Yellowtail Parrotfish
Sparisoma rubripinne
    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size (cm) Diet Behaviour Sex 
Co, S 47 Veg I 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
:  Shades of blue/ green overall. Margin of tail straight when expanded.
Basal 2/3 pectoral fin dusky, +/- black blotch at base. Tail centre yellow/ white with translucent margin. Can be mottled and belly often lighter.
Initial phase: Mottled to solid shades of brown or light grey. Base of tail and caudal fin pale to bright yellow. Pectoral and anal fins reddish to pink.  Can rapidly change to pale shades of grey to brown or tan with no yellow on this phase can be difficult to tell from pale phase of Redtail Parrotfish, S. chrysopterum.
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 Redtail Parrotfishes.

Prefers shallow areas of coral rubble and seagrass habitats to 15m depth. Juveniles or initial-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:
Spawning is usually a group activity in similarly colored males and females, but forms leks with TP males. Length at sex change = 16-25 cm
Yellowtail Parrotfish TP
Yellowtail  Parrotfish IP
Redfin Parrotfish
(C) JE Randall
(C) Koki Stender
(C) Bart Hazes
Yellowtail  Parrotfish IP
Yellowtail  Parrotfish IP
Yellowtail  Parrotfish IP
Yellowtail  Parrotfish Juvenile
(C) JE Randall