Thursday, January 13, 2011
January 13, 2011 : Humphead Parrotfish
The green humphead parrotfish, Bolbometopon muricatum, is the largest species of parrotfish growing to lengths of 1.3 metres (4.3 ft) and weighing up to 46 kilograms (100 lb). It is found on reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, from the Red Sea in the west to Samoa in the east, and from the Yaeyama Islands in the north to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia in the south.
Other common names include bumphead parrotfish, humphead parrotfish, double-headed parrotfish, buffalo parrotfish and giant parrotfish.
Unlike wrasses, it has a vertical head profile, and unlike other parrotfishes, it is uniformly covered with scales except for the leading edge of the head which is often light green to pink. Primary phase colouration is a dull gray with scattered white spots, gradually becoming uniformly dark green. This species does not display sex-associated patterns of color change. Adults develop a bulbous forehead and their teeth plates are exposed (only partly covered by lips). The species is slow growing and long-lived (up to 40 years), with delayed reproduction and low replenishment rates. This species is gregarious and usually occurs in small aggregations, but group size can be quite large (> 75) on seaward and clear outer lagoon reefs.