Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Sparisoma griseorubrum, Grey Parrotfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

IP - red brown, tail base yellow bar, D & C red, A white
TP - green & brown, iris red, tail base & C green, operculum - green lines, pectoral base yellow
juv like IP

Sparisoma griseorubrum Cervigón, 1982

Grey Parrotfish

Body elongate, somewhat compressed; flap at front nostril simple, with no more than 6 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; dorsal fin IX, 10, spine membranes with 1 cirrus, no notch between spines and rays; anal fin III, 9; tail fin slightly concave in IP, 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.

Initial phase: variable; brown to red brown above, reddish to whitish along chin and lower belly; a broad whitish yellow bar on upper ¾ of tail base just before tail fin; fins vary from all red, to dorsal, pectoral and tail fins pinkish, anal fin white; a dark spot on upper pectoral base. Terminal phase: variable; greenish brown to green, flank with a reddish cast, upper tail base pale; body scales with a green edge; irregular green lines around rear of head and cheek; iris red; fins grey-green; outer ¾ of pectoral fin yellow-green, inner ¼ yellow, a conspicuous black spot on upper pectoral base.

Reaches 27 cm.

On reefs.

Depth range: 1-30 m.

The SE Caribbean.

Note: Specimens captured at the type locality of S. griseorubrum are genetically distinct from the Brazilian species S. frondosum. However, some (but not all) individuals that appear to be S. frondosum collected in Brazil are genetically similar to S. griseorubrum collected in Venezuela. The initial and terminal phases of these two species are almost indistinguishable. A number of “Brazilian” species occur in the SE Caribbean, including the Brazilian Sparisoma axillare. There are two possible explanations; S. griseorubrum and S. frondosum are relatively recently diverged separate species and both may be in both the Caribbean and Brazil, or there is one genetically variable species present in both areas, with the name S. frondosum having precedence. Until this situation is resolved we will treat the SE Caribbean population as S. griseorubrum.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • 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
  • 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 only
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 27
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 30