Green humphead parrotfish

With a robust body adorned in iridescent hues of emerald and turquoise, it is an underwater jewel that dazzles the eye

Rickard Zerpe

Easily recognizable by its distinctive features, the parrotfish sports a prominent hump on its forehead, often resembling the profile of a parrot’s beak, from which it derives its name. Its iridescent green scales catch the sunlight, creating a mesmerizing shimmer that enhances the allure of coral ecosystems. However, it’s not merely their striking appearance that sets parrotfish apart; they are essential custodians of the underwater world.

Parrotfish are ecological custodians of coral reefs, playing a pivotal role in maintaining the delicate balance of these diverse ecosystems. Their primary diet consists of algae and dead coral, a vital task that prevents unchecked algae growth from smothering the corals. By grazing on the reef, they help control the algae population, allowing corals to thrive and maintain their structural integrity.

However, the very creatures that play this crucial role are under threat due to overfishing and habitat destruction. As coral reefs face mounting challenges from climate change and human activities, the protection of parrotfish becomes paramount.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Indian ocean
2012
Pacific ocean
2012
Red Sea
2012
American Samoa
2012
Australia
2012
Christmas Island
2012
Cocos Is. (Keeling)
2012
Egypt
2012
French Polynesia
2012
Tuamotu, Society Is.
Guam
2012
Indonesia
2012
Japan
2012
Nansei-Shoto
Kenya
2012
Kiribati
2012
Madagascar
2012
Malaysia
2012
Maldives
2012
Marshall Islands
2012
Presence Uncertain, Origin Uncertain
Mauritius
2012
Micronesia
2012
Mozambique
2012
Myanmar
2012
New Caledonia
2012
Niue
2012
Nort. Mariana Is.
2012
Palau
2012
Papua New Guinea
2012
Philippines
2012
Samoa
2012
Seychelles
2012
Solomon Islands
2012
Somalia
2012
Taiwan
2012
Tanzania
2012
Tonga
2012
US Minor Is.
2012
Wake Is.
Vanuatu
2012
Yemen
2012
Socotra

Did you know?

  • Juvenile green humphead parrotfish boasts a completely different color palette compared to their adult counterparts. They sport a vibrant electric blue hue, making them look like entirely different species.
  • With teeth fused together to form a beak-like structure, the green humphead parrotfish possesses one of the most powerful bites in the underwater world. It can even munch on hard coral, pulverizing it with ease.
  • At night, the green humphead parrotfish envelops itself in a transparent mucus cocoon, creating a sleeping bag of sorts for protection against predators while it slumbers.
  • As the green humphead parrotfish feeds on coral, it excretes sand-like particles known as “parrotfish poop.” These tiny grains play a vital role in creating sandy beaches and islands.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic / Monomorphic (size)

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Group

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No