Fivesaddle parrotfishScarus scaber

  • Fringing Reef
  • Parrotfishes
  • Fauna
  • Lagoon coral patches


The Scarus scaber, of the order of Perciformes and family Scaridae (Parrotfishes) is commonly known as the Five-saddle Parrotfish and Dusky-capped Parrotfish. The males are dark blue to steel grey or olive like. There is a teal coloured horizontal band from the tip of the muzzle to the operculum passing under the eye. The upper body is blue and grades into blue yellow or green. The females have a steel grey upper body and white lower body that grades into pinkish beige. Scales are grey. There is a dark grey to black horizontal bar that extends from the tip of the muzzle to the operculum, crossing the eye[1]. It has a total of 9 dorsal spines, 10 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines and 9 anal soft rays[2]. Parrotfish also possess teeth in both jaws that fuse to form a parrot like beak.


[1] ‘Scarus Scaber | DORIS’.

[2] ‘Scarus Scaber Summary Page’.

Habitat and ecology

This species is present across the Western Indian Ocean. It is found in shallow lagoon reefs where there is a dense coral cover. The recorded depth range is between 1 to 20m. Their diet consists of algae found on coral reefs. Individuals can be solitary or can form small group. They form distinct pairs during breeding.


Conservation and management

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


[1] ‘Scarus Scaber.’

Did you know?

This species can reach a maximum recorded length of 37 cm.