Xyrichtys splendens 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Labridae

Scientific Name: Xyrichtys splendens
Species Authority: Castelnau, 1855
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Green Razorfish
Spanish Doncella de lunar, Cuchillo de lunar, Lorito mordelon
Hemipteronotus splendens (Castelnau, 1855)
Hemipteronotus splendens (Castelnau, 1855)
Hemipteronotus ventralis (Bean, 1891)
Hemipteronotus ventralis (Bean, 1891)
Xyrichthys splendens Castelnau, 1855
Xyrichthys splendens Castelnau, 1855
Xyrichtys ventralis Bean, 1891
Xyrichtys ventralis Bean, 1891
Taxonomic Notes: There is some taxonomic confusion between the species under Xyrichtys and Iniistius. The genus Iniistius has been considered a synonym of Xyrichtys by some authors but it is now recognized as a separate genus, distinct from Xyrichtys (Randall and Earle 2002, Randall et al. 2002). Seventeen species are included in Iniistius and they are: I. aneitensis, I. auropunctatus, I. baldwini, I. bimaculatus, I. cyanifrons, I. dea, I. evides, I. griffithsi, I. jacksoniensis, I. melanopus, I. pavo, I. pentadactylus, I. spilonotus, I. trivittatus, I. twistii, I. umbrilatus, and I. verrens.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-03-10
Assessor(s): Rocha, L.
Reviewer(s): Robertson, R. & Carpenter, K.E.
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.

Geographic Range [top]

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.
Countries occurrence:
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Saba, Sint Eustatius); Brazil; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; Curaçao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Martinique; Mexico; Montserrat; Nicaragua; Panama; Puerto Rico; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin (French part); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – southwest
Lower depth limit (metres): 15
Upper depth limit (metres): 3
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common throughout its range, and can be abundant in sand bottoms adjacent to reefs.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

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

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Species is collected for the aquarium trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats known to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

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.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.3. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel
suitability: Suitable  
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.4. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Sandy
suitability: Suitable  
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.9. Marine Neritic - Seagrass (Submerged)
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓   National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Froese, R. and Pauly, D. 2009. Fishbase. World wide web publication. Available at:

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Lieske, E. and Myers, R.F. 1994. Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific and Caribbean including the Red Sea. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, USA.

Randall, J.E. 2007. Iniistius griffithsi, a new razorfish (Perciformes: Labridae) from Mauritius. Smithiana Bulletin 7: 9-13.

Citation: Rocha, L. 2010. Xyrichtys splendens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187670A8595808. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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