Chlorurus microrhinos (Bleeker, 1854)
Steephead parrotfish

This is one of the more common parrots at Kwajalein. It forms schools on seaward and pinnacle reefs and can also be found in small groups.

Large males develop a rounded bump on the head.

Green teeth.

Initial phase adults have a more sloping forehead.

Asleep in a ledge at night.

Schooling in this species is common.

Like other Chlorurus, they scrape off a layer of reef when feeding on benthic algae, both wearing down the reef and functioning as one of the preeminent processors of sand on the reef. They seem to know when you have a camera, since they will swarm around leaving clouds of drifting sand particles to interfere with photography.

Occasionally, parrots like Chlorurus microrhinos will graze on living corals, leaving their tell-tale bite marks such as those on the surface of the Porites below.

Created 8 March 2015
Updated 18 September 2016

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