Xyrichtys novacula (Linnaeus, 1758)
Pearly razorfish
Xyrichtys novacula
photo by Patzner, R.

Family:  Labridae (Wrasses), subfamily: Xyrichtyinae
Max. size:  38 cm TL (male/unsexed); max. reported age: 8 years
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 1 - 90 m
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: North Carolina, USA and northern Gulf of Mexico (Ref. 7251) through the Caribbean to Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: France to Angola and including the Mediterranean, Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands, Cape Verde and Sao Tome Island.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 9-9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12-12; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 12-12. An elongate, very compressed fish with front of head forming a sharp edge. Snout very blunt; profile steep. Pale greenish, usually with no conspicuous markings on body (Ref. 26938). Head with alternating vertical lines of light blue and light yellow-orange (Ref. 13442).
Biology:  Inhabits clear shallow areas with sandy bottoms, usually in the vicinity of seagrass beds and corals (Ref. 2683). Feeds mainly on mollusks; also crabs and shrimps (Ref. 3726). A protogynous hermaphrodite; sexual dimorphism apparent in head shape and length of pelvic fin (Ref. 5292). Builds nests with coral debris. Dives head first into the sand when frightened (Ref. 9710). Marketed fresh (Ref. 3726).
IUCN Red List Status: (Ref. 115185)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 30.07.91
Modified by: Reyes, Rodolfo B. - 18.07.13
Checked by: Garilao, Cristina V. - 22.03.98

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