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Cetoscarus ocellatus Great Barrier Reef.jpg
Bicolour parrotfish
Scientific classification

Parrotfishes are a group of marine fishes that live in shallow tropical and subtropical oceans around the world. Previously considered to form a separate family (Scaridae), these fish are now thought to belong to the large family of wrasses (Labridae).[1] Their numbers are largest in the Indo-Pacific region where they are found in and around coral reefs and seagrass beds. They play an important part in bioerosion.[2] There are about 95 species of parrotfish living today.

Parrotfish are very colourful. Their name comes from the parrot-like beak formed by their teeth. The buccal cavity (cheek) of the parrotfish secretes the 'sleeping sack' that the fish sleeps in overnight. It is a semi-translucent sack which completely surrounds the parrot fish. In the morning the sack is discarded. You can see these on the sea bed floor during the following day.

References[change | change source]

  1. Westneat, M. W. and M. E. Alfaro (2005). "Phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history of the reef fish family Labridae." Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 36(2): 201-428.
  2. See:
    • Streelman, J. T., M. E. Alfaro, et al. (2002). "Evolutionary History of The Parrotfishes: Biogeography, Ecomorphology, and Comparative Diversity." Evolution 56(5): 961-971.
    • Bellwood, D. R., Hoey, A. S., J. H. Choat. (2003). "Limited functional redundancy in high diversity systems: resilience and ecosystem function on coral reefs." Ecology Letters 6(4): 281–285.
    • Lokrantz, J., Nyström, Thyresson, M., M., C. Johansson. (2008). "The non-linear relationship between body size and function in parrotfishes." Coral reefs 27(4): 967-974.

Other websites[change | change source]