Redtail Parrotfish
Sparisoma chrysopterum
    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size (cm) Diet Behaviour Sex 
Co, S 45 Veg I F (PGH?)
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.

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.

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