Green Humphead Parrotfish picture used with permission


          The Bolbometopon muricatum, commonly known as the Green Humphead Parrotfish dwells in the outer edges of coral reefs within the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Ocean. Most populations of parrotfish habitats are commonly found off of Japan, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, as well as other coastal areas of South America (Kobayashi et al. 2011). These waters tend to be warmer and serve as a place of protection, as well as feeding and reproductive grounds for the 85 species of Bolbometopon muricatum that inhabit these outer reefs. Refer to Classification page for more information. These reefs are usually large and contain many other animals and organisms (Bellwood et al. 2012). Some of these organisms include the Ocellaris Clownfish, Bull Shark, and Moon Jellyfish. Each level of the sea is very important to the life of the parrotfish as they live in all three parts of the sea (deep, middle and shallow). In each region the parrotfish is exposed to different situations as well as different organisms, never the less these steps are important as each location plays a key role in the life cycle of this particular fish.
Green Humphead Parrotfish natural habitat
          The shallow and middle regions are used primarily for feeding and reproduction.  The algae that the parrot fish consumes live in shallow to middle waters as the algae needs the light source to reproduce and feed (Min de Mitcheson et al. 2011). Because the Green Humphead Parrotfish must come to these light exposed areas, it utilizes a slime mechanism that covers the scales as they are very susceptible to sun damage. This mechanism makes it possible for the parrotfish to feed in the middle region without directly exposing itself to possibly harmful rays, as the middle region offers exposure to a wider range of harmful rays than the deep region. As well this protective mechanism allows the parrotfish to safely dwell in the shallow water (Bellwood et al. 2012).
          The shallow region of the sea not only contains an abundant food supply, it also provides an optimal breeding ground for these fish. In comparison with the deeper regions of the sea, because of its exposure to the sun’s light, shallow water is warmer. This warmth provides better conditions for the parrotfish to reproduce. The habitat of the parrotfish provides the best location for reproduction as there are often caves and grooves within the ocean floor (Kobayashi et al. 2011). Environmental factors such as caves, and groves are used to store eggs. Warmer water are necessary for life to occur. If these fish were unable to swim to shallower depths, the eggs or offspring wouldn’t survive because of the waters temperature. Refer to Reproduction page for more information.
          The deeper region is responsible for overall protection from other predators and protection from fishermen. Refer to Interaction page for more details. Parrotfish use the deep sea as a way to escape predators that need to stay in warm water to survive (Min de Mitcheson et al. 2011).  By going into the deeper water the Bolbometopon muricatum hide in underwater caves blending into the dark crevasse using their camouflage like scales. The colors they reflect resemble their surrounding but also reflect their location around the world. This makes each parrotfish unique and their use of each region of the sea different from one another.

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