| 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.
Terminal phase: Blue green and paler bluish below. Pectoral yellow with a black blotch on upper base plus a large elongate blue blotch on side behind pectoral base. Tail with blue-areen base, a brownish C shaped bar from tail tips through center of fin. A yellowish bar behind that and a red crescent at the end of the fin. Concave tail margin.
Initial phase: Grey brown to reddish brown, but can rapidly change colour, (similar to Yellowtail Parrotfish, (S. rubripinne)) to pale grey or mottled dark with pale patches. The scales on belly and chest can have red spots and with a dark blotch at upper pectoral base (as does Yellowtail Parrotfish). Tail dark base, pinkish to red at rear, upper and lower borders barred. Difficult to distinguish in some colourations from the Yellowtail Parrotfish (S. rubripinne).
Juvenile phase: When very small, body dark reddish brown with three rows of widely spaced white spots. Belly lighter and a white bar on the tail. Almost indistinguisable visually from Stoplight and Yellowtail Parrotfishes, although Stoplights retain spots for far longer..
This species is found in reef and seagrass habitats from 2-20m (6 to 70ft) depth, though usually deeper in general than the Yellowtail Parrotfish (S. rubripinne). It occurs in coral and rocky reefs, and adjacent habitats, the young especially in seagrass beds. Juveniles or primary-phase adults rapidly assume a mottled pattern and blend with the substratum when they come to rest on the bottom. It feeds on benthic algae and seagrass, although may also eat sponges.
Generally believed t