Tricolour Parrotfish, Scarus tricolor Bleeker 1847

Other Names: Three-colour Parrotfish

A Tricolour Parrotfish, Scarus tricolor, at Timur Island, Bunaken Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Source: Bernard Dupont / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A greenish parrotfish usually with a pinkish or yellowish overlay on the rear of the body, and a purplish submarginal band on each caudal-fin lobe. Females are dark grey to almost black becoming blue to bluish-green on the lower side, with black scale margins, a red caudal fin, an orange anal fin and dusky yellowish to orange pelvic fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Scarus tricolor in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jun 2024,

Tricolour Parrotfish, Scarus tricolor Bleeker 1847

More Info


Australian territories of Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean - not known from mainland Australia. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Individuals or groups inhabit areas with dense coral growth. mostly on seaward reefs, although sometimes in lagoons.


Dorsal fn IX, 10; Anal fin III, 9; Pectoral fin 14-15; Median predorsal scales 6-7; Cheek scale rows 3, lower row with 2-6 scales.
Upper dental plate of males (and occasionally large females) usually with 1-2 conical teeth on side; lips covering half of dental plate; caudal fin lunate in males, slightly to moderately emarginate in females.


Herbivore - feeds on benthic algae.


Taken byartisanal fishers in parts of its range.

Species Citation

Scarus tricolor Bleeker 1847, Natuur-en Geneeskundig Archief voor Neêrland's Indië 4(2): 164. Type locality: Jakarta (as Batavia), Java, Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Tricolour Parrotfish, Scarus tricolor Bleeker 1847


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Bellwood, D.R. 1994. A phylogenetic study of the parrotfishes family Scaridae (Pisces: Labroidei), with a revision of genera. Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 20: 1-86

Bellwood, D.R. 2001. Scaridae. pp. 3468-3492 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218. 

Bleeker, P. 1847. Pharyngognathorum Siluroideorumque species novae Javanenses. Natuur-en Geneeskundig Archief voor Neêrland's Indië 4(2): 155-169 

Hobbs, J.-P.A., Ayling, A.M., Choat, J.H., Gilligan, J.J., McDonald, C.A., Neilson, J. & Newman, S.J. 2010. New records of marine fishes illustrate the biogeographic importance of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Zootaxa 2422: 63–68 

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202 

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S .J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219 

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls. Parenti, P. & 

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Russell, B., Choat, J.H., Clements, K.D., Rocha, L.A., Myers, R., Lazuardi, M.E., Muljadi, A., Pardede, S. & Rahardjo, P. 2012. Scarus tricolor. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T190704A17789893. Downloaded on 03 April 2018.

Westneat, M.W. & Alfaro, M.E. 2005. Phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history of the reef fish family Labridae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 36: 370–390.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37386036


Depth:10-40 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:40 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map