Greenblotch Parrotfish

(Sparisoma atomarium)

The Redtail Parrotfish is primarily an algae eater but also eats sponges.
This type of parrotfish does not get very large only around 25 cm in length. 

Juvenile

Initial Phase​

Terminal Phase

Habitat and Distribution

Redtail parrotfish lives in the western Atlantic Ocean from Brazil in the south, north to Florida and the Bahamas. It also occurs throughout the Caribbean Sea.

Diet and Behavior

Redtail parrotfish, though usually classified as herbivorous, are considered to
be the most significant consumers of both coral algae and sponges.  
They use their beak-like dentition to rend algae from coral and sediment-covered rocky surfaces and use their pharyngeal mill teeth to break down the hard calcareous substratum into fine sediment which is deposited on the seabed.

Reproduction

The redtail parrotfish are sequential hermaphrodites.
They are usually born as females but can change into males upon reaching maturity.
They are pelagic spawners which produce and release free-floating, buoyant eggs into the water which settle onto the underlying coral.
Fertilization of eggs occurs externally with no indication of direct parental care, however groups of the largest males in the territory fiercely defend spawning sites.

Conservation Status

Currently listed by the IUCN as of least concerned due to large numbers commonly found in their native geographic range.