Scarus rubroviolaceus (Bleeker 1847)
Scarus rubroviolaceus (Bleeker 1847)
Genus: , ,

Scientific Name: Scarus rubroviolaceus

English Name: Ember parrotfish

Creole Name: Kakatwa rouz

French Name: Perroquet braisé

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


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

Medium to large sized, moderately full-bodied parrotfish. Lips cover one to two-thirds of dental plates; no canine teeth on lower dental plate of either 
phase; initial phase with 0-1 canines on upper dental plate and terminal phase with 1-3 canines. Adults, particularly terminal phase, develop distinctive 
gibbus forehead.

Initial Phase: body red, scales with dark edges and intermittent, elongated, horizontal dark markings giving an overall mottled and reticulated appearance,
becoming plain red ventrally. Front of head red. Dental plates pale red to white. Iris yellow with an outer rim of red. Median fins dull light orange-red. 
Pectoral fins red on dorsal third, pale with orange-red rays on ventral two-thirds. Pelvic fins red. Caudal fin truncate on small fish, emarginate on larger 

Terminal Phase: Salient characteristics are green body with rich greenish-yellow on flanks, gibbus forehead and lunate tail.  Detailed description 
(derived primarily from Randall & Bruce 1983): green dorsally, suffused with dark purplish, shading to greenish yellow on sides, the scales edged in 
orange, and becoming light blue-green ventrally. Edge of upper lip narrowly salmon-pink with a broad band of blue-green above it; edge of lower lip 
blue-green. Chin salmon crossed by a band of blue-green which curves dorsally to join blue-green band of lower lip and continues to region below and 
slightly posterior to orbit. Iris orange. Dental plates blue-green edged in white. Dorsal fin orange with a blue border, a streak of blue-green along each 
ray reducing to green spot posteriorly. Anal fin blue with an orange band near base of fin. Pectoral fins broadly blue-green on upper edge, often with a 
streak of violet just below it, the rest of the fin pale with blue-green rays which fade to whitish distally. Pelvic fins orange with a broad blue lateral 
margin. Caudal fin lobes blue. Central part orangish enclosing a semicircular blue-green region with narrow orange margin.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 70 cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits rocky or coral seaward reefs (depth 1-36 m). Found solitary or in pairs but may also form large dense schools of 300-400 individuals (Choat et al.
2012). Feeds on benthic algae. A monandric protogynous hermaphrodite. Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding. Choat et al. (2012) cited maximum age 
of specimens in Seychelles as 11 years compared to 15 years in Oman and 12 years on the Great Barrier Reef.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in the fish trap fishery, where it is the third most common parrotfish species
caught by weight (Nevill 2020). Interestingly Fishbase (Froese & Pauly 2019) cites this species as being typically uncommon. Examination of catch, also 
indicates the illegal use of spear guns and possibly the hand spearing of sleeping specimens at night.


Fishers do not recognise both phases as the same species. The Creole name " kakatwa rouz" pertains to initial phase only.


Choat, J.H. et al. (2012). Scarus rubroviolaceus. The IUCN Red List 2012: (31/03/19).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2019). FishBase. (31/03/19).
Heemstra, P. & Heemstra, E. (2004). Coastal Fishes of Southern Africa. NISC SAIAB. ISBN: 1-920033-01-7.
Nevill, J. (2013). A Species Identification Guide for Commonly Caught Fish in the Seychelles Near-Shore Artisanal Fishery. GOS/UNDP/GEF.
Nevill, J.E.G. (2020). Assessment and Valuation of the Parrotfish Fishery to Support an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries. Project Report. 
Randall, J.E. & Bruce, R.W. (1983). The Parrotfishes of the Subfamily Scarinae of the Western Indian Ocean with Descriptions of Three New species. 
Ichthyological Bulletin of the J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology. Number 47 March1983 ISSN: 0073-4381


Nevill, J.E.G. (2019). Scarus rubroviolaceus, Ember parrotfish. Seychelles Seatizens. (updated 21/08/22)

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