Definition of parrotfish in US English:



  • 1Any of a number of brightly colored 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 that 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)

    • ‘The oldest fossils of parrotfishes, including one eroding species, are all of Miocene age.’
    • ‘Amid the coral and sponge branches you will find hamlets, basslets, parrotfish and moray eels.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They also learned at least one species, the rainbow parrotfish, depends on mangroves for its very survival.’
  • 2Australian NZ A brightly colored marine fish, especially one of the wrasse family.

    Several species in the family Labridae

    • ‘Parrotfishes have traditionally been given their own family but current phylogenetic data suggest that parrotfishes are one radiation within the Labridae.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Off Byron the parrotfish and nice size squire and snapper are appearing.’