vrijdag 7 december 2012

Facts about Parrotfish

When you are diving around the Gili Island you will spot them on every dive site. Some people loves them other one say this one of the most ugly fish in the sea. We are talking about the Parrotfish. This herbivorous fish uses its strong beak-like mouthparts to scrape algae and other plant matter from the surface of the coral. This maintains the health of the reef by keeping algae in check, which could otherwise overwhelm the delicate reef ecosystem. An unusual feature of parrotfishes is that they are able to change sex, with females becoming fully functional males. In a population, parrotfish start off as either females or males (known as primary males). Females may at some point in their life become male (secondary males). Populations that have these two types of males are called ‘diandrous’, meaning ‘two-males'. A terminal phase male defends a territory and a harem of females. If the male should die, the most dominant female will become the dominant male, her ovaries becoming functional male testes. The parrotfish occurs in the western Atlantic, from Florida, Bermuda and the Bahamas to Argentina and the Gili Islands Indonesia. Associated with coral reefs at depths of 3 to 25 metres. At night, parrotfish retreat into crevices. Juveniles tend to occur in mangroves adjacent to the reef. The mangroves act as important nursery areas and provide food-rich and predator free safe-havens for the growing young.

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