Scarus frenatus

Scarus frenatus is one of the 52 members of the genus Scarus, which together with 9 additional genera make up the parrotfishes family (Scaridae) in which a total of 99 species are currently described. This species is found in the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, from the Red Sea to the Line Islands, southern Japan and western Australia. In relation to their habitat, they live up to 25 meters deep, in the outer reefs more exposed to currents, although occasionally we can find them in the shallow waters of coral lagoons.

The maximum total length of Scarus frenatus is 45 cm, although it is normal to find specimens between 20 and 30 cm in length. Its body is elongated, oval-shaped and laterally compressed. The face is rounded and has a small terminal mouth with strong teeth fused together to form a robust beak. The dorsal and ventral profile of the rostrum is concave. The caudal fin is slightly lunate in shape, with the males having slightly elongated upper and lower lobes.

The appearance of Scarus frenatus changes during its life stages. During the initial phase, it has a reddish to brownish color, with the presence of six to seven dark horizontal stripes along the body and fins are red. In males, during the terminal phase, the back of the body and the lower half of the head appear abruptly lighter. In addition, in males, the caudal fins are bluish-green with a large orange crescent-shaped area.

Scarus frenatus is a protogynous hermaphrodite species in which there are two distinct phases, an initial phase that includes females and primaries, that is to say males that were born male, and a terminal phase in which females transform into secondary males. It is an oviparous species in which the male and female form mating pairs.

Generally, Scarus frenatus is a solitary fish, although at feeding time it may join schools of other species to search for areas where algae grow on the bottom.