The Stoplight Parrotfish is one of the main grazers of our beautiful reefs and performs a very important role, preventing the algae from overgrowing the corals. It is a protected marine species of Bonaire. Both the males and females have a very distinct colour pattern, which makes them hard to miss during a dive. If you pay close attention you can even hear them taking bites out of the reef. They digest the algae and loose the calcium carbonate, of which the skeleton of the reef is built up, through their gills. Did you know that our beaches are made of parrotfish poop…??
Some corals survive this ordeal and land elsewhere on the reef to start a new colony of their own.
In this way the Stoplight Parrotfish also helps to disperse the reefs. It is found in the Wider Caribbean region and in all of the six Dutch Caribbean islands. This species typically reaches a size of around 40 cm (~15.7″) in adulthood with an absolute maximum of 60 cm (~23.6″).