Bolbometopon muricatum Click to enlarge image
A Double-headed Parrotfish at Sipadan, Malaysia. Image: G. McNeil
© G. McNeil

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    muricatum
    Genus
    Bolbometopon
    Subfamily
    Scarinae
    Family
    Labridae
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 1.3 m in length.

Introduction

The Bumphead Parrotfish can be recognised by the distinct hump on the head of adults, its drab colouration, and large size. It is the largest of all the parrotfishes, growing to 1.3 m in length.



Habitat

The species is found on coral reefs.



Distribution

The Bumphead Parrotfish occurs throughout the Indo-West and Central Pacific. In Australia it is recorded around the tropical north of the country.

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.



Feeding and diet

The species sometimes forms large schools which graze on algae during the day.

One of the distinctive characteristics of the parrotfishes is the beak-like dentition. Parrotfishes use this dentition to graze algae off the surface of the reef. A considerable amount of hard material is also scraped off the coral or rock when the fish feeds. This is ground up by the pharyngeal teeth (see bottom image) and passed out with the faeces.

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.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific. Indonesia and adjacent Waters. Penerbit PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama. Pp. 314.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.