Chlorurus sordidus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Labridae

Scientific Name: Chlorurus sordidus (Forsskål, 1775)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Daisy Parrotfish, Bullethead Parrotfish, Burnt Parrotfish, Green-finned Parrotfish, Green Parrotfish, Shabby Parrotfish
French Kakatoi Vert, Perroquet Grenat, Perroquet Marguerite, Perroquet Sale, Perroquet Vert, Poisson-perroquet Sale
Callyodon albipunctatus Seale, 1910
Callyodon bipallidus Smith, 1956
Callyodon cyanogrammus Jordan & Seale, 1901
Callyodon rostratus Seale, 1910
Pseudosarus troschellii ssp. flavoguttata Steindachner, 1887
Pseudoscarus goldiei Macleay, 1883
Pseudoscarus margaritus Cartier, 1874
Pseudoscarus platodoni Seale, 1901
Pseudoscarus vitriolinus Bryan, 1906
Scaridea leucotaeniata Fowler, 1944
Scarus celebicus Bleeker, 1854
Scarus erythrodon Valenciennes, 1840
Scarus gymnognathos Bleeker, 1853
Scarus mentalis Valenciennes, 1840
Scarus nigricans Valenciennes, 1840
Scarus purpureus Valenciennes, 1840
Scarus sordidus Forsskål, 1775
Scarus sumbawensis Bleeker, 1848
Scarus variegatus Valenciennes, 1840
Xanothon bipallidus (Smith, 1956)
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. and Fricke, R. (eds). 2015. Catalog of Fishes: genera, species, references. Updated 1 October 2015. Available at: (Accessed: 1 October 2015).
Taxonomic Notes: The widespread species Chlorurus sordidus is now partitioned into C. sordidus (Forsskål 1775), in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean and Chlorurus spilurus (Valenciennes 1840), in the Pacific and Eastern Indian Ocean based on mitochondrial sequence and morphology data (Bay et al. 2004, Randall 2010, Beck 2010). It is likely that the Red Sea population will also be distinct (J.H. Choat pers comm. 2009).

Westneat and Alfaro (2005) recognize the Scarini as a tribe within the family Labridae. The genera Chlororus and Scarus are two distinct monophyletic lineages (Smith et al. 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2009-09-16
Assessor(s): 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.
Reviewer(s): McIlwain, J. & Craig, M.T.
This species is one of the most widespread and abundant of the Indian Ocean parrotfishes. Its small size precludes targeted fishing and it is found in marine protected areas in parts of its range. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found from the Red Sea, to the Gulf of Aden, Oman, Persian Gulf, Pakistan and India. In East Africa it is found to KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, eastwards to Madagascar, western Thailand, southwest Sumatra, Java, Cocos and Christmas Island.
Countries occurrence:
Bahrain; British Indian Ocean Territory (Chagos Archipelago); Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Comoros; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; French Southern Territories (Mozambique Channel Is.); India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Kenya; Kuwait; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Mauritius (Mauritius (main island), Rodrigues); Mayotte; Mozambique; Myanmar; Oman; Qatar; Réunion; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; United Arab Emirates; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):50
Upper depth limit (metres):1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is abundant in all reef environments investigated (Randall and Bruce 1983). In the central Indian Ocean at the Seychelles and Cocos Island, densities range from 15-180 adults per 1,000 m2. In the Arabian Gulf, it extends to Bahrain. It may occur in the northern Gulf but is extremely rare. It is rare in the Musandum Peninsula and the Arabian Gulf, densities range from 2-8 adults per 1,000 m2 (J.H. Choat pers comm. 2009).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is a small species with an average length of ~15 cm TL over its range. The maximum size was recorded at 26 cm (TL) but achieves 39 cm (TL) in Musudam Peninsula, Oman. The maximum age recorded was 14 yrs (Oman). In the central Indian Ocean, the maximum age recorded was 8 years (J.H. Choat pers comm. 2009). Juveniles recruit into sheltered reef environments including seagrass beds (Heemstra and Heemstra 2004). It forms schools of 50 or more.
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is collected for food in subsistence and artisanal fisheries.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats known for this species.

Parrotfishes show varying degrees of habitat preference and utilization of coral reef habitats, with some species spending the majority of their life stages on coral reefs, while others primarily utilize seagrass beds, mangroves, algal beds, and /or rocky reefs. Although the majority of the parrotfishes occur in mixed habitat (primarily inhabiting seagrass beds, mangroves, and rocky reefs) approximately 78% of these mixed habitat species are experiencing greater than 30% loss of coral reef area and habitat quality across their distributions. Of those species that occur exclusively in coral reef habitat, more than 80% are experiencing a greater than 30% of coral reef loss and degradation across their distributions. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of habitat loss and degradation on these species populations.   Widespread coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for species that depend on live coral reefs for food and shelter especially as studies have shown that protection of pristine habitats facilitate the persistence of adult populations in species that have spatially separated adult and juvenile habitats. Furthermore, coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for some corallivorous excavating parrotfishes that play major roles in reef dynamics and sedimentation (Comeros-Raynal et al. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. However, its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas within its range.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.1. Outer Reef Channel
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.2. Back Slope
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.3. Foreslope (Outer Reef Slope)
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.4. Lagoon

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Bay, L.K., Choat, J.H., Van Herwerden, L. and Robertson, D.R. 2004. High genetic diversities and complex genetic structure in an Indo-Pacific tropical reef fish (Chlorurus sordidus): evidence of an unstable evolutionary past? Marine Biology 144: 757-767.

Beck, E. 2010. Phylogeography of three Indo-Pacific parrotfishes (Family Labridae). School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University.

Comeros-Raynal, M.T., Choat, J.H., Polidoro, B.A., Clements, K.D., Abesamis, R., Craig, M.T., Lazuardi, M.E., McIlwain, J., Muljadi, A., Myers, R.F., Nañola Jr., C.L., Pardede, S., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B., Sanciangco, J.C., Stockwell, B., Harwell, H. and Carpenter, K.E. 2012. The likelihood of extinction of iconic and dominant components of coral reefs: the parrotfishes and surgeonfishes. PLoS ONE

Heemstra, P. and Heemstra, E. 2004. Coastal Fishes of Southern Africa. South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity and National Inquiry Service Center, Grahamstown, South Africa.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.2). Available at: (Accessed: 17 October 2012).

Randall, J.E. 2010. Shore Fishes of Hawaii: Revised Edition. University of Hawai'I Press, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.

Randall, J.E. and Bruce, R.W. 1983. The parrotfishes of the subfamily Scarinae of the Western Indian Ocean with descriptions of three new species. Ichthyological Bulletin of the J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology 47: 1-39.

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

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

Citation: 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. Chlorurus sordidus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T190715A17795228. . Downloaded on 19 June 2018.
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