Parrotfish owe their name to the shape of their mouth. Instead of teeth they have two beak-like plates, like parrots. They have even rows of large, noticeable scales on their bodies.
Terminal phase: Body color varies from powder blue to deep blue and blue-green; head squared-off (S. coeruleus terminal phase).
This species is one of the largest parrotfish, reaching a length of up to 1.2 m.
Initial phase: Body color varies from powder blue to deep blue and blue-green; head conical.
Juvenile phase: Body bluish white to purplish blue, sometimes with yellow dorsal, ventral and anal fins. Snout with a yellow wash, extending back to foredorsal fin (S. coeruleus initial phase).
They swim about reefs using their pectoral fins; the tail is only used for burst of speed. They use their 'beaks' to scrape algae and polyps from corals and rocks. They are often seen defecating, what looks like white clouds, which consists mainly of coral limestone. Most common till a depth of 25 m.
This species is the only parrotfish in the Caribbean under suspicion of being the carrier of the poison that causes ciguatera, an illness caused by eating poisonous fish.
Like the wrasses, the parrotfishes have two types of reproductive behavior. The younger and not so colorful males fertilize together with other males the eggs of one single female, while colorful, large males have each their own territory where one male fertilizes one female.
Occasional Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean.