Scaridae

Parrotfish

This accidental omnivorous fish is very common to spot in the reefs of Kapas. Its colorful appearance is distinct and its diet is important for healthy growth of coral reefs. With its parrot-like beak, parrotfish feed on algae by scraping off coral. They excrete sand!

  • Kingdom Animalia
  • Class Actinopterygii
  • Order Perciformes
  • Suborder Labroider
  • Family Scaridae
  • Genus Bolbometopon, Calotomus, Cetoscarus, Chlorurus, Cryptotomus, Hipposcarus, Leptoscarus, Nicholsina, Scarus, Sparisoma

Scaridae is the family name of the commonly seen parrotfish around Kapas reefs. There are about 95 different species from 10 genera of which most are 'herbivores' that feed on coral algae.

The parrot-like beak of the fish is very distinct from other fish. This specialized beak and its pharyngeal teeth are used for grazing and crushing coral. Many of the species are herbivorous, although while feeding they may ingest other small marine animals. Similar to the wrasses, they use their pectoral fins to swim and tail to gain speed.

Parrotfish plays an important role in keeping the general health of coral reef ecosystem in balance. 75% of ingested material are coral rocks which then being secreted as sand that made beaches!

As pelagic spawners, they release many tiny eggs which become part of planktons then settled into coral until hatching. For majority of the species, adult size range from 30 - 50cm, although the Green Humphead can reach up to 1.3m! The species of Scaridae can be found throughout Indo-Pacific seas where they live in coral reefs, rocky coastal and seagrass bed.