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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Form schools among the spines of Diadema or staghorn corals, and feed on minute crustaceans in the zooplankton. Remarkable for their strange body shape and swimming habit: the body is encased in an armor of thin, transparent plates; they swim in synchronized groups, each fish in a vertical position with the snout pointing downwards.
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Distribution

Indo-West Pacific: Tanzania (Ref. 51015) and Seychelles (Ref. 1623); then from southern Japan to New South Wales, Australia eastward to Vanuatu.
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Indo-West Pacific.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 3; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9 - 10; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 12
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Size

Maximum size: 150 mm TL
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Max. size

15.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 1602))
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Diagnostic Description

Recognized by hinged part of dorsal fin spine. Variable in color with habitat. Greenish-yellow with diffused stripe when in seagrass environment. Pale with black stripe when found on open substrate with white sand or rubble (Ref. 48635).Description: Characterized by extremely thin or flattened and nearly transparent body; snout through eye, to base of caudal fin with dark brown to blackish stripe; horizontal first dorsal spine, projecting beyond tail tip, posterior part with movable segment; striated interorbital without groove (Ref 90102).
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Description

Form schools among the spines of @Diadema@ or staghorn corals, and feed on minute crustaceans in the zooplankton. Remarkable for their strange body shape and swimming habit: the body is encased in an armor of thin, transparent plates; they swim in synchronized groups, each fish in a vertical position with the snout pointing downwards.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 2 - 42 m (Ref. 90102)
  • Allen, G.R. and M.V. Erdmann 2012 Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth, Australia: Universitiy of Hawai'i Press, Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research. (Ref. 90102)
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Depth range based on 33 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 14 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.61 - 27
  Temperature range (°C): 27.060 - 28.954
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.054 - 0.099
  Salinity (PPS): 34.090 - 34.992
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.525 - 4.725
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.085 - 0.222
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.141 - 1.596

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.61 - 27

Temperature range (°C): 27.060 - 28.954

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.054 - 0.099

Salinity (PPS): 34.090 - 34.992

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.525 - 4.725

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.085 - 0.222

Silicate (umol/l): 1.141 - 1.596
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 1 - 20m.
From 1 to 20 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated.
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Trophic Strategy

Occurs in inshore waters of the continental shelf (Ref. 75154). Swims in groups among the coral reefs (Ref. 9137).
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Aeoliscus strigatus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACGCGCTGACTTTTCTCGACTAATCACAAAGACATTGGCACCCTGTATTTAATCTTTGGTGCCTGAGCCGGAATAGTGGGCACTGCCCTT---AGCCTCCTGATCCGGGCGGAGCTCAGCCAGCCAGGCGCACTTCTTGGAGAC---GACCAAATTTATAATGTTATTGTCACCGCCCATGCTTTCGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATCATGATTGGAGGTTTTGGTAACTGACTCATCCCCCTCATG---ATCGGGGCCCCAGATATAGCATTCCCTCGCATGAACAACATAAGCTTCTGACTTCTGCCCCCCTCTTTCCTCCTTCTCCTGGCCTCATCTGGCGTTGAAGCAGGAGCGGGCACGGGGTGAACAGTATATCCCCCTCTTGCCGGCAACCTCGCACACGCCGGAGCCTCTGTAGACCTA---ACGATCTTCTCTCTGCATCTCGCAGGTATCTCGTCAATTCTGGGCGCAATCAACTTCATCACCACTATTATCAACATGAAGTCCCCTGCTGTCTCGCAGTATCAAACCCCTCTTTTCGTGTGGGCCGTACTAATCACCGCCGTCCTACTGCTTCTCTCCCTCCCAGTCCTAGCCGCC---GGCATTACCATGCTACTAACAGACCGAAACCTAAACACAACCTTTTTTGACCCAGCAGGGGGTGGAGACCCAATCCTGTATCAACACCTGTTCTGATTCTTTGGGCACCCAGAAGTTTATATTCTAATCCTGCCAGGGTTTGGGATAATCTCCCACATTGTTGCATATTATGCAGGGAAAAAA---GAGCCCTTCGGGTACATGGGTATGGTGTGGGCCATGATGGCCATTGGCCTTCTAGGCTTCATTGTCTGAGCCCACCACATGTTTACTGTAGGGATGGATGTTGACACTCGAGCATACTTTACATCGGCAACTATGATCATTGCCATCCCAACAGGTGTAAAAGTATTTAGCTGGCTT---GCCACACTGCACGGAGGG---GCTATCAAATGAGAAACCCCTCTTCTTTGGGCCCTAGGGTTTATCTTCCTATTCACAGTCGGAGGGCTCACGGGCATTGTTCTAGCTAACTCCTCCCTAGATATCGTACTCCATGACACATACTATGTTGTAGCCCACTTCCACTATGTT---CTGTCCATGGGGGCCGTGTTTGCTATCATAGCAGGCTTTGTACACTGGTTCCCCCTGTTCACTGGCTACACCCTTCACAGCACTTGAACAAAAATCCATTTCGGAGTAATGTTTGTAGGGGTTAATTTAACATTCTTCCCACAACACTTCCTAGGCCTGGCAGGAATGCCCCGT---CGGTACTCAGACTACCCAGACGCCTACACC---CTATGAAACACGGTGTCCTCTGTAGGATCATTAATCTCACTGGTCGCAGTCACCATGTTCTTATTCATTATCTGGGAAGCCTTTGCCGCAAAACGGGAGGTA---ATGGCAGTAGAGCTTGCCTCAACTAAT
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Aeoliscus strigatus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 9
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
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Wikipedia

Aeoliscus strigatus

Aeoliscus strigatus, also known as the razorfish, is a member of the family Centriscidae of the order Syngnathiformes. This unique fish adopts a head-down tail-up position as an adaptation for hiding among sea urchin spines.[2] The razorfish is found in coastal waters in the Indo-West Pacific.[3] Its natural habitat includes beds of sea grass and coral reefs, where sea urchins are found.[4]

Description[edit source | edit]

In Prague sea aquarium

The razorfish is easily identifiable due to its particular body shape as well as its way of moving in synchrone group head down. It is a small fish with a maximum size of 15 cm (5.9 in) long, its body is stretched ending by a long fine "beak". Its fins are considerably reduced and transparent. The dorsal surface of the razorfish is covered by protective bony plates. They extend past the end of the body and over the tail fin, which terminates in a sharp spine. A black to brown median band runs the length of the fish crossing also the eyes. The color of the body is variable with the habitat. In seagrass environment, the background color of the body can be greenish-yellow with light brown stripes. In open areas like sand patch, rubble or close to coral reef, then the body coloration occurs to be light silver with a black to brown stripe.[5] There is no known sexual dimorphism.

Ecology[edit source | edit]

The razorfish eats mainly small brine shrimp and other small invertebrates.[2][6] They have also been known to eat minute crustaceans in the zooplankton.[7] In the wild they have been observed hiding in the spines of sea urchins, both as a defense mechanism and as a hunting mechanism. When threatened by larger fish, the razorfish darts away to a nearby sea urchin. The larger fish, wary of being stung by the sea urchin, which can sometimes be deadly, gives up the chase. They also hide in the spines for a completely different reason. When hunting, razorfish will hide among the sea urchin spines and wait for small invertebrates that feed on the urchins. When their prey gets close the razorfish will dart out and try to catch its dinner.[2]

Aquarium care[edit source | edit]

As the full adult size of the razorfish is roughly 15 cm (5.9 in) it will need a fairly large aquarium, especially if it is not to be the only specimen in the tank. A minimum tank size of 20 gallons is adequate, however some aquarists have noted unusual growth if given a tank over 60 gallons. The razorfish needs a balanced ecosystem to survive, including algae, smaller fish, larger fish, coral, and if available a small sea urchin. In the aquarium the razorfish will keep its head down position, but will not need to hunt the way it does in the wild. Care should be taken when handling sea urchins.[2] The razorfish is considered a hardy fish in regards to temperature and pH. As long as the temperature is within the commonly accepted range of "tropical" and the pH is between 7.8–8.3, it will be fine. Salinity should be roughly 30 parts per thousand.[2]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ ITIS Standard Report Page: Aeoliscus strigatus
  2. ^ a b c d e "Eyewitness handbooks Aquarium Fish: The visual guide to more than 500 marine and freshwater fish varieties" By Dick Mills. Page 283
  3. ^ http://eol.org/pages/205823/details#distribution
  4. ^ Ecology Summary - Aeoliscus strigatus
  5. ^ Kuiter, Rudie.Seahorses and their relatives.Aquatic Photographics,2009,p304.ISBN 9780977537211
  6. ^ Ewald Lieske & Robert Myers. Coral reef fishes. Princeton Univiversity Press,1995, p 15. ISBN 0691004811
  7. ^ Aeoliscus strigatus - Jointed Razorfish - Discover Life
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