Group of 90 + species, most of which are hermaphroditic. The development of parrotfishes is complex and accompanied by a series of changes in sex and colour (polychromatism). Most species are sequential hermaphrodites, starting as females (known as the initial phase) and then changing to males (the terminal phase). In many species, for example the stoplight parrotfish (Sparisoma viride), a number of individuals develop directly to males (i.e., they do not start as females). These directly developing males usually most resemble the initial phase, and often display a different mating strategy than the terminal phase males of the same species.
The sex change in parrotfishes is accompanied by changes in circulating steroids.
majority of species reaching 30–50 cm / 12-20 in
tropical, subtropical coral reefs, rocky coasts, seagrass beds