nounplural noun parrotfish, plural noun parrotfishes
1Any of a number of brightly colored marine fish with a parrot-like beak, which they use to scrape food from coral and other hard surfaces.
a widespread fish of warm seas that may secrete a mucous cocoon to deter predators (family Scaridae: Scarus and other genera)
an edible fish of the southern Indian ocean (Oplegnathus conwayi, family Oplegnathidae)‘As parrotfish graze they scrape away minute bits of white coral limestone along with the algae covering.’
- ‘I eyed a buxom coral trout with blue spots on a pink background - they make good eating - and listened to the parrotfish gnawing the coral.’
- ‘Amid the coral and sponge branches you will find hamlets, basslets, parrotfish and moray eels.’
- ‘They also learned at least one species, the rainbow parrotfish, depends on mangroves for its very survival.’
- ‘The oldest fossils of parrotfishes, including one eroding species, are all of Miocene age.’
2Australian, New Zealand A brightly colored marine fish, especially one of the wrasse family.
Several species in the family Labridae‘Parrotfishes have traditionally been given their own family but current phylogenetic data suggest that parrotfishes are one radiation within the Labridae.’
- ‘Off Byron the parrotfish and nice size squire and snapper are appearing.’
- ‘Outside of Ballina there have been some nice catches of pearl perch and parrotfish; while off Evans Head there have been some nice catches of snapper.’