The parrotfish belongs to the Scaridae family. Its characteristic is its peculiar dentition. They have numerous incisor teeth, forming a parrot-like beak, enabling them to effortlessly break, scrape, crush and rasp algae from madreprore coral and rocky formations.
It’s certainly not silent in the wonderful world of the parrotfish. You will hear creaking noises, sharp cracks, whistles and roar; common sounds where parrorfish reside.
The Scaridae have powerful bodies, flattened sidewise and are covered with large scales. The parrotfish is related to the Labridae, the family of wrasses, cleanerfishes and napoleonfishes. Like the Labridae, the female parrotfish changes sex during its aquatic existence. It has a single dorsal fin. Their wonderful coloration varies according to age and sex.
A parrotfish is active during the day, ‘diurnal’ as we speak. At night it rests in crevices of reefs, wrapping itself in a ‘cocoon’ of mucus it produces to protect itself from predators.
- Bicolour parrotfish
- Bullethead parrotfish
- Bumphead parrotfish
- Red Sea steep-headed parrotfish
- Rusty parrotfish
You will not be able to get very near to the very timid and beautiful bicolour parrotfish. This parrotfish’s home are lagoons and outer reefs up to a depth of of 30 meters.
Juveniles are whitish and have brown heads. Adult males are predominantly green with violet fins. The female bicolour parrotfish is brownish-yellow and has dark fins. They feed on algae. The juvenile parrotfish is solitary. In adult mode, the males have harems in vast territories.
The bullethead parrotfish hoovers over sandy plateaus and outer reefs at depths up to 25 meters. Its maximum length is 40 centimeters.
This fish is primary male. Females change sex to become secondary males. The coloration varies dramatically in accordance with sex and age. In the first stage it’s brown with a pink head and marked with white spots on the sides. The male adults are green and have yellow cheeks.
It has a very powerful body, covered with large scales. The coloring is greenish-blue both in males and females. The snout is pink. The young ones are dark brown and have a double row of white spots along the upper half of the body.
Red Sea Steep-Headed Parrotfish
The Red Sea steep-headed parrotfish is found at depths between 1 and 35 meters, measuring up to 70 centimeters.
Juveniles swim solitary and have horizontal white and black stripes. Males are characterized by a blue coloration with a green and purple sheen, the sheen being yellow in females. The feed on algae living on or in corals. It’s an endemic Red Sea species.
The rusty parrotfish moves round at depths between 1 to 60 meters and its maximum length is 41 centimeters. It’s an endemic Red Sea species.
The female juveniles are brown and have dark vertical stripes. They change sex and coloration to become secondary males with an orange head, light blue sides and a greenish body. The males are territorial and have harems.
The rusty parrotfish feels at home on the slopes of reef formations, feeding on algae, releasing it from pulverizing corals.