Bullethead Parrotfish, Chlorurus sordidus Click to enlarge image
A Bullethead Parrotfish at a depth of 10m, Karang Kapota Reef north, Wakatobi National Park, Indonesia, 8 September 2012. The fish is in a mucous sleeping bag. The bubbles are trapped gas. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    spilurus
    Genus
    Chlorurus
    Subfamily
    Scarinae
    Family
    Labridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The Greenfin Parrotfish grows to 40 cm in length.

Introduction

Also commonly known as the Bullethead Parrotfish, the Greenfin Parrotfish occurs throughout the Indo-Pacific on a variety of coral reef habitats. Is is one of the most common parrot fishes.



Identification

The initial phase Greenfin Parrotfish is dark brown on the body and red around the mouth. Some individuals have a black spot on the caudal peduncle (see movie, below).

Terminal phase males are blue-green with pinkish scale edges. The caudal peduncle is green and the upper sides of the body are often bright yellow. The snout is lavender-pink, bordered by blue-green.

The lips cover less than half of the blue-green dental plates.



Habitat

It is found on coral reefs.

Distribution

It occurs throughout the Indo-Pacific.

In Australia it is recorded from southern to northern Western Australia and from the northern Great Barrier Reef to southern Queensland.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



Life history cycle

The video below shows two initial phase (male or female) Greenfin Parrotfish in the lagoon at Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Footage © Nicholas Sault.



References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Choat, J.H. & J.E. Randall. 1986. A Review of the Parrotfishes (Family Scaridae) of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia with Description of a New Species. Records of the Australian Museum. 38: 175-228. (as Scarus sordidus)
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433. (as Scarus sordidus)
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.