Blue Parrotfish

(Scarus coeruleus)

The Blue Parrotfish are uniformly blue with a yellow spot on their heads that fades as they age.
They develop a large “beak” like other parrotfish that is used for scraping algae and small organisms from rocks and coral. They have pharyngeal teeth that grind ingested rocks into sand. No other species has this uniform blue color as adults.

Juvenile

Initial Phase​

Terminal Phase

Habitat and Distribution

Blue parrotfish are found on coral reefs at depths of 3–25 m in the western Atlantic from Maryland in the United States to Bermuda, the Bahamas, and south to Brazil.
They are also found throughout the West Indies but are absent from the northern part of the Gulf of Mexico.
Juveniles are found in beds of turtle grass.

Diet and Behavior

Their diet consists of small organisms found in the sand and algae that they scrape off rocks and coral.
They spend 80 percent of their time searching for food.

Reproduction

In summer, blue parrotfish gather in spawning groups.
Sexual interaction occurs and the females deposit their eggs into the water column after which they sink to the seabed.
The eggs hatch after about twenty-five hours.

Conservation Status

The blue parrotfish has a wide range and is abundant in much of that range, some of which is in marine conservation areas.
Although larger individuals are targeted by fishermen, the population of this fish seems to be stable overall.