Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Sparisoma radians, Bucktooth Parrotfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

IP grey-green, pectoral base in green patch, genital papilla pink
TP grey-green, opal spot behind eye, black - throat, base of pectoral, outer edges D, A & C
juv like IP

Sparisoma radians (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1840)

Bucktooth Parrotfish

Body elongate, oval, somewhat compressed; flap at front nostril simple, with no cirri in adult; teeth fused into a beak with broad plates, outer surface of plates rough with individual teeth visible, partly covered by lips; front edge of top jaw inside front edge of lower jaw when mouth is closed; 1-2 canines on rear side of top jaw; large crushing plates of molar teeth form “pharyngeal mill” in throat; gill rakers 10-13; dorsal fin IX, 10, spine membranes with several cirri, no notch between spines and rays; anal fin III, 9; tail fin convex in both color phases; scales large, smooth, 1 row on cheek, 4 scales on center of nape before dorsal fin; 2 scales on centerline before pelvic fins; lateral line in 2 sections.

Initial phase: greenish brown above, creamy white below; a greenish blotch just behind operculum that includes base of pectoral fin; genital papilla pink; no dark spot at front of dorsal fin. Terminal phase: Greenish brown above, yellowish grey below, although throat and lower belly may be yellow; an opalescent spot just behind eye, lower edge of eye blue, a blue stripe from eye to tip of top jaw, a reddish stripe under that; black under throat, base of pectoral fin black; outer edges of soft dorsal and anal fins and rear edge of tail fin broadly black.

Reaches 20 cm.

Algal and seagrass beds.

Depth range: 0-130 m; usually < 10 m.

Bermuda to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Estuary
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • 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 non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-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
  • 20
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 130