Parrotfish, known as Mol Mol in Palawan, are the creators of the beautiful tropical white sand beaches. They are particularly fond of eating the algae film that grows on coral. They chomp into the coral with their beak (actually fused teeth) to get a mouthful of both coral and algae. The crushed coral helps the fish digest the algae and is then pooped out in the form of particularly perfect, soft, white sand. Next time you are relaxing on your tropical vacation, please thank the parrotfish.
These particularly pretty purple parrotfish look most like the male Swarthy Parrotfish – Scarus niger. The ones observed here have slightly different spot patterns behind the eyes but it could be a local variation or due to a shift between initial and terminal phases.