FEEDING GUIDES DETAIL
Wrasses & Parrotfishes
About 400 species of fish, including Hogfish, are described as Wrasses. Parrotfish are very closely related, but are classified in their own family. Like Wrasses, they swim with their pectoral fins, are hermaphrodites and change sex as a reproductive strategy, spawn in large aggregations, feed during the day, and sleep at night (with some species covering themselves with a mucus “cocoon”).
Wrasses are extremely diverse and vary greatly in size and shape, from one-inch long, cigar-shaped individuals to 8-foot fish that weigh several hundred pounds. They are usually brightly colored and often change patterns as they grow from juveniles into adults. During the day they comb the reef for food, swimming with their pectorals in a start-and-stop fashion. Though feeding habits vary from species to species, these fish are generally carnivorous, opportunistic feeders. Most have prominent canine teeth that sometimes give them a buck-toothed appearance. They use these specialized teeth to pull mollusks or crustaceans off of rocks and then crush them with their additional pharyngeal teeth.