Bicolor Parrotfish

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Cetoscarus bicolor - (Rüppell, 1829)
Bicolor Parrotfish

Juvenile, often sold to misinformed aquarists. Scott W. Michael


Conscientious aquarists generally shun parrotfishes when they turn up for sale in local shops.

They grow large, have specialized feeding habits, and cannot soar through the water as they would in the wild. Most fail to thrive and perish in a period of months.

Family: Scaridae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Habitat: Reef, both seaward and in bays and lagoons.

Maximum length: 90 cm (35 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 1136 L (300 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (75 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)

General swimming level: Midwater to bottom


Rasp algae and coral polyps from rock and live coral colonies in the wild, a feeding regimen not easily replicated in the home aquarium.

Aquarium Compatibility

Will bite chunks from live stony corals. Not aggressive with most fishes, but may display aggression toward conspecifics.


Pelagic spawners, pelagic eggs and larvae. Captive breeding not recorded.

Reference: 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM