Copyright 2002 Wayne & Karen/The Ocean Adventure, http://www.theoceanadventure.com.
This species occurs in the Western Atlantic from southern Florida throughout the Caribbean to Brazil, in waters associated with coral reefs. They ares strictly diurnal, sleeping during the night surrounded by a mucous cocoon on an open area of the reef. During the day these herbivorous fish graze on the reef, biting off pieces of coral with their beak-like fused teeth. Their reproductive biology is rather complex. Individuals may undergo sex reversals during their lifetime to balance out the ratio of males to females within the population. Spawning occurs year round but appears to peak during the summer months. This species reaches maturity by the third year of life and lives to approximately ten years.Sound is produced by this species during feeding. The strong coalesced jaw, fused teeth, and coalesced jaw, fused teeth, and pharyngeal teeth create rasping sounds as coral is chewed and swallowed. These sounds are amplified by the swim bladder.