70 years of helping people to care for our ocean

Fishy Fridays – Parrotfish

The parrotfish are brightly coloured reef fish which all have a beak-like jaw formed by fused teeth. They use their powerful jaws to scrape algae and bite corals during feeding.  The algae living within the corals is then removed in the fish’s stomach and the crushed coral is passed out of the fish. Much of the coral sand found around coral reefs has passed through a parrotfish!!
Some parrotfish make a mucous cocoon in which they sleep at night. It is thought that this cocoon is for protection. They then bite their way out of the cocoon in the morning. These fish are often eaten in the tropics but sometimes carry tropical fish poisoning (ciguatera).