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 greenish, underside lighter, anal fin usually reddish. Tail square-cut, outer tips black. The upper forebody with a small yellow blotch with two or more small black spots. Usually with a salmon to orange band from the corner of the mouth to below the eye. A white spot behind the dorsal fin (S. aurofrenatum terminal phase).
Size up to 28 cm.
Initial phase: Color highly variable, from solid olive to green or blue-green. Fins red to mottled brown with two white stripes. A white spot behind the dorsal fin.
Juvenile phase: Body in shades of red-brown, usually with two white stripes and a black blotch behind the upper gill cover. A white spot behind the dorsal fin.
Both juvenile and initial phases can rapidly fade, intensify or change color and markings.
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 a depth of 20 m.
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.