Volume 5    Number 10

Queen Parrotfish Munches Algae at Runway 10 Reef
near San Salvador in The Bahamas

Queen Parrotfish at Runway 10 Reef near San Salvador

I love watching and listening to Parrotfish as they scrape algae from the skeletons of corals. This Queen Parrotfish was busy eating algae. It didn't seem to mind as I swam near to take this picture.

Queen Parrotfish are pretty big. The largest may be almost 2 feet long. Like other Parrotfishes, Queen Parrotfish get their name from their mouth that looks like a parrot's beak. This beak allows them to scrape algae from the surface of the corals until the surface is bare. The scraping makes so much noise that you can hear them grinding and crunching as they eat, from several feet away. Although the bubbles of your scuba gear make a lot of noise, it is easy to hear the Parrotfish between breaths.

Learn more about Parrotfish and their role in the coral-reef ecosystem on the ReefNews website, at the ReefNews Guide to Corals.

Runway 10 Reef is just offshore from the end of the airport landing strip on San Salvador.

  Learn more about the reefs of San Salvador from the ReefNews CD-ROM, "San Salvador: Jewel of the New World." Order your own copy of this educational CD-ROM from the ReefNews Online Catalog.



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