Dusky parrotfish Scarus niger

  • Fringing Reef
  • Parrotfish
  • Fauna
  • Lagoon coral patches


The Scarus niger, of the order of Perciformes and family Scaridae (Parrotfishes) is commonly known as the Dusky Parrotfish, Black Parrotfish, Swarthy Parrotfish. It has a total of 9 dorsal spines, 10 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines and 9 anal soft rays. In the Pacific, the individuals are monochromatic while in the Western Indian Ocean, it has a distinct primary red phase. Juveniles have a pair of black spots on the tail which is a distinguishing feature[1]. Parrotfish also possess teeth in both jaws that fuse to form a parrot like beak.


[1] ‘Scarus Niger Summary Page’.

Habitat and ecology

This species is present across the Indo-Pacific region. The recorded depth range reaches 20m. It can be found in coral rich areas of clear lagoons, chains and outer reef slopes. Individuals are usually solitary. Juveniles can form small groups over algae and coral reefs inshore. The diet consists of algae.


Conservation and management

According to the IUCN Red list, this species is categorized as being of ‘Least Concern’. It is harvested for artisanal fisheries. No conservation measures are in place for this species. It is present in many MPAs though[1].


[1] ‘Scarus Niger’.

Did you know?

This species can reach a maximum recorded length of 40 cm.