[Coral-List] Extraordinary aggressive behavior in bumphead parrotfish

Todd Kellison todd.kellison at noaa.gov
Mon Jun 11 10:45:33 EDT 2012

All –

The research described below, led by Dr. Roldan C. Muñoz of NOAA’s National
Marine Fisheries Service in Beaufort, NC, may be of interest:

NOAA scientists have published the first ever documentation of aggressive
headbutting in a marine fish, the giant bumphead parrotfish (*Bolbometopon
muricatum*). While studying these large, charismatic, and imperiled fish in
2011 at Wake Atoll with partners from Scripps Institution of Oceanography
and Mariculture Hawaii, LLC; researchers were surprised by loud jarring
sounds which were later identified and documented as ritualized headbutting
contests by large bumphead parrotfish males. The behavior and its
significance are documented in a new article published June 6th in PLoS
ONE, available at

Supplementary video clips can also be accessed from the link above.

Also see

Best regards,


Todd Kellison
Chief, Fisheries Ecosystems Branch
NOAA Fisheries - Beaufort Laboratory
101 Pivers Island Road
Beaufort, NC 28516252.838.0810 (phone)252.728.8784

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