|Stoplight parrotfish in the terminal phase (male)|
Everyone loves stoplight parrotfish because they are one of the most beautiful fish on the coral reef. Here are 5 less known facts that will make them even more intriguing to you…
1. Some stoplight parrotfish are transexuals. Stoplight parrotfish are all born as females, and a select few change into males later in life.
2. Stoplight parrotfish are musicians. When you hear that funny crackling sound underwater when you are snorkeling, you are actually hearing their bony teeth plates grinding coral to extract bits of algae. Sound travels 40 times faster in water, so their crunching sounds combine into a musical ensemble.
3. Stoplight parrotfish are responsible for making much of the sand on the ocean floor and on our beaches. After they digest the living matter from the corals they eat, the limestone from the hard coral skeletons passes through their systems and, viola! They poop out sand!
4. Stoplight parrotfish completely change their colors when they change genders from female to male. They go from a mottled red, black, and white pattern to an emerald green body with yellow and pink highlights.
5. Stoplight parrotfish sleep inside of a special mucus bubble that they secrete. This mucus bubble protects them from predators at night.
Aren’t Stoplight parrotfish awesome! Keep following us to learn more about our oceans’ amazing creatures!