Darkcap Parrotfish (species: Scarus oviceps) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Scarus oviceps
Darkcap Parrotfish

©Anne Hoggett: Terminal phase Scarus oviceps at Lizard Island. Note dark blue/purple "cap" and two-tone pectoral fin with bright green leading edge and blue/purple trailing edge.

©Anne Hoggett: Terminal phase Scarus oviceps from above showing distinctive pectoral fins, at Lizard Island.

©Lyle Vail: Initial phase Scarus oviceps at No Name Reef near Lizard Island.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Scaridae
Genus Scarus
Species Scarus oviceps



Distinguishing features

Terminal phase: two-tone pectoral fin, pale blue/green anteriorly, dark blue/purple posteriorly; dark purple "cap" on head, body paler blue with narrow darker margins on scales.

Initial phase: pectoral fin translucent/grey; dark grey "cap" on head with darker grey stripe through eye, body paler grey with one or two wide yellow bands behind the cap.


  • Up to 31 cm (Length of terminal phase according to Allen et al, 2003.)
  • Up to 25 cm (Length of initial phase according to Allen et al, 2003.)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Allen, G., R. Steene, P. Humann and N. Deloach (2003). Reef fish identification: Tropical Pacific New World Publications Inc., Jacksonville, FL, USA.
  • 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.
  • View all references