| Ecological Descriptors
Parrotfish owe their name to the shape of their mouth. Instead of teeth they have two beak-like plates, like parrots. They have even rows of large, noticeable scales on their bodies. The development of parrotfishes is complex and accompanied by a series of changes in color (polychromatism). Individuals usually mature as females (Initial Phase [IP]), with some later changing to the male sex (Terminal Phase), whilst some initially mature as males. "Super males" and mature male IP exhibit different spawning behaviours. Large robust scales are prominent.
Terminal phase: Body green to blue-green. Mouth with blue to green markings(moustache). Pectoral fin with a light bar. Sometimes with a stripe at the base of the dorsal and anal fins; tail usually has a light markings on stiff upper/ lower bands .
Initial phase: Dark gray to black with a broad, white stripe, with diffuse edges, down the midbody
Inhabits coral reefs and adjacent habitats from 1 to 25m. Feeds on algae scraped from rocks or dead coral. Sleeps in a mucus cocoon. Often seen in groups of one male with several young adults, most of which are probably females.
A protogynous hermaphrodite. Forms permanent harem groups composed of a single male and several smaller females. Length at sex change ~25 cm. Known to live to 20 years.
Breeding most occurs in the mornings throughout the year. Both an egg and larval stage occur along with the initial and terminal stages of life where they change sex and physical characteristics. Mating begins when a supermale starts to encircle a single female from the harem, as the circle tightens getting smaller and smaller the female then joins in spawning. After this step she releases her gametes into the water where the male fertilises them. Sexual reproduction by fertilisation is done externally.
Queen Parrotfish TP
Queen Parrotfish IP
Queen Parrotfish Juvenile