Longnose Parrotfish, Hipposcarus longiceps (Valenciennes 1840)

Other Names: Long-nosed Parrotfish, Pacific Longnose Parrotfish, Red-stripe Parrotfish

A male (terminal phase) Longnose Parrotfish, Hipposcarus longiceps, at Koror Island, Palau. Source: Mark Rosenstein / iNaturalist. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A large parrotfish with a distinctly elongate head. Males (terminal phase) are pale bluish and green, with orange scale margins and an orange upper lip. Females (initial phase) are pale brown to pale grey with a yellowish tail. Small juveniles are whitish to pale brownish with a broad orange stripe ending in a black spot on the tail base. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Hipposcarus longiceps in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/397

Longnose Parrotfish, Hipposcarus longiceps (Valenciennes 1840)

More Info


Ningaloo Reef to Delambre Island and offshore reefs of north Western Australia, to Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and the entire Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean, and the Lord Howe Province in the Tasman Sea. 
Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the east-Indo-west Pacific: Cocos-(Keeling) Islands and East Indian Region to Micronesia, Line Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago, Australia to Ryukyu Islands.

Inhabits sandy and rubble areas around shallow lagoon reefs, and also on seaward reef flats in 2-40 m - usually in groups.


Fished in many parts of its range.


The specific name longiceps is from the Latin longus (= long) + -ceps (= headed), in reference to the long snout of this species.

Species Citation

Scarus longiceps Valenciennes, 1840, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 14: 241. Type locality: Waigeo (as Waigiou), Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Longnose Parrotfish, Hipposcarus longiceps (Valenciennes 1840)


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.

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

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.

Bellwood, D.R. & Choat, J.H. 1989. A description of the juvenile phase colour patterns of 24 parrotfish species (Family Scaridae) from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Records of the Australian Museum 41: 1-41

Bellwood, D.R. & Choat, J.H. 1990. A functional analysis of grazing in parrotfishes (family Scaridae): the ecological implications. Environmental Biology of Fishes 28: 189-214

Choat, J.H., Carpenter, K.E., Clements, K.D., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B., Myers, R., Lazuardi, M.E., Muljadi, A., Pardede, S. & Rahardjo, P. 2012. Hipposcarus longiceps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. . Downloaded on 08 July 2014.

Choat, J.H., Klanten, O.S., L. Van Herwerden, L., Robertson, D.R. & Clements, K.D. 2012. Patterns and processes in the evolutionary history of parrotfishes (Family Labridae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 107: 529-557.

Choat, J.H., van Herwerden, L., Robbins, W.D., Hobbs, J.P. & Ayling, A.M. 2006. A report on the ecological surveys undertaken at Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs, February 2006. Report by James Cook University to the Department of the Environment and Heritage. 65 pp.

Choat, J.H. & Randall, J.E. 1986. A review of the parrotfishes (Family Scaridae) of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia with description of a new species. Records of the Australian Museum 38: 175-228.

Comeros-Raynal, M.T., Choat, J.H., Polidoro, B., Clements, K.D., Abesamis, R., Craig, M.T., Lazuardi, M.E., McIlwain, J., Muljadi, A., Myers, R.F., et al. 2012. The likelihood of extinction of iconic and dominant components of coral reefs: the parrotfishes and surgeonfishes. PLoS ONE http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0039825.

Hoey, A.S. & D.R. Bellwood. 2008. Cross-shelf variation in the role of parrotfishes on the Great Barrier Reef, Coral Reefs 27: 37-47.

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

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Smith, L.L., J.L. Fessler, M.E. Alfaro, J.T. Streelman & M.W. Westneat. 2008. Phylogenetic relationships and the evolution of regulatory gene sequences in the parrotfishes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 49: 136-152.

Valenciennes, A. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1840. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 14 464 pp. pls 389-420.

Wainwright, P.C., D.R. Bellwood, M.W. Westneat, J.R. Grubich & A.S. Hoey. 2004. A functional morphospace for the skull of labrid fishes: patterns of diversity in a complex biomechanical system. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 82: 1-25.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37386008

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-40 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:60 cm TL

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