Scaley Looking
PARROTFISH occur in about 15 varieties that are frequently spotted on
the reefs of the Florida Keys Reef Tract.  They go through phases as
they mature.  Each phase marks a dramatic change in shape, color
and markings.  The phases are Juvenile, Initial and Terminal phase.  
The Terminal phase is the last, and most colorful.  The parrotfish have
a "beaks" formed from their front teeth growing together, and are used
to scrape algae and polyps from rocks and coral.  In doing this, they
grind a lot of the limestone rock up in their stomach, which eventually
travels through the digestive tract. Parrotfish end up excreting roughly
60% of our beach sand!
Close relatives of the parrotfish, WRASSES generally are much small
and have more elongated shapes.  They inhabit shallow reef areas.  
Like the parrotfish, wrasse go through similar changes in markings,
color and shape during maturation.

HOGFISH are members of the wrasse family but have very unique
shapes.  They have long snouts that they use to root for food.
Adult Male Hogfish
Midnight Parrotfish
Yellowhead Wrasse - Juvenile
Bluehead Wrasse
Blue parrotfish
Photos by Gail Culver

No reproduction allowed without permission.
Florida Keys Tropical Fish
Florida Keys Diving, Florida Keys Reefs,
Florida Keys Coral, Florida Keys Fish