Animal Species:Blue Razorfish, Iniistius pavo (Valenciennes, 1840)
Blue Razorfish The species lives over sand near coral reefs. When disturbed it uses its keeled forehead to dive headfirst into the sand.
Standard Common Name
Peacock Razorfish, Leaf Wrasse, Pavo Razorfish
Adult Blue Razorfish are grey dorsally, yellow-white ventrally, have three broad indistinct bars laterally, and a blue-rimmed black spot on the upper side of the body. The colouration of juveniles is variable. They usually have more distinct dark bars than the adults and often have two spots on the soft dorsal fin. The species was previously named Xyrichthys pavo.
The species grows to 35 cm in length.
It is known from north-western Australia and from northern Queensland to southern New South Wales.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Distribution by collection data
The species lives over sand near coral reefs. When disturbed it uses its keeled forehead to dive headfirst into the sand.
Other behaviours and adaptations
Juveniles appear to mimic dead drifting leaves. They often hold the first two dorsal spines forward over the head.
- Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
- Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology