Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Scaridae
(Parrotfishes) > Sparisomatinae
Etymology: Sparisoma: Latin, sparus = a fish with a golden head + Greek, soma = body (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 3 - 50 m (Ref. 9710). Subtropical; 34°N - 6°S, 100°W - 36°W (Ref. 55284)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 16.3, range 18 - ? cm
Max length : 64.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3802); common length : 38.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3802); max. published weight: 1.6 kg (Ref. 26340)
soft rays: 9. Relationship between fork length (FL) and maximum body depth (D): D = 0.10 + 0.33(FL); FL = -0.40 + 3.06(D), for n = 79, length range (cm, FL) = 13.5-25.5 (Ref. 3191). A distinctive, colorful and abundant fish. Young adults and females with scales outlined in darker gray; often bright red below. Super males green, with bright yellow spot at upper edge of gill cover, yellow bar at base of tail, curved orange-yellow mark on caudal fin rays (Ref. 26938). Initial phase fish with a brown head, the scales of the upper two-thirds of the body with pale centers and dark brown edges, the lower third of body and fins bright red. Terminal phase males are green with three diagonal orange bands on upper half of head
Western Atlantic: southern Florida (USA), Bermuda, Bahamas, and throughout the Caribbean Sea to Brazil.
Inhabits coral reefs with clear water (Ref. 13628). Young may be found in seagrass beds and other heavily vegetated bottoms. Feeds mainly on soft algae, but has been observed to graze on live corals like, Montastraea annularis (Ref. 6496). Produces a significant amount of sediment through bioerosion using its strong beak-like jaws and constantly re-growing teeth (Ref. 6485). Protogynous; strictly diurnal, spends the night sleeping on the bottom (Ref. 5221). Found singly or small in small groups.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
The type of reproductive behavior is related to the color phase of the males involved.
Cervigón, F., R. Cipriani, W. Fischer, L. Garibaldi, M. Hendrickx, A.J. Lemus, R. Márquez, J.M. Poutiers, G. Robaina and B. Rodriguez, 1992. Fichas FAO de identificación de especies para los fines de la pesca. Guía de campo de las especies comerciales marinas y de aquas salobres de la costa septentrional de Sur América. FAO, Rome. 513 p. Preparado con el financiamento de la Comisión de Comunidades Europeas y de NORAD. (Ref. 5217)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30303)
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01349 (0.00886 - 0.02054), b=3.04 (2.92 - 3.16), based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.00 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tmax=9; k >0.30).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (31 of 100) .