Tag Archive: parrotfish

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Scaridae

Genus/species: Scarus quoyi

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Parrotfishes are wrasse-shaped but more heavy-bodied. The main difference is the structure of their mouth. Wrasses have individual teeth, but parrot fish teeth are actually fused together, forming a beak. 

Mature males are blue-green with pinkish scale margins. The operculum is orange dorsally and violet ventrally. There is a patch of blue-green on the cheek and across the snout. – female Greenblotch Parrotfish are pale grey-brown with five or six faint white bars on the body.

Length up to 28 cm.

Quoy’s Parrotfish20793038334_af78ec0ed9_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found from the Maldives to Vanuatu, extending northwards to Ryukyu Islands, Japan and southwards to New Caledonia inhabiting coral-rich areas of outer channels and seaward reefs.

DIET IN THE WILD:  Herbivorous, feeds on algae from rocky substrates.

REPRODUCTION: Parrotfishes are pelagic spawners. They release buoyant eggs which become part of the plankton floating freely, eventually settling into the coral until hatching.


REMARKS: A recent study has discovered that the parrotfish is extremely important for the health of the Great Barrier Reef. It is the only one of thousands of reef fish species that regularly performs the task of scraping and cleaning inshore coral reefs.

Note: S. quoyi does not feed on coral algae thus does not destroy coral , which is why it can be present in the Philippine coral reef exhibit exhibit. (Charles Delbeek M.Sc. Assistant Curator, Steinhart Aquarium California Academy of Sciences)


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016 (Vetted, Charles Delbeek Academy assistant curator)

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/20793038334/in/album-72157625992053826/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1HR

Australian Museum  australianmuseum.net.au/greenblotch-parrotfish-scarus-quoyi

Australian Geographic http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/news/2014/09/single-keystone-species-may-be-key-to-reef-health

Encyclopedia of Life:  eol.org/California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016pages/1012771/details

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?ID=5554&g…

Scarus ghobban, family Scaridae (Parrotfish)

DISTRIBUTION: Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and Algoa Bay, South Africa to Rapa and Ducie islands, north to southern Japan, south to Perth, New South Wales. Eastern Pacific: Gulf of California to Ecuador and Galápagos Islands.

HABITAT: Adults inhabit lagoon and seaward reefs in slopes and drop-offs, often solitary but may sometimes occur in small groups.

APPEARANCE; The teeth of Parrotfish are fused together to form beak-like plates in both jaws, hence the name Parrotfish. They have a single uninterrupted dorsal fin and large cycloid scales. S. ghobban Is dimorphic.  The females are bright orange with five blue vertical stripes from head to tail. The males are teal with tinges of orange/pink and purple lines radiating behind the head. S. ghobban’s  common length is 30.0 cm.

Female (below)

DIET: Scrapes and eats algae from rocks.  Not displayed at the California Academy of sciences because it is known to feed on Pavona and Porites corrals..

REMARKS: Maximum reported age: 13 years.

Female Scarus ghobban  top,  female Mexican Hogfish (Bodianus diplotaenia) bottom.

WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-7o

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