Ka Mo'olelo Moana: Sandmaking Parrotfish Have Interesting Lives
Source: The Maui News
April 1, 2012
"Last month's article focused on sand: what it is and where it comes from. It is an interesting topic to know more about and is sure fun to think about when at the beach, ankle deep in the product of the parrotfish's hard work. The uhu, or parrotfish, is praised for being the proverbial sand factory, but it is worth mentioning that without one you may not have the other.
This family of primarily herbivorous fish when fully grown ranges in size from the 12-inch yellowbar parrotfish to the 28-inch ember parrotfish, the largest in Hawaii. The vibrant colors of the supermale (yes, that is what he is called) are stunning and their stocky figure makes them easy to spot.
Parrotfish live in harems so if you spot a vibrantly colored male, look at the fish close by. They will likely be the same shape but are smaller and noticeably less colorful. These are the females, initial phase males, and juveniles, which can be red, gray or a combination of both. Within each harem is a hierarchy and there is a dominant female."
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