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Parrotfishes

Male parrotfish have markedly different coloration than female or initial-phase parrotfish of the same species.

Bullethead Parrotfish

Chlorurus spilurus

     
(1: Hoover's, Kona / 2: Enenue, Molokini / 3: No-Name Paradise, Lanai / 4-5: Kaloko Arches, Kona / 6: First Cathedral, Lanai)

Bullethead parrotfish can be distinguished by their symmetric top and bottom jaws.

Older juveniles have pairs of spots on their sides:
   
(1: No-Name Paradise, Lanai / 2: Pipe Dreams, Kona / 3: Kua Bay, Kona / 4: Hoover's, Kona)

Young juveniles are striped:

 
(1-2: Kahalu'u Beach Park, Kona)

At night, bullethead parrotfish hide under rocks or coral and cover themselves in a mucus cocoon.  This may make it harder for predators to smell them.
(1: Pawai, Kona)


Ember Parrotfish

(aka Redlip Parrotfish)
Scarus rubroviolaceus

       
(1-2: Enenue, Molokini / 3: First Cathedral, Lanai / 4-5: Niihau Arches, Kauai / 6: Hale O Honu, Kauai / 7: Skull Cave, Kona / 8: The Dome, Kona)


Palenose Parrotfish

Scarus psittacus

       
(1: Lighthouse, Lanai / 2: Shark Pit, Maui / 3,5: Kahalu'u Beach Park, Kona / 4: Two Step, Kona / 6: Turtle Canyons, Oahu / 7: Reef's End, Molokini / 8: Kua Bay, Kona)

These are juveniles:
(1: Turtle Canyons, Oahu)


Regal Parrotfish

Scarus dubius

 
(1-2: Olowalu, Maui)


Stareye Parrotfish

Calotomus carolinus

     
(1-2: Black Rock, Maui / 3: Golden Arches, Kona / 4: Two Step, Kona / 5: Hoover's, Kona / 6: Reef's End, Molokini)

Parrotfish usually sleep at night:

 
(1: Makena Landing, Maui / 2: Hale O Honu, Kauai)


Bite Marks on Coral

Note the teeth in these close-up photos.  Parrotfish gnaw on the coral and excrete sand.  So when you're walking on the beach in Hawaii, you're really walking on parrotfish poop.
 
(1: Enenue, Molokini / 2: Hoover's, Kona)

Bite marks from parrotfish are visible here.  Note that they prefer the heavier algae growth on the dead section of coral.
(1: Hoover's, Kona)