Need help with razorfish ID


I saw several pairs of these fish. They look like a type of razorfish, but I havent' been able to positively ID them. They were around 2" long and located in 50 feet of water. The fish would glide over the bottom and disappeared in the sand if I got too close. The location is the northern Gulf of Mexico. The bottom consists of sand and an artificial reef made of concrete culverts.

Note: I've seen a few adult Pearly razorfish in this part of the Gulf, but these fish were smaller. I don't know if they are young Pearly razorfish or something else.

Sorry about the blurry photos, but they were hard to approach and difficult to focus on.

I think they are juveniles

I'm fairly certain that pic 1 bottom, and pic 3 are juvenile Pearly razorfish. First the head looks fairly Pearly Razorfish to me. Young pearlies have 4 dusky bars on the side of the body (the problem is that there are just 2 pics in the CD of this and they look like young but almost adult so it seems to me that if very young they may look very much like your pictures.

The only other juvi razorfish I see on the CD with more of a solid line along it's side (like the ones you've labeled females here) is the Green, but Greens have a truncate (straight square cut) caudal fin rather that rounded in the Pearly (your pics seem rounded though a little hard to see)

Juv Pearly Razorfish

Pearly razorfish is what I was leaning towards due to coloration and a past sighting of the adults within a couple of miles. But I am also frustrated by the lack of available photos of juveniles on the DVD and on Thanks. Carol


wouldn't rule out greens- but as juveniles the two species do look a lot alike..

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