Males are bluish-green in colour with yellow on the mid sides. They have blue bands below the mouth. Females have a reddish head and fins with dark spots on a pale background on most of the body. At a glance, the male of this species can be confused with the blue-barred parrotfish.
Scientific name: Scarus rubroviolaceus
Common names: Ember parrotfish, red lip parrotfish
Size: Can grow up to 65cm
Indo-Pacific, Oman south to the Protea Banks on the southern KwaZulu-Natal coast.
It is found on shallow coral reefs and occasionally rocky reefs.
This species scrapes algae off rocks and coral skeletons.
The females are often found in schools with one male. Solitary individuals and pairs can also be found.
It is not common as a table fish in South Africa.
SASSI: not yet listed
It is a relatively fast-growing species with a maximum age of 15 years. It is heavily fished in parts of its range but does occur in Marine Protected Areas. More research is needed to understand the long-term effects of habitat loss and degradation on these populations. Further research monitoring of harvesting is necessary.