

BULLETHEAD PARROTFISH, Male

 

Chlorurus perspicillatus endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

SPECTACLED PARROTFISH, Female

 

Chlorurus perspicillatus endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

SPECTACLED PARROTFISH, Male


INDO-PACIFIC

Cetoscarus ocellatus

SPOTTED PARROTFISH, Juvenile

 

Scarus ghobban

BLUEBARRED PARROTFISH, Female

Scarus oviceps

EGGHEAD PARROTFISH, Female

Scarus oviceps

EGGHEAD PARROTFISH, Male
Scarus frenatus

BRIDLED PARROTFISH, Female
Scarus spinus

GREENSNOUT PARROTFISH, Male
Scarus dimidiatus

YELLOWBARRED PARROTFISH, Male
   

JAPAN

Calotomus japonicus

JAPANESE PARROTFISH, Female

 

Calotomus japonicus

JAPANESE PARROTFISH, Male


TROPICAL WESTERN ATLANTIC

Sparisoma aurofrenatum

REDBAND PARROTFISH, Female

 

Sparisoma aurofrenatum
Sparisoma viride

STOPLIGHT PARROTFISH, Female

 

Sparisoma viride

STOPLIGHT PARROTFISH, Male

 

Scarus taeniopterus

PRINCESS PARROTFISH, Female

 

Scarus taeniopterus

PRINCESS PARROTFISH, Male

 

Sparisoma rubripinne

YELLOWTAIL PARROTFISH, Female

 

Scarus iseri

STRIPED PARROTFISH, Male

Scarus coeruleus

BLUE PARROTFISH, Male

 

Scarus vetula

QUEEN PARROTFISH, Male

Scarus guacamaia

RAINBOW PARROTFISH, Male