Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Scarus vetula, Queen Parrotfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

IP- head pale, body black + central white stripe, A white
TP - blue around mouth, oblique blue stripe eye to middle back; C pink
Juv - white + black stripes

Scarus vetula Bloch & Schneider, 1801

Queen Parrotfish

Body elongate, somewhat compressed; teeth fused into a beak with two broad joined plates on each jaw, outer surface of plates smooth, not covered by lips; top jaw overlaps lower jaw at front; 1-2 canines on rear side of top jaw; large crushing plates of molar teeth form “pharyngeal mill” in throat; gill rakers 50-60; dorsal fin IX, 10, no notch between spines and rays; anal fin III, 9; pectoral II, 12 (1st spine very short); tail fin bluntly rounded; scales large, smooth, 4 rows on cheek; 7 scales on center of nape before dorsal fin; lateral line in 2 sections.

Juvenile: white + black stripes. Initial phase: body dark brown, a broad white stripe from top of pectoral base to lower end of tail base; head grey above, whitish below; dorsal and tail fins dark brown; anal fin white. Terminal phase: head and body bluish to bluish green; a blue-green stripe from chin to under eye, a blue bar across front of snout, a blue strap under chin; a short blue stripe through top of eye; a broad diagonal blue stripe from the side of the nape up to under the middle of the dorsal fin; body scales with pink bars; pectoral translucent blue, with a central pink stripe; tail fin with a pink base and pink lobes, rear of fin blue green, top and bottom edges blue.

Reaches 50 cm.

On reefs.

Depth range: 1-71 m.

Bermuda to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Sea anemones
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Herbivore
  • Data
  • Benthic macroalgae/seagrasses
  • Benthic microalgae
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 50
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 71