Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

  Common names: razorfish (English), cuchillo (Espanol)
 
Xyrichtys wellingtoni Allen & Robertson, 1995

Wellington's razorfish,           Clipperton razorfish

Head and body strongly compressed; head profile sloping, with a fleshy longitudinal keel at front; eye on upper ½ of head; both jaws with canines at front, lower jaw without rear canine tooth; dorsal fin continuous, IX, 12, spines regularly spaced; anal III, 12; pectoral 12; tail slightly convex; lateral line in 2 sections, rear section on tail base, 21 + 5 pored scales; head scaleless except for few scales below eye.


IP:  pale pinkish white body and fins; TP: bluey pink, scale centers darker.


Size: 10 cm.

Habitat: fine deep sand.

Depth: 15-70 m.

Endemic to Clipperton Atoll.
   
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Biology

Inhabits sandy areas; specimens collected from a reef-surrounded sand patch (Ref. 31088).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to the Eastern Pacific, and is only found in the Clipperton Atoll.
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Zoogeography

See Map (including site records) of Distribution in the Tropical Eastern Pacific 
 
Global Endemism: All species, East Pacific endemic, Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic

Regional Endemism: All species, TEP endemic, TEP oceanic island (s) endemic, Clipperton Island endemic, Island (s), Island (s) only

Residency: Resident

Climate Zone: Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
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Eastern Pacific.
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Eastern Central Pacific: Clipperton Island.
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Depth

Depth Range (m): 15 (S) - 70 (S)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 12
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Size

Length max (cm): 10.0 (S)
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Size

Max. size

7.2 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 31088))
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Diagnostic Description

Principal caudal rays 12 (middle 10 branched); upper and lower procurrent caudal rays 5 or 6; terminal phase pink with purple, diamond-shaped mark covering most of each scale; dorsal, anal and basal half of caudal fin dark purple; pelvic fins dusky purple; pectoral fins translucent; juveniles and initial phase fish mainly white to pale pink with translucent fins (Ref. 31088).
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Type Information

Paratype for Xyrichtys wellingtoni Allen & Robertson
Catalog Number: USNM 337445
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): G. Allen & D. Robertson
Year Collected: 1994
Locality: Clipperton Is., E. Pacific Ocean, Outer Reef Slope, Clipperton Island, Pacific
Depth (m): 18 to 20
  • Paratype: Allen, G. R. & Robertson, D. R. 11 Dec. 1995. Revue Francaise d'Aquariologie, Herpetologie. 22 (3-4): 80, fig. 1.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This demersal species inhabits fine deep sand to depths of 70 m. Specimens were collected from a reef-surrounded sand patch (Allen and Robertson 1995).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

demersal; marine; depth range 18 - 20 m (Ref. 31088)
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Depth range based on 1 specimen in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1 sample.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 19 - 19
  Temperature range (°C): 27.828 - 27.828
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.270 - 0.270
  Salinity (PPS): 33.634 - 33.634
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.687 - 4.687
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.297 - 0.297
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.538 - 1.538
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Salinity: Marine, Marine Only

Inshore/Offshore: Inshore, Inshore Only

Water Column Position: Near Bottom, Bottom, Bottom + water column

Habitat: Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom), Soft bottom (mud, sand,gravel, beach, estuary & mangrove), Soft bottom only, Sand & gravel

FishBase Habitat: Demersal
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Trophic Strategy

Feeding

Feeding Group: Carnivore, Planktivore

Diet: mobile benthic worms, mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs), mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves, zooplankton, pelagic fish eggs
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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Egg Type: Pelagic, Pelagic larva
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Xyrichtys wellingtoni

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
D2

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Allen, G., Victor, B. & Rocha, L.

Reviewer/s
Robertson, R. & Carpenter, K.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is only known from one location (Clipperton Island), with an area of occupancy estimated to be less than 10 km². Regional experts support the plausible threat of the increased duration and frequency of ENSO events that can cause severe and rapid declines for restricted-range, shallow-water species. This species qualifies for Vulnerable under Criterion D2. However, more research is needed on this phenomenon, and this species should be reassessed when new information is available.
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IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed

CITES: Not listed
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Population

Population
No population information is available for this species. This fish was common in the one sand hole shallower than 50 m present at Clipperton Atoll, and in deeper water with extensive sand habitat.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species has a restricted distribution with an area of occupancy estimated to be less than 10 km2, and specific habitat type. In the Eastern Tropical Pacific, severe localized fish species declines have occurred after strong ENSO events that result in shallow waters that are too warm and nutrient poor for extended periods of time (Grove 1985, Edgar et al. 2009). The frequency and duration of ENSO events in this region of the Eastern Tropical Pacific appears to be increasing (Glynn and Ault 2000, Soto 2001, Chen et al. 2004). Given this species' restricted distribution and shallow water habitat, oceanographic environmental changes, such as those associated with future ENSO events, may have detrimental effects on the survival of this species.
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Vulnerable (VU) (D2)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no conservation measures known for this species.
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