Animal Species:Jointed Razorfish, Aeoliscus strigatus (Günther, 1860)
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.
Standard Common Name
Coral Shrimpfish, Jointed Razor-fish, Razor Fish, Razorfish, Shrimpfish
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.
It grows to 14 cm in length.
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.
Distribution by collection data
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.
- Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. TMC Publishing Pp. 240.
- 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 , Senior Fellow
Tags fishes, ichthyology, Razorfish, Aeoliscus strigatus, thin plates, swims head down, compressed body, yellowish brown, black stripe, stripes or bands, 10 cm - 30 cm, marine, schooling fish, Centriscidae, Jointed Razorfish,