Parrotfish are colourful tropical fish that spend most of their day eating coral algae.
Through this activity, they play a very important role in
keeping the reef clean and maintaining the health of the corals.
About 90 species are known to belong to the Scaridae family.
They are usually found in the waters of the tropical seas.
These fish have a special property. Almost all of them start their lives as females.
Very few are born male. They are called primary males.
Until adulthood, young females live in small schools.
Then the largest female will transform into a male (secondary male) and she/he will be
the lord of the harem and he will mate with each female.
This transformation occurs when it is strong enough to deal with the other males or
one of the males disappears from the group. This transformation takes about a few weeks,
while she changes completely inside. The ovaries are absorbed and replaced by testicles.
The shape of her body changes and its colour changes completely. However, this
transformation is not irreversible. Secondary males can also turn back into females over time.