Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Labridae
(Wrasses) > Xyrichtyinae
Etymology: Xyrichtys: Greek, xyreo = that cuts like a knife + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 90 m (Ref. 3726). Subtropical
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 38.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251); common length : 20.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2683); max. reported age: 8 years (Ref. 4742)
soft rays: 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).
Western Atlantic: North Carolina, USA and northern Gulf of Mexico (Ref. 7251) through the Caribbean to Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: southern coast of Spain to south of Cape Lopez, Gabon and including the Mediterranean, Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands, Cape Verde and Sao Tome Island.
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).
Gomon, M.F. and P. Forsyth, 1990. Labridae. p. 868-882. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon, SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5002 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01260 (0.00649 - 0.02446), b=2.80 (2.63 - 2.97), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.1 ±0.3 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tmax=8).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (36 of 100) .