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Striped parrotfish
Scarus iserti
(Bloch, 1789)

Description:
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 a gold to yellow spot or stripe above and behind the pectoral fin. Dorsal fin with a distinct pink, yellow or orange stripe down the middle that is broken by blue to green linear markings. Tail dark blue or green, with yellow or orangish linear markings between the borders.
Size up to 35 cm.
Initial and juvenile phases: Body with three black stripes, two white stripes and a white belly, often with thin, broken silver, yellow or dark stripes. Usually yellow smudge on the nose, occasionally with yellow on the ventral fins, belly or tail. Tail without dark borders (S. iseti juvenile).

Habitat:
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.

Distribution:
Common Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean.

Remarks:
Initial and juvenile phases of the Striped parrotfish often mix with similar age Princess parrotfish (Scarus taeniopterus). Princess parrotfish can be distinguished by the dark borders on the tail.

Striped parrotfish (Scarus iserti)