Pearly Razorfish (xyrichthys novacula)
Complete list   <<  47 /  47  
Common name Pearly Razorfish
Scientific name Xyrichthys novacula
Class Osteichthyes
Order Perciformes
Family Labridae
Distribution The Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from Portugal to the Congo.
Habitat sandy/muddy substrates or close to meadows of Posidonia oceanica, from a metre below the surface to a depth of approx. 50 m.
Dimensions Can grow to a length of 30 cm.
Characteristicts A very flat body; a high head and an almost vertical rear profile; the dorsal fin runs from the back of the head to the tail.

The razorfish has a very thin profile when viewed head on and the small mouth has little, sharp, protruding teeth. There is only one dorsal fin which runs from the back of the head to the base of the tail, which is short and rounded. The female is a delicate pink colour with a slightly darker head with alternating vertical lines of light blue and light yellow-orange and occasional light blue scales on the rest of the body. The dorsal, caudal and anal fins are pink with streaks of blue whereas the pectoral fins are both yellow. Males are a grey-green colour with light blue lines and markings.

The species is a protogynous hermaphrodite and grows to a length of about 17cm. The eggs are spherical and float. Razorfish feed on invertebrates and small fish. When threatened they bury themselves head first.