:: Scarus vetula ::

Scarus vetula species widely distributed in the western North Atlantic, and it is common. Even though caught in the multispecies fishery, there are no major threats to this species known. It is listed as Least Concern.


Queen parrotfish species associated reef 1 to 25 m. It is found in shallow, bright coral and rocky reefs. It feeds on algae. It is a protogynous hermaphrodite. It is often seen in groups of a terminal man with several young adults, most of which are probably women. In Bermuda, the recorded maximum size is 44 cm (TL) and the maximum age was 20 years.
Scarus vetula have four rows of scales on their cheeks. They have no longitudinal band on their head or body, but a red band on the edge of the caudal fin is present (Wider, 1929). S. vetula teeth that have beak-like plates, similar to parrots to form. The lower plate is hidden by the upper plate where their mouth is closed. S. vetula can be identified by a long and a dorsal fin and a truncated caudal fin (Boschung, 1983). S. vetula exhibit sexual dimorphism, females are a drab bluish-brown with a pale band along the bottom of the fish, the males are green-blue, with scales that yellow centers and various yellow line runs from the mouth to have eye (Wheeler , 1975). S. vetula young have two white stripes and a white belly.
Scarus vetula reproduce sexually with external fertilization. Breeding occurs throughout the year, with most activity in the morning. Their breeding system is characterized as a harem polygyny: one male mates with several females. The super male in the group at a terminal stage, where he is brightly colored. The super male starts with an individual by first female swimming in circles around the female and then when they increase their speed and turn their circles the woman joins the super-male. At this time the gametes are released into the water (Clavijo, 1983). Other males mate with females in groups (Smith, 1997). S. vetula have both an egg and larval stages and a primary and a terminal phase in which they change color (Lowe-McConnell, 1987).

Scarus vetula are usually found in small schools of 3 to 4 women and a great man. They are not strong swimmers, so they head together with their pectoral fins (Lythgoe, 1992). S. vetula are only active during the day. During the night they find a crevice to sleep and then they secrete a slimy sheath around them for protection (Wheeler, 1975).
Scarus vetula herbivores are active during the day. They scrape algae, turf algae, preferably, is on a flat surface and coral reefs from their unique beak (Bruggemann, 1994). S. vetula shatters the coral and algae mixture finely in the pharyngeal mill, and the indigestible sand is excreted (Wheeler, 1975). It has also shown that S. vetula feeds on sponges (Dunlap, 1998).

Scarus vetula become one of the most important biological factors in the erosion of coral reefs. They also affect the distribution and abundance of Caribbean sponges by feeding on them (Dunlap, 1998). The decline of coral reefs and sponges led to a decrease in revenues of the tourism sector (Wheeler, 1975).


Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia 
Tribe: ChordataActinopterygii 
Order: Perciformes
Family: Scaridae 
Genus: Scarus 
Species: S. vetula
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