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

Scientific Name: Scarus tricolor

English Name: Tricolour parrotfish

Creole Name: Kakatwa

French Name: Perroquet tricolore

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


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

Relatively small slender-bodied parrotfish. Mouth nearly terminal; lips covering most of dental plates. Upper dental plate of Terminal phase (and 
occasionally large Initial phase) usually with 1-2 conical teeth on side, none on lower. Cheek scale rows 3, lower row with 2-6 scales. Initial phase 
caudal fin truncate to moderately emarginate; Terminal phase deeply emarginate to lunate.

Initial phase: upper half of body blackish with a bluish-purple sheen, shading on lower flank to blue-green and to orange-yellow ventrally. 
Scale edges are blackish. Head and thorax blackish. Iris yellow to orange-yellow. Dental plates white. Dorsal fin blackish becoming greyish orange 
posteriorly. Anal fin orange. Pectoral fins with dark rays and pale membranes. Pelvic fins brownish to orange-brown or orange. Caudal fin orange-red.

Terminal phase: body greenish anteriorly becoming increasingly pink to pinkish-orange posteriorly. Each scale has salmon-pink bar that becomes more 
prominent dorsally until the caudal peduncle where green again intensifies. Two distinctive green bands on the head. One above the eye originating in 
front of eye, passing along top of orbit and to upper end of operculum. The second originating from the front of the snout and passing under the eye and 
terminating just posterior to eye. Head above upper green line dull lavender, suffused with green dorsally. Orange pink colour between green lines around 
eye. Iris yellow. Cheek below lower green line orange-pink. Broad margin of salmon-pink on upper lip; lower lip edged with blue-green, followed by a 
transverse band of salmon, then a transverse band of blue-green which is linked to a broad longitudinal band of the same colour ventrally on head. 
Dental plates deep blue-green, edged in white. Dorsal and anal fins orange-pink with blue margins and narrow green basal band. Pectoral fins with upper 
blue-green border then reddish rays with pale membranes. Axil of pectoral fins yellow with a distal transverse bar. Pelvic fins pale salmon-pink with a 
pale blue margin. Caudal fin blue-green with a submarginal band of orange-pink in each lobe connected basally with abroad transverse bar of the same 


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 26.6 cm SL. 

The above maximum size SL (Standard Length)  is derived from a study in the Pacific. A 2019-20 study of the parrotfish fishery in Seychelles (Nevill 2020) 
regularly recorded Terminal phase specimens with an SL over 26.6 cm. The largest recorded was 30 cm SL. 

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits lagoon and seaward reefs, in areas with dense coral growth (depth 2-40 m). Usually solitary, sometimes in groups. Feeds on benthic algae. 
Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding.

Fishery Status:

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






Bray, D.J. (2018). Scarus tricolor in Fishes of Australia, (01/04/19).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2019). Fishbase. (01/04/19).
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
Russell, B. et al. (2012). Scarus tricolor. The IUCN Red List 2012: (01/04/19).


Nevill, J.E.G. (2019). Scarus tricolor, Tricolour parrotfish. Seychelles Seatizens. (updated 22/08/22).  

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