30 Jul '16, 10am
Wake up with the queen parrotfish this morning!
Queen Parrotfish are herbivores that graze the reef, using their beaks to scrape plants and algae from the reef surface. Oftentimes, this habit involves ingesting corals and other animals as well, but they are primarily herbivorous. Through their feeding strategies, parrotfishes create much of the sand around a reef. Upon eating some species of calcareous algae (i.e., algae with a hard skeleton), parrotfishes digest the soft parts and pass the hard parts, which essentially take the form of sand. Through their constant grazing, Queen Parrotfish serve an important ecological function on coral reefs. By removing algae, they open up space on hard surfaces for corals to attach and grow. This species reproduces through a behavior known as broadcast spawning, where females release eggs and males release sperm into the water column above the reef, at the same time. This method inc...