Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Scaridae
(Parrotfishes) > Sparisomatinae
Etymology: Leptoscarus: Greek, leptos = thin + Latin, scarus = a fish cited by ancient writers; 1601 (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 15 m (Ref. 86942). Tropical; 30°N - 35°S, 18°E - 108°W
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 35.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5490)
(total): 9 - 10;
soft rays: 9;
Vertebrae: 25. Color when fresh is greenish with pale and dark brown on scales, the latter almost covering entire scales. Head with irregular bands and spots, most distinct band on the chin. Somewhat fleshy lips, covering teeth in both jaws. Fleshy rim of anterior nostril expands dorsoposteriorly to a flap extending to or beyond posterior nostril. Yellow-orange iris with outer green ring. Flexible dorsal spines; deeply incised inter spinous membrane of dorsal fin. On males have caniniform teeth above the upper dental plates.
Indo-Pacific: northern Red Sea and South Africa to Easter Island, north to southern Japan, south to Poor Knight's Island in New Zealand and Rottnest Island in Australia. Southeast Atlantic: False Bay, South Africa (Ref. 525).
Found in sheltered bays, harbors and lagoons (Ref. 48636). Inhabits seagrass areas or areas with hard substrates heavy with algal cover. Usually occur in small groups. Unlike other parrotfishes, males and females look very similar and do not change sex (Ref. 48636). Feeds on seagrasses and algae (Ref. 30573). Marketed fresh (Ref. 5284).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Spawns in shallow water above grassflats on the falling tide. Investigation of sexual identity of large samples suggest the species is gonochoristic (sex-reversal do not occur), the first sparid species known to be so (Ref. 1875). Also Ref. 103751.
Bruce, R.W. and J.E. Randall, 1985. A revision of the Indo-West Pacific parrotfish genera Calotomus and Leptoscarus (Scaridae: Sparisomatinae). Indo-Pac. Fish. (5):32 p. (Ref. 525)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00871 (0.00565 - 0.01342), b=3.02 (2.89 - 3.15), based on LWR estimates for species & (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.3 ±0.17 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (26 of 100) .