The Tropical Fish That Changes Gender – The Stoplight Parrotfish

Stoplight Parrotfish

If you are planning a trip to Turks and Caicos, then we recommend you set aside days of leisure time for snorkeling. The perfectly clear waters of Turks and Caicos combined with the coral reefs that extend across the western side of Providenciales make for one of the most stunning snorkeling locations in the world. During your snorkeling adventure you will come across a myriad of fish species, but one of our favorites is the Stoplight Parrot Fish. They get their common name from a yellow spot near the pectoral fin which is found only in terminal phase (TP) males.

Although the pure joy of snorkeling through a school of Stoplight Parrotfish may be an amazing experience, a little knowledge about the behavior of the species will fill your life with a sense of wonder. The majority of juvenile Stoplight Parrotfish are female. Individuals that were born as males (known as primary males) will remain males into their terminal stage. Sex changes often occur when population numbers are low, and involve females becoming males. Stoplight Parrotfish reach sexual maturity by the age of four. Secondary males may reproduce as females before changing sex. Primary males will often mate in groups with one female, while secondary males will reserve females as their own to mate with. Secondary males maintain and defend a harem of multiple (usually 3-7) females, mating with them daily.

If this story fascinates you and you want to learn how to identify the sex and phase of a Stoplight Parrotfish, then we please follow the links below and begin a new journey under the surface of the ocean.

Identify the Stoplight Parrotfish phase:

In depth knowledge about the Stoplight Parrotfish:

We invite you to come to Turks & Caicos and stay with us on our beautiful Caribbean Island, Providenciales. Our hotel offers an intimate condominium property featuring just 42 beautifully appointed suites. The property surrounds you with beautiful pools and the serenity of its private and impeccably maintained gardens, yet you are only steps from Grace Bay Beach. Make a reservation today and experience the beauty, wonder, and joy of Turks & Caicos.