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 blue to green, with two blue to green stripes extending from the snout and passing across the eye. Borders of the tail yellow to orange or pink. Midbody with a yellow or orangish stripe, fading toward the rear. A distinct yellow or orange or pink stripe runs along the base of the dorsal fin (S. taeniopterus terminal phase; S. taeniopterus TP 2).
Size up to 35 cm.
Initial phase: Body brownish with dark stripes. With maturity, the stripes fade and become brown. Fins often become yellowish. Borders of tail dark.
Juvenile phase: Body with three black stripes, two white stripes and a white belly, often with thin silver stripes. Borders of tail dark (S. taeniopterus juvenile).
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. Common to 25 m depth.
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.
Common to occasional Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean.
Initial and juvenile phases of the Princess parrotfish often mix with similar age Striped parrotfish (Scarus iserti). Striped parrotfish can be distinguished by the lack of dark borders on the tail.