Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description: Body thin and long with a markedly narrowed eye (pre-transitional) to large and round (recruits) with a pointed snout and a terminal small mouth. Pectoral fins medium, reach to vent. Pelvic fins stubs. Dorsal and anal-fin bases long, caudal peduncle short. There are no surface or internal melanophores. Transitional recruits show a pattern of bars and reticulations and the first two dorsal-fin spines are extended.

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Biology

Most common in shallow, sandy areas in and around seagrass beds. Prefers clear waters (Ref. 9626). Generally of no interest to fisheries because of its small average size (Ref. 5217).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is known from Bermuda and southern Florida (USA) to Brazil (including Fernando do Noronha and Trinidade Islands) (Bertoncini pers. comm. 2009), and throughout the Caribbean Sea.
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Amazon River basin: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
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Western Atlantic: Bermuda and southern Florida (USA) to Brazil; throughout the Caribbean Sea.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 175 mm TL
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Max. size

17.5 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 9626))
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Diagnostic Description

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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Adults have a vertically elongate blue spot on each scale, the head has alternating vertical lines of pale blue and brownish orange, but these are broader than on X. novacula; adult males are more green in overall color and have a blue-edged inky black spot on midside of body within a pale region of pink or yellow (Ref. 13442).
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Look Alikes

Analogues: Larval Xyrichtys have no melanophores and often markedly-narrowed eyes. The absence of external melanophores is shared with larval Doratonotus megalepis, which are distinctly wider-bodied and have large round eyes. All other regional labrid and scarid larvae have melanophores. X. splendens recruits have a a complex pattern of bars and reticulations and the extended first two dorsal fin spines while X. martinicensis recruits have a lateral stripe from the eye to the tail and no extension of the dorsal fin spines and X. novacula recruits have a lateral stripe that is broken up into discrete patches or spots.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is most common in shallow, sandy areas in and around seagrass beds and coral reefs to depths of 15 m. It prefers clear waters over sand and rubble bottoms adjacent to reefs.

Species of Xyrichtys are called razorfish in allusion to their compressed bodies and the sharp leading edge of their forehead and snout, specialisations for quick entry into sand (Randall 2007).

Systems
  • Marine
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Depth: 3 - 15m.
From 3 to 15 meters.

Habitat: demersal.
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 3 - 15 m (Ref. 9710)
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Depth range based on 9 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 7 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1.2 - 28
  Temperature range (°C): 26.658 - 27.542
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.174 - 1.844
  Salinity (PPS): 34.880 - 36.130
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.583 - 4.686
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.075 - 0.121
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.868 - 2.134

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1.2 - 28

Temperature range (°C): 26.658 - 27.542

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.174 - 1.844

Salinity (PPS): 34.880 - 36.130

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.583 - 4.686

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.075 - 0.121

Silicate (umol/l): 1.868 - 2.134
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Xyrichtys splendens

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 22
Specimens with Barcodes: 48
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Xyrichtys splendens

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


There are 22 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.

CCTTTACCTTATTTTCGGTGCCTGGGCCGGGATAGTGGGCACAGCCCTAAGCTTGCTTATTCGAGCAGAGCTAAGCCAGCCCGGAGCCCTTCTTGGAGACGATCAAATTTACAATGTAATTGTTACAGCACATGCATTTGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATGCCAATCATGATCGGGGGATTTGGAAATTGACTTATCCCTCTCATGATTGGAGCCCCCGACATGGCCTTCCCTCGAATAAACAACATAAGCTTCTGGCTCCTGCCCCCTTCCTTCTTACTTCTTCTGGCCTCATCCGGCGTAGAAGCCGGAGCCGGGACAGGCTGAACTGTTTATCCTCCTTTAGCCGGAAATCTTGCCCACGCAGGTGCATCTGTCGATTTAACAATCTTCTCCCTTCACCTGGCAGGAATTTCTTCAATTTTAGGAGCAATTAATTTTATTACAACAATCATTAACATAAAACCCCCTGCCATCTCCCAGTATCAAACTCCCCTATTCGTTTGAGCCGTCCTGATTACAGCCGTCCTGCTTCTTCTCTCTCTCCCTGTTCTTGCTGCAGGAATTACAATGCTCCTGACAGATCGAAATCTAAACACCACCTTCTTTGACCCTGCGGGAGGAGGTGATCCAATTCTTTACCAGCACCTATTT
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Rocha, L.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is widely distributed in the western tropical Atlantic. It is common throughout its range, and can be locally abundant. There are no known major threats. It is listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
This species is common throughout its range, and can be abundant in sand bottoms adjacent to reefs.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats known to this species.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no specific conservation measures in place for this species. This species distribution overlaps several marine protected areas within its range. It is present in conservation areas throughout the Caribbean, USA and Brazil.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

aquarium: commercial
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