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Species: Sparisoma viride, Stoplight Parrotfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head pointed, convex between eyes
IP: dark brown over red, fins red, C base pale bar
TP: green, head - purple stripes; operculum yellow spot, C yellow blotch & crescent
juv - dark red + grid of white spots, fins red, C base white

Sparisoma viride (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Stoplight Parrotfish

Body elongate, moderately deep, somewhat compressed; head relatively pointed; convex between eyes; flap at front nostril taller than wide, 4-7 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 17-21; dorsal fin IX, 10, spine membranes with 1 cirrus; no notch between spines and rays; anal fin III, 9; tail fin straight in juvenile, concave in adult, more so in TP; scales large, smooth, 1 row on cheek, 4 scales on center of nape before dorsal fin; lateral line in 2 sections.

Juvenile: brown above, reddish below; 3 rows of white spots along side from operculum to tail base; a dark blotch just behind upper operculum; tail fin dark with white bar near base. Initial phase: brown above, fading to red below, pale areas on head, centers of many upper body scales pale; fins except tail red-brown; tail fin with brown base, a whitish center and a broad red crescent at rear. Terminal phase: head and body green; edge of operculum pink, with a yellow spot at the top; a purplish stripe from mouth along cheek; top of snout and front of nape purplish; dorsal, anal and pelvic fins pink, with blue edges; tail fin green, a yellow blotch at base and a yellow crescent in from rear edge, rear edge blue-green.

Reaches 64 cm; up to at least 9 years.

On reefs, juveniles also in adjacent seagrass beds.

Depth range: 0-107 m.

Bermuda to the S Caribbean. Its brazilian sister species is S. amplum.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sea anemones
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • 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
  • Sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa
  • 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
  • 64
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 107