One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any of a number of brightly coloured marine fish with a parrot-like beak, which they use to scrape food from coral and other hard surfaces.
a widespread fish of warm seas which may secrete a mucous cocoon to deter predators (family Scaridae: Scarus and other genera).
an edible fish of the southern Indian ocean (Oplegnathus conwayi, family Oplegnathidae).
- ‘Amid the coral and sponge branches you will find hamlets, basslets, parrotfish and moray eels.’
- ‘They also learned at least one species, the rainbow parrotfish, depends on mangroves for its very survival.’
- ‘I eyed a buxom coral trout with blue spots on a pink background - they make good eating - and listened to the parrotfish gnawing the coral.’
- ‘As parrotfish graze they scrape away minute bits of white coral limestone along with the algae covering.’
- ‘The oldest fossils of parrotfishes, including one eroding species, are all of Miocene age.’
2Australian NZ A brightly coloured marine fish, especially one of the wrasse family.
Several species in the family Labridae
- ‘Off Byron the parrotfish and nice size squire and snapper are appearing.’
- ‘Outside of Ballina there have been some nice catches of pearl perch and parrotfish; while off Evans Head there have been some nice catches of snapper.’
- ‘Parrotfishes have traditionally been given their own family but current phylogenetic data suggest that parrotfishes are one radiation within the Labridae.’
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