| Ecological Descriptors
||10 (max 15)
||Cru (Pisc, Mol)
All Phases: Caudal (tail) margin rounded. Red iris.
Terminal phase (Males): Dark spot (or 2) on midbody. Shades of green/ blue-green, with bars on lower head. Vertical elongate blue spot on each scale. Often with body bars. Dorsal fin reddish, anal bluish, tail fin orange-red end.
Initial Phase(Female); Pinkish grey, dark body scale outlines; lower head with fine blue-white bars.
Juvenile Phase: Mottled yellowish brown; first two dorsal spines & pelvics dark brown; 3 brown bars on body that extend onto dorsal (gives appearance of seperate fins) and anal fins, tail fin base dark brown.
In sandy areas and seagrass beds, usually near reefs at depths commonly from 3 - 15 m (10-50ft). It prefers clear waters over sand and rubble bottoms adjacent to reefs. The camouflaged juveniles may be found drifting in the current, whilst adults often dive into sand when they feel threatened - Species of Xyrichtys are called razorfish in allusion to their compressed bodies and the sharp leading edge of their forehead and snout, specialisations for quick entry into sand.
The primary source of food are shrimps. They also eat small fish and molluscs, and planktonic copepods, as well as on benthic prey including amphipods, snails and clams. Their diet is dependent upon the habitat; if they are found in coral rubble sites and sandy flats they feed on plankton and in seagrass they feed on benthos among the grass blades.
It is a protogynous hermaphrodite (all begin life as females and some of these turn into Terminal Phase males post-maturation). They engage in broadcast mating; the fish quickly swim directly to the surface in pairs to allow the eggs (fertilized externally) to drift through the water via the currents. The planktonic larvae are not under parental care. Spawning takes place during the evening. While spawning is occurring, the males gather a harem of females and spawn with several of them during the breeding season. The reproductive success relies mainly on the sum of females that travels within the male harem and this is directly related to the potential of the male to rule over the females or to provide the essential resources that they require.
Green Razorfish (Intermediate Phase)
Green Razorfish (Terminal Phase)
Green Razorfish(Juvenile Phase)
(C) J De Marino