Schlegel's Parrotfish (species: Scarus schlegeli) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Scarus schlegeli
Schlegel's Parrotfish

©Andy Lewis: A Terminal Phase Schlegel's Parrotfish

©Andy Lewis: Schlegel's Parrotfish, Lizard Island.

©Anne Hoggett: Scarus schlegeli at Horseshoe Reef, Lizard Island.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Scaridae
Genus Scarus
Species Scarus schlegeli



Distinguishing features

A small to medium sized dark purple parrotfish, with a light blue patch on the upper anterior part of the body, and a yellow-edged vertical blue line through the midsection. Initial phase fish are dark brown with 4-5 pale vertical chevron bands on the body.


  • Up to 40 cm (Standard length)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Found in nearly all habitats, although favours sheltered backreef areas with high vertical relief, such as Granite bluff and Mermaid Cove.

Found in most locations around the Island.


Juvenile and initial phase Schlegel's Parrotfish are usually seen in schools with other pale brown scarid IP fishes such as S. rivulatus and S. psittacus, however the terminal males are more often seen as solitary individuals. They feed on benthic turf algae in areas of coral rubble. This species is quite short lived, only reaching 8 years of age around Lizard Island. Males are somewhat territorial and maintain small harems of females.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Bellwood, D.R. and J.H. Choat (1989). A description of the juvenile phase colour patterns of 24 parrotfish species (Family Scaridae) from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Records of the Australian Museum, 41: 1-41. LIRS catalog number 264.

Other references

  • Bellwood, D.R. (1985). The functional morphology, systematics and behavioural ecology of parrotfishes (Family Scaridae), Ph.D. thesis, James Cook University, Townsville. LIRS catalog number 310.
  • Bellwood, D.R. (1988). Ontogenetic changes in the diet of early post-settlement Scarus species (Pisces: Scaridae), Journal of Fish Biology, 33: 213-219. LIRS catalog number 396.
  • View all references