Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 555–561 | Cite as

Parrotfishes of the genus Scarus in southwestern Atlantic oceanic reef environments: occasional pulse or initial colonization?

  • E. F. MazzeiEmail author
  • H. T. Pinheiro
  • R. A. Morais
  • S. R. Floeter
  • D. P. Veras
  • L. V. Queiroz
  • J-C. Joyeux
  • C. E. L. Ferreira
Short Communication


Two Brazilian endemic parrotfishes of the genus Scarus are recorded for the first time in oceanic reef environments of the Southwestern Atlantic. A few juveniles, and initial and terminal adults of Scarus trispinosus were observed at Rocas Atoll and one adult was recorded at Fernando de Noronha Archipelago. Conversely, an established population of Scarus zelindae was found in the middle of the Vitória-Trindade Chain, at the Davis seamount. Since dispersal potential is not a limitation for the pantropical distribution of the genus Scarus, historical and contemporary ecologic features are possibly the main processes driving these unique records in the Southwestern Atlantic. Here, we highlight the potential ecological reasons of such intriguing biogeographic pattern.


Parrotfishes Oceanic islands Vitoria-Trindade seamount chain Brazilian province Endemism Reef fishes 



We thank our ichthyologist team for continued field and lab support, in particular Thiony Simon (in memoriam) for advice and criticism, Ronaldo Bastos Francini-Filho for providing the S. zelindae photos, João Batista Teixeira for drafting the map and Iria Fernandez Silva for kindly reviewing the manuscript. The Abaeté and Cat Guruça crew are thanked for logistics, help and friendship on-board. We would also like to thank Jarian Dantas, Maurizélia de Brito Silva and ICMBio for logistic support in Rocas Atoll. HTP is a recipient of a doctoral fellowship from CNPq (Ciência sem Fronteiras; GDE 202475/2011-5). Funding for this study was provided by CNPq grants 470725/2009-5 and 557043/2009-9 to J.C.J; 563276/2010-0 to S.R.F; and 403740/2012-6 to C.E.L.F.

Author contributions

EFM, SRF and CELF designed the research; EFM, HTP, RAM, CELF, SRF, JCJ, DPV and LQ collected the data; EFM, HTP and RAM wrote the text and made the analysis; CELF, SRF and JCJ reviewed the text and analysis.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. F. Mazzei
    • 1
    Email author
  • H. T. Pinheiro
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • R. A. Morais
    • 4
  • S. R. Floeter
    • 4
  • D. P. Veras
    • 5
  • L. V. Queiroz
    • 5
  • J-C. Joyeux
    • 1
  • C. E. L. Ferreira
    • 6
  1. 1.Departamento de Oceanografia e EcologiaUniversidade Federal do Espírito SantoVitóriaBrazil
  2. 2.California Academy of SciencesSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Ecology and Evolutionary Biology DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA
  4. 4.Departamento de Ecologia e ZoologiaUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil
  5. 5.Departamento de Pesca e AquiculturaUniversidade Federal Rural de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  6. 6.Departamento de Biologia MarinhaUniversidade Federal FluminenseNiteróiBrazil

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