PARROTFISH
SCARIDAE
Redtail Parrotfish
Sparisoma chrysopterum
    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size (cm) Diet Behaviour Sex 
Co, S 45 Veg I F (PGH?)
 
 
General:
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), with some later changing to the male sex (Terminal Phase). Large robust scales are prominent.

Description:
Terminal phase
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. The scales on belly and chest have red spots and with a dark blotch at upper pectoral base. Tail dark base, pinkish to red at rear, upper and lower borders faintly barred.
Juvenile phase: 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.

Ecology
This species is found in reef and seagrass habitats from 1-20 m depth. 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.

Life Cycle:
Although protogyny was propossed for this species, probably because testicular characteristics showed a secondary characteristic of sex-changed males, observations of overlapping size ranges of males and females, and males maturing at the same ages and sizes as did females, strongly suggest gonochorism. Lives for at least 5 years.
Redtail Parrotfish TP
Redtail  Parrotfish IP
(C) Trevor Meyer
Redtail  Parrotfish Juvenile
(C) JE Randall
Redtail  Parrotfish IP
Redtail  Parrotfish IP
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