Stoplight Parrotfish

Sparisoma viride

Maximum Size:

25 in (64 cm)


Around 9 years

Typical depth:

3–164 ft (1–50 m)


Stoplight parrotfish are only active during the day, feeding primarily on algae using their strong beak-like jaws. They ingest some coral in the process, grinding it up with the help of specialized teeth in their throats and excreting it as coral sand. Stoplight parrotfish start out female but can switch to male based on population density and the absence of other breeding males.


Sharks, barracuda, grouper, snapper, jacks and moray eels.

Did you know?

Parrotfish ingest coral material along with their food, which they crush using specialized teeth located in their throat. The coral is excreted in the form of white coral sand, and parrotfish produce as much as one ton of coral sand per acre of reef each year.