Distinguished by its bullet-shaped head, the bullethead parrotfish is the most common of the 80 species of parrotfish and is also known as the daisy parrotfish, or uhu in Hawaii. Hawaiian folklore tells of the uhu being the parent of all fish in the sea, and is portrayed as social and handsome. However, Ōhua palemo" is a saying that refers to the slippery ʻōhua, the spawn of the uhu, and refers to one who is clever at getting out of mischief. These fish certainly do find mischief to get out! Males can be seen fighting by darting at each other and seizing one another’s beaks, twisting each other as they struggle for control until the weaker fish backs off. These fish won’t leave each other hanging when in need of a wingman though, as when it is time to spawn, they swim together looking for their mates.
The bullethead parrotfish is a colorful fish that changes drastically from juvenile to adulthood and is quite variable in coloration. Juveniles have a black and white striped body with a light green head and dots on their necks. Adults generally have a bright blue-green body with edges of lavender and orange or yellow markings along the sides, with males being brighter than females. They can be found mainly in the shallower depths of coral reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans including the Red Sea.
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