These colourful creatures are abundant in the waters around Koh Tao and other tropical waters around the world. These fish are incredibly important to our oceans, without them coral reefs wouldn’t survive, here are a few facts explaining why they are so awesome!
- Some male Parrotfish have harems of females and if the male Parrotfish dies the dominant female will change gender and colour in a matter of weeks and become the new dominant male.
- Certain species of Parrotfish will envelop their bodies in ‘Pajamas’ each night; these PJs are made of a mucus which they secrete from their head, it looks like a bubble and scientists reckon that they use it as a defense mechanism to disguise their scent from predators during the night.
- The lovely white sand on tropical beaches around the world is in fact digested rock and algae that the Parrotfish have eaten. Of which they produce 90KG a year!
- Without Parrotfish coral reefs would have less of a chance of surviving especially with climate change going the way it is, Parrotfish are grazers of the reefs, they help keep the algae at bay so it doesn’t suffocate the corals, as well as keeping rocks clear for any coral polyps that may land there to form a reef.
- You can determine what life phase a parrotfish is in by their colour; for example; if they are green, blue with orange and pink patches they are male, if they are browns, reds and greys they are female. As mentioned above Parrotfish can change gender!
These colourful little fishies are so important to the ocean, next time you spot one diving remind yourself just how awesome they are!