Cetoscarus pulchellus (Rüppell, 1835)
It is monotypic within the genus Cetoscarus, although the scientific name C. bicolor has been suggested to be reserved for the population in the Red Sea, in which case the remaining populations are named C. ocellatus.
It is among the largest parrotfishes, growing to a length of up to 90 cm (35 in). As in many of its relatives, it is a sequential hermaphrodite, starting as female (known as the initial phase) and then changing to male (the terminal phase). The initial phase is dark brown with a large cream patch on the upper part of the body. The terminal phase is very colourful, overall green with pink spotting to the body and edging to the fins. Juveniles are white with a black spot on the dorsal fin and an orange band through the eye.
Distribution and habitat
This species can be found in the Indo-Pacific, from the Red Sea to the Tuamotu Islands, Izu Islands and southern Great Barrier Reef. The bicolour parrotfish is associated with coral reefs. It usually can be found in lagoons and seaward reefs at depths between 1 and 30 m (3 ft 3 in and 98 ft 5 in). Small juveniles are usually found among dense coral and in algae-rich habitats.
Male bicolour parrotfish are territorial. During its lifetime, this fish changes sex several times and very large females change sex to become brightly coloured males. This parrotfish mainly feeds on algae.
The bicolour parrotfish is a common fish within its somewhat limited range. No particular threats have been identified for this species and parts of its range are within marine protected areas and the IUCN has listed it as being of "Least Concern".
- Choat, J.H., Russell, B., Clements, K.D., Rocha, L.A., Myers, R., Lazuardi, M.E., Muljadi, A., Pardede, S. & Rahardjo, P. 2012. Cetoscarus bicolor. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 10 September 2013.
- Randall, J. E. (2005). Reef and Shore Fishes of the South Pacific. University of Hawi'i Press. ISBN 0824826981
- "Cetoscarus bicolor (Rüppell, 1829): Bicolour parrotfish". FishBase. Retrieved 2013-12-26.