Parrotfishes can often be observed consuming fish feces on coral reefs. Our recent study highlights the nutritional value of these feces to parrotfishes. Four of the five most common speciesa t our study sites (Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands) consumed feces, mostly from Chromis multilineata. Despite being infrequent (<4% total bites), we estimate that coprophagy may contribute ~27% of the carbon obtained by parrotifhses while foraging on preferred benthic substrates. Chromis feces also have higher protein and lipid conetents and lower C:N:P ratios than other foraging targets (algae and cyanobaceteria). Coprophagy is, thereofre, likely an important nad understudied component of parrotfish nutrition.
Read more at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/48657233