Calotomus carolinus (Valenciennes, 1840)
Calotomus carolinus (Valenciennes, 1840)
Genus: , ,

Scientific Name: Calotomus carolinus

English Name: Carolines parrotfish

Creole Name: Kakatwa ledan

French Name: Perroquet des Carolines

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 9; Dorsal rays: 10; Anal spines: 3; Anal rays: 9.

Meidum-sized parrotfish with distincive teeth. Teeth not fused to form dental plates. Upper jaw with slightly curved, bluntly pointed, incisiform teeth in 3 to 6 oblique rows 
(number of teeth increases with size). Lower jaw with 4 to 7 rows; one or two strongly curved canine teeth on side of upper jaw. Upper jaw teeth overlapping lower jaw teeth 
when mouth is closed. Caudal fin rounded in juveniles, double emarginate with slightly prolonged lobes in large males.

Initial phase: body greyish to reddish brown often faintly blotched with dark brown and whitish flecks. Shading ventrally to red or orange brown. Orangish line, often present, 
from eye to corner of mouth and here reddish lines extending from posterior edge of eye. Fins similar in colour to body with pale flecks. Reddish brown iris.

Terminal Phase: body greyish green to dark green, scale edges with narrow vertically elongate bars or spots of salmon pink. Head blue-green with salmon pink to orange lines 
radiating from the eye. One or more bands of same colour on front of snout and chin. Dorsal and anal fins blue-green with irregular longitudinal bands of pink or orange, 
unscaled part of caudal fin blue-green with irregular pink to orange markings and narrow whitish posterior margin. Pectoral fins greenish on about basal two thirds with some 
orangish streaks, becoming pale on outer third.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 54 cm TL. In Seychelles catch, typically 30-35 cm TL. 

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits coral reefs, seagrass beds, sandy and rubble areas with thick algal growth (depth 1-71 m, typically 2-27 m). Found singly or in small groups. Feeds on encrusting 
and leafy algae and seagrass, and scrapes algae from dead coral. Spawning was observed in January and July in Aldabra Atoll (Indian Ocean). Spawning commenced when the 
terminal phase male started rapidly circling an initial phase fish on the reef slope. This species is a protogynous hermaphrodite which may be monandric in having only 
secondary males (Robertson et al. 1982).

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in the fish trap fishery, where it is a regular but not numerous component of the catch. 


C. carolinus is very similar to C. viridescens and much more abundant than it in the catch, the latter is typically misidentifed as the former. 


Choat, J.H. & Randall, J.E. (1986). A Review of the Parrotfishes (Family Scaridae) of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia with Description of a new Species. Records of the 
Australian Museum 38(4): 175-239. ISSN 0067-1975.
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2018). FishBase. (10/03/19).
Heemstra, P & Heemstra, E. (2004). Coastal Fishes of Southern Africa. NISC SAIAB. ISBN: 1-920033-01-7.
Robertson, D.R. et al. (1982). Gonochorism, protogynous sex-change and spawning in three Sparisomatinine parrotfishes from the western Indian Ocean. Bulletin of Marine Science 32(4): 868-879.
Russell, B. et al. (2012). Calotomus carolinus. The IUCN Red List 2012: (10/03/19). 


Nevill, J.E.G. & Mason-Parker, C. (2019). Calotomus carolinus, Carolines parrotfish. Seychelles Seatizens. (updated 10/08/22).

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