Parrotfish are a collective of about 90 fish species, known as Scaridae (meaning family) or Scarinae (subfamily). Being a quality group of around 95 species, to be precise, these inhabit the Indo Pacific region and fill it with the feeling of richness. Found in the coral reefs, seagrass beds and rocky coasts, these are one of a kind. Learn more facts about Parrotfish as you read.
Their build up
Paarrot fishes are famous for their odontiasis, which is completely different from other fishes, making them stand out from the others. Their innumerable teeth are set up in a closely stuffed mosaic on the outer part of their jawbones. This allows them to form a beak that appears to be parrot-like, with the help of which they can get hold of Algae from rocky substrates. This fact serves as a contribution to the well-known process of bioerosion.
Their sizes vary according to their family origin, with most of them being 10 to 12 inches in terms of length. However, a few species of them can be 3 feet and 3 inches. The maximum length reached is by green humphead Parrotfish, with a height of 4 feet and 3 inches. Their tiniest fish species include blue lip Parrotfish, with the size of 5.1 inches only.
Some facts about their feeding techniques
Parrotfish are famous for being herbivores, with their lifestyle consumption based on epilithic Algae. Though that is the case for almost all species, some may choose to consume a large variety of small organisms like bacteria, detritus and invertebrates. Some large species like the green humphead Parrotfish regularly consume props (or living coral). This type of living coral will only serve to be the full diet for such a giant fish species, and no other small organisms can do the task. One interesting fact about this species of fish is that their teeth are known to grow continuously and replace the materials damaged by feeding.
Economic importance of Parrotfish
According to research, we know that Parrotfish are extremely vital for the proper health of the Great Barrier Reef. This is because this species of fish is the only one of innumerable varieties of others that performs the task of scraping off and cleansing the coral reefs daily.
Interesting facts about Parrotfish
We have provided a list of some intriguing facts about Parrotfish you would be more than delighted to know about. So, keep reading to find out more and get ready to be amazed. These facts are surely something you would not want to miss out on.
- Parrotfish are commonly found in various reefs, and their feeding habits depend entirely upon Algae, and rarely, other smaller organisms.
- They are famous for having beaks like jaws and have a variety of more than 95 species.
- This variety of fish is mainly found in the tropical waters through the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Ocean. They provide a mesmerising view.
- Their dorsal fin has nine spines and ten soft rays; their pelvic fin also has one spine and five soft rays. Apart from this, their anal fin has three spines and nine soft rays.
- They usually swim using their pectoral fins.
- Their maximum span of life is said to be less than 20 years. However, most fish can even live less than five years.
- Parrotfish are known to start their lives as females. The colour pattern they initially follow is the combination of red, grey and brown.
- The larger species of this type of fish can switch genders and follow a colour pattern that includes a few tints of yellow, a few tints of blue and a few tints of green.
- These fishes are usually commonly served at the dinner table in Hawaii and are usually threatened by overfishing.
- They have thick bodies with sturdy jaws formed due to tightly packed teeth. This is because the sole purpose is to nibble off tough seaweeds and feed on coralline algae and live coral (called props).
The bottom line
Parrotfish are regarded as one of the most beautiful and rare species of fish, without which life and steady health of the Great Barrier Reef would not have been possible. Their weird but fascinating way of changing sex while simultaneously changing colours is a matter to be delighted about. These are known to have a tremendous impact on coral reefs due to their rare techniques of intensive grazing and bioerosion, which is not performed by anyone else amongst the thousands of other species.
So, what are you waiting for? If you are eagerly excited about getting to know more about this type of rare fish, make sure to read this article until the very end. We assure you will not be disappointed.