IUCN threat status:

Near Threatened (NT)

Brief Summary

Read full entry


This herbivorous fish uses its strong beak-like mouthparts to scrape algae and other plant matter from the surface of the coral (4). This maintains the health of the reef by keeping algae in check, which could otherwise overwhelm the delicate reef ecosystem (5). An unusual feature of parrotfishes is that they are able to change sex, with females becoming fully functional males (4). In a population, rainbow parrotfish start off as either females or males (known as primary males). Females may at some point in their life become male (secondary males). Populations that have these two types of males are called 'diandrous', meaning 'two-males' (4). A terminal phase male defends a territory and a harem of females. If the male should die, the most dominant female will become the dominant male, her ovaries becoming functional male testes (4).


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Belongs to 0 communities

This taxon hasn't been featured in any communities yet.

Learn more about Communities


EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!