Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    strigatus
    Genus
    Aeoliscus
    Family
    Centriscidae
    Order
    Syngnathiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 14 cm in length.

Introduction

The Jointed Razorfish is an unusual species that is encased in thin plates. It swims with the head down and the back facing the direction of travel.

Identification

The Jointed Razorfish has a highly compressed body that is encased in thin plates. It has a long pointed snout and an elongated dorsal spine with a moveable tip.

The species is yellowish brown to pale with a black stripe running from the snout to the caudal peduncle.

Distribution

The species occurs in marine waters of the Indo-west Pacific region.

In Australia it is known from northern Queensland to northern 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.

Aeoliscus strigatus

Ozcam map of Jointed Razorfish specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=aeoliscus%20strigatus&zoom=off#mapView

Other behaviours and adaptations

Fishes in the family Centriscidae have an unusual mode of swimming. They swim in a vertical position with the head down and with the back facing the direction of travel.

Jointed Razorfish are often seen in schools that dart between coral branches or between the spines of sea urchins (Diadema) when disturbed.

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. TMC Publishing Pp. 240.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.