parrot fish


parrot fish
Any of about 80 species (family Scaridae) of slender, blunt-headed, deep-bodied fishes found on tropical reefs.

They are often brightly coloured and have large scales. The fused teeth form a "beak" used to scrape algae and the soft part of coral from reefs. Platelike teeth in the throat grind the ingested food and bits of coral. Some species grow to 4 ft (1.2 m) long and weigh 45 lb (20 kg). The Indo-Pacific surf, or rivulated, parrot fish (Callyodon fasciatus) grows to 18 in. (46 cm) or more. The queen parrot fish (Scarus vetula) is an Atlantic species.

Parrot fish (Calotomus)

Douglas Faulkner

* * *

fish
 any of about 80 species of fishes of the family Scaridae, a group sometimes regarded as a subfamily of Labridae (order Perciformes), found on tropical reefs. Parrot fishes are elongated, usually rather blunt-headed and deep-bodied, and often very brightly coloured. They have large scales and a characteristic birdlike beak formed by the fused teeth of the jaws. The beak is used to scrape algae and the soft part of coral from coral reefs and is strong enough to leave noticeable scars in the coral. The fish grind their food and bits of coral with platelike teeth in their throats.

      Parrot fishes range to a length of about 1.2 metres (4 feet) and weight of about 20 kilograms (45 pounds), or occasionally larger. They are variable in colour, the male of a species often differing considerably from the female, and the young may differ from the adult. Parrot fishes are protogynous hermaphrodites; that is, they first function as females and later transform into males.

      Parrot fishes are edible but are not, as a group, of great economic importance. The surf, or rivulated, parrot fish (Callyodon fasciatus) is an Indo-Pacific representative of the family; it grows to 46 centimetres (18 inches) or more, and the male is green and orange or red, the female blue and yellow. Atlantic species include the rainbow parrot fish, which grows to about 90 centimetres and is bright orange and green with a blue beak, and the queen parrot fish (Scarus vetula), which grows to about 50 centimetres and is blue with green, red, and orange if male but reddish or purplish with a white stripe if female.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Parrot fish — Parrot Par rot (p[a^]r r[u^]t), n. [Prob. fr. F. Pierrot, dim. of Pierre Peter. F. pierrot is also the name of the sparrow. Cf. {Paroquet}, {Petrel}, {Petrify}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) In a general sense, any bird of the order {Psittaci}. [1913 Webster] 2 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • parrot fish — noun : any of numerous marine percoid fish having the teeth in each jaw fused into a cutting plate or parrotlike beak: a. : a fish of the family Scaridae b. : any of various wrasses c. : a fish of the family Oplegnathidae called also false parrot …   Useful english dictionary

  • parrot fish — /ˈpærət fɪʃ/ (say paruht fish) noun (plural parrot fish or parrot fishes) any of various marine fishes so called because of their colouring or the shape of their jaws, mainly tropical, mostly of the family Scaridae, and certain species of the… …   Australian English dictionary

  • parrot fish — Scarus Sca rus, n. [L. See {Scar} a kind of fish.] (Zo[ o]l.) A Mediterranean food fish ({Sparisoma scarus}) of excellent quality and highly valued by the Romans; called also {parrot fish}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • parrot fish —   Uhu (for various kinds, growth stages, and fig. meanings, see uhu).   Also: lauia, pāuhuuhu, ōhi uhi u. See slippery.    ♦ Young parrot fish, ōhua palemo (fig., mischief maker) …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • parrot-fish — parrˈot fish noun A name applied to various fishes, esp of the wrasse family and the related Scaridae, from their colours or their powerful jaws • • • Main Entry: ↑parrot …   Useful english dictionary

  • parrot fish — noun Date: 1712 any of a family (Scaridae) of usually brightly colored chiefly tropical marine fishes that have the teeth in each jaw fused into a cutting plate resembling a beak …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • blue parrot fish — geltonžvynė papūgžuvė statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Scarus ghobban angl. blue parrot fish; flame parrot fish; yellow scaled parrot fish rus. желточешуйный скар; скар попугай ryšiai: platesnis… …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • flame parrot fish — geltonžvynė papūgžuvė statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Scarus ghobban angl. blue parrot fish; flame parrot fish; yellow scaled parrot fish rus. желточешуйный скар; скар попугай ryšiai: platesnis… …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • yellow-scaled parrot fish — geltonžvynė papūgžuvė statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Scarus ghobban angl. blue parrot fish; flame parrot fish; yellow scaled parrot fish rus. желточешуйный скар; скар попугай ryšiai: platesnis… …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.