parrotfish

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parrotfish,

common name for a member of a large group of colorful reef fishes of warm seas, resembling the wrasseswrasse
, common name for a member of the large family Labridae, brilliantly colored fishes found among rocks and kelp in tropical seas. Wrasses, related to the parrotfishes (which are included in the wrasse family by some authorities), feed on mollusks and are equipped with
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 but of a larger size. Long considered a separate family, Scaridae, they are now grouped as a subfamily, Scarinae, of Labridae (the wrasse family) by some authorities. Parrotfishes, also called pollyfishes, are so named for their powerful cutting-edged beaks, formed of fused incisorlike jaw teeth. With these they scrape from the surface of coral, algae, polyps, and other small plant and animal life upon which they feed. Parrotfishes also have a set of grinding teeth, located in the throat in front of the esophagus, with which they further break up their food to prepare it for the action of digestive enzymes. Common in Florida waters are the rainbow parrotfish, Scarus guacamaia, the largest (up to 3 ft/91 cm) of the family; the red and blue parrotfishes; and the queen parrotfish, or oldwife. Parrotfishes are not valued in the United States as food except in Hawaii, where they are very popular and were once taboo (to be touched only by royalty). Parrotfishes occasionally cause illness in humans, fatal to a small percentage of consumers. Known as ciguatera, it is caused by eating fish that have ciguatoxins, acquired as a result of feeding on dinoflagellates or on fish that have fed on them. Many reef fish species, especially larger fish, can cause such poisoning. Parrotfishes are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Perciformes, family Scaridae or family Labridae.

parrotfish

1. any brightly coloured tropical marine percoid fish of the family Scaridae, having parrot-like jaws
2. Austral any of various brightly coloured marine fish of the family Labridae
3. any of various similar fishes
References in periodicals archive ?
Herbivore- Fish species that feed on Small-bodied parrotfishes scrapers plants and scrape hard (e.
Despite the relatively high contribution of parrotfishes within all phases, the overall taxonomic richness of each assemblage serves to augment diversity.
The most highly ranked fishes, parrotfishes and surgeonfishes, are both herbivores.
Parrotfishes, surgeonfishes, leatherjackets, wrasses, sea basses and sharks and rays show similar temporal trends in their MNI-based ranks to those observed for the NISP-based rankings.
In general, taking into account relative abundances and ranks based on both NISP and MNI, it can be confidently stated that parrotfishes dominate the assemblage and that wrasses, emperors, and sea basses are all generally important fish.
Parrotfishes, surgeonfishes, and scorpionfishes show significant declines in abundance.
Due to territoriality by the damselfish, exposed coral-rock substrata along the reef crest were occupied by two basic kinds of benthic assemblages: (1) those outside territories, exposed to grazing by schooling parrotfishes and surgeonfishes, and dominated by low-lying crustose and prostrate algae; and (2) those inside territories, exposed to grazing by mostly the resident damselfish, and dominated by erect filamentous algae.
Essentially, these substrata supported very similar assemblages within each treatment, with two exceptions occurring only in the relatively high grazing intensity treatment outside damsel fish territories: (1) PVC plates were overgrown more rapidly by crustose algae than were coral plates, due to parrotfishes being able to scrape and clear the surface of coral plates; and (2) naturally contoured coral plates supported more species than flat plates, due to the crevices providing refuges from predation (Hixon and Menge 1991).
On 19 September 1980, all 111 settling-plate modules were distributed in the field evenly among three grazing treatments: (1) exposed outside damselfish territories to grazing by parrotfishes and surgeonfishes; (2) exposed inside territories, defended by and grazed mostly by the resident damselfish; and (3) within grazer-exclusion cages (see Cages and controls below).
As will be clear from our results, the schooling parrotfishes and surgeonfishes in our study, considered as a group, consumed any erect algae presented to them.
Effects on population densities and grazing intensity of parrotfishes and surgeonfishes.
The effect of parrotfishes (Scaridae) on coral in Barbados, W.