Cetoscarus bicolor

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Cetoscarus bicolor
Bicolor parrotfishWB.JPG
terminal phase
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Scaridae
Genus: Cetoscarus
Smith, 1956
Species: C. bicolor
Binomial name
Cetoscarus bicolor
(Rüppell, 1829)

Cetoscarus pulchellus (Rüppell, 1835)

Cetoscarus bicolor, the bicolour parrotfish, is a species of fish belonging to the family Scaridae. It is found in the Red Sea.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This species can be found in the Red Sea. The similar species which is widespread in the Indo-Pacific is Cetoscarus ocellatus.[2] 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).[3] Small juveniles are usually found among dense coral and in algae-rich habitats.[4]


Juvenile of Cetoscarus bicolor. Bunaken, Sulawesi, Indonesia

It is among the largest parrotfishes, growing to a length of up to 35 in (35 in).[5] 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.


Male bicolour parrotfish are territorial. During its lifetime, this fish changes sex twice and very large females change sex to become brightly coloured males. This parrotfish mainly feeds on algae.[4]


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.[6]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ "Bicolor Parrotfish - Cetoscarus bicolor - Details - Encyclopedia of Life". 
  3. ^ "Bicolor Parrotfish - Cetoscarus bicolor - Details - Encyclopedia of Life". 
  4. ^ a b "Cetoscarus bicolor (Rüppell, 1829): Bicolour parrotfish". FishBase. Retrieved 2013-12-26. 
  5. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2014). "Cetoscarus bicolor" in FishBase. December 2014 version.
  6. ^ Randall, J. E. (2005). Reef and Shore Fishes of the South Pacific. University of Hawi'i Press. ISBN 0824826981