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Seafood Photo: Parrotfish

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Parrotfish

Parrotfishes are a group. of fishes that traditionally has been considered a family (Scaridae), but now often are considered a subfamily (Scarinae) of the wrasses. They are found in relatively shallow tropical and subtropical oceans throughout the world, but with the largest species richness in the Indo-Pacific. The approximately 90 species are found in coral reefs, rocky coasts and seagrass beds, and play a significant role in bioerosion.

Traditionally, the parrotfishes have been considered a family level taxon, Scaridae. Although phylogenetic and evolutionary analysis of parrotfishes is still ongoing, it is now accepted that they are a clade in the tribe Cheilini, and are now commonly referred to as scarine labrids (subfamily Scarinae, family Labridae). Some authorities have preferred to maintain the parrotfishes as a family level taxon, resulting in Labridae not being monophyletic (unless split into several families).

Parrotfish are named for their dentition, which also is distinct from that of other labrids. Their numerous teeth are arranged in a tightly packed mosaic on the external surface of the jaw bones, forming a parrot-like beak with which they rasp algae from coral and other rocky substrates (which contributes to the process of bioerosion).

Maximum sizes vary within the family, with the majority of species reaching 30–50 cm (12–20 in) in length. However, a few species reach lengths in excess of 1 m (3 ft 3 in), and the green humphead parrotfish can reach up to 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in).

(Source: Wikipedia.org)

 

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