Diagnosis: The fin-ray count of D-IX,12 A-III,12 and Pect-12 indicates the razorfish genus Xyrichtys. One other regional labrid, Halichoeres cyanocephalus, shares the median-fin ray count, but has 13 pectoral-fin rays and a clearly different body shape. The three Caribbean razorfishes, X. martinicensis, X. novacula, and X. splendens, share fin-ray counts and the larvae can overlap in appearance. The species become distinct as they develop juvenile markings: X. splendens recruits are recognized by a pattern of bars and reticulations and the first two dorsal fin spines are extended. The extended dorsal fin spines persist until juveniles reach about 35 mm SL.
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