Cryptotomus roseus

Common Name

Bluelip Parrotfish

Year Described

Cope, 1871


Dorsal Fin: IX, 10
Anal Fin: III, 9
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 13
Gill Rakers: 10-11 (first arch)

A very slender, small parrotfish that resembles a wrasse in general shape. Snout pointed. Teeth are only fused at the base. Anterior nostril without a flap. Caudal fin truncate. Body and rear of head with scales. Predorsal scales usually four. A single row of scales on cheek.


TERMINAL PHASE: body and head pale green, olive green, to blue-green above, becoming paler green to blue-green on the belly. A pink, orange, or salmon stripe runs from the opercle to the caudal peduncle. There are scattered green scales embedded in the band. Several pink or salmon lines radiate from the eye. The eyes are patterned with alternating red and green lines. The dorsal fin is pale pink to red. The caudal fin is greenish to yellowish with a red posterior border. The pectoral base has a blue and black blotch. The ventral and anal fins are pale green. Displaying males brighten the pattern dramatically, and show a bright yellow wash on the rear head and pectoral region. Non-breeding terminal males display a muted, more camouflaged pattern. INITIAL PHASE: Body pale gray to orangish with a broad lateral orange-brown stripe bordered by white stripes on both sides. Dorsal fin pale orange. Caudal fin yellowish. Other fins translucent. In vegetation, fish take on a very mottled coloration of dark reddish-brown or orange over the lighter background color. JUVENILE: a smaller version of the intitial pattern, with faint and reduced striping.


Maximum size to 120mm TL.


Sandy bottoms around patch reefs and seagrass meadows from 8-58m.


Florida to Brazil, including the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Also Bermuda.


McEachran, J.D. & J.D. Fechhelm. 2005. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico. Volume 2: Scorpaeniformes to Tetraodontiformes. University of Texas Press, Austin. i-viii +1-1004.