Parrotfish is part of the Perciformes order, the Scaridae family. It can be found in tropical waters around the world.
Of the Scaridae family, about 80 species live in coral reefs in the tropics.
The name comes from the mouth characteristic similar to the parrot beak.
Parrotfish feeds on corals. They break pieces of coral, and after removing the food, remove the remains in the form of fine sand. Their food consists of various living microorganisms that are found in the substrate.
By feeding, he plays an essential role for the waters in which he lives. It feeds on algae and plants that are harmful to corals.
If it were not for him and other aquatic animals feeding on algae in a short time, the area would be suffocated by weeds and harmful algae and corals would disappear.
In areas where they are not overfished they can be admired by passers-by.
Most species have a length of 30-50 cm, but there are also species that exceed the length of 1 meter. The smallest species is (Cryptotomus roseus), it is 13cm long.
Parrotfish is known primarily for strong jaw-shaped jaws and strong teeth.
They are considered the most beautiful fish in the reef. Both males and females have a range of bright colors (polychromatism) that change with age.
It chews so many corals that in some areas it produces more sand than natural processes. It is estimated that a fish “produces” 100 kg of sand per year, ie 250 – 300 grams per day.
Some species of parrotfish can live even 20 years without using their teeth. It is considered a coral saver because its corals are clean.
The predators easily observe the parrot fish according to their bright-colored appearance. At night, in order to avoid predators, they are wrapped in a transparent mucus that protects them somewhat, emitting a nasty odor.
In general, all animals that are brightly colored are protected by various substances that protect them from predators. The disadvantage of being easily seen is offset by the less pleasant taste.
Parrotfish has the most complex breeding system of all fish.
By adulthood, parrotfish go through three distinct phases of color. Little fish until sexual maturity have a color. Young ones who reach sexual maturity enter the initial phase and have a different color. The last phase, called the terminal phase in which the adults have the third color.
Most species breed in the summer.
After hatching the little ones are on their own.