Grooved Razorfish, Centriscus scutatus Linnaeus 1758

Other Names: Grooved Razor-fish, Rigid Shrimpfish, Serrate Razorfish, Serrate Razorfish Grooved Razor-fish

Grooved Razorfish, Centriscus scutatus - Gulf of Oman, Musandam. Source: Richard Field / FishBase. License: All rights reserved


Grooved Razorfish often swim head-down in large synchronised groups.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa J. Thompson, Centriscus scutatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 Apr 2019,

Grooved Razorfish, Centriscus scutatus Linnaeus 1758

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Widespread in the tropical Indo-West Pacific, from the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf to New Guinea, northwards to southern Japan and southwards to New South Wales, Australia; a reef-associated species, inhabiting muddy areas near coastal reefs at 3 to more than 100 metres; adults often form large schools over branching corals, black corals and seawhips.


Meristics: D III, 10–12; A 11–12.

Head and body: Body wafer-thin, encased in protective transparent plates, joined by saw-edged sutures along the side of the body; dorsal spine rigid, unjointed; interorbital space with large groove continuing to crown of the head; snout long and tubular.

Fins: Caudal and soft first dorsal fins placed ventrally; rigid spinous dorsal in usual position of caudal fin.


Maximum length 15 cm.


Body silver with a reddish- to black mid lateral stripe.


Feed mostly on small planktonic crustaceans, especially amphipods and mysids.


Pelagic eggs and larvae. Juveniles often settle with sea urchins and crinoids. Groups of juveniles may congregate in the surface water along beach edges in protected bays.


Although of no interest to fisheries, the species may be collected for the aquarium industry.


Not evaluated.


Often shelter near sessile invertebrates such as gorgonians or whip corals or vegetation like seagrasses. Occurs singly, in pairs or in large groups.


Centriscus is from the Greek, kentris, -idos, meaning sting.

Species Citation

Centriscus scutatus Linnaeus 1758. Systema Naturae: 336, Eastern India (as India orientali).


Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa J. Thompson

Grooved Razorfish, Centriscus scutatus Linnaeus 1758


Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley P.L. & Wells A. (eds) Zoological catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia Part 1, pp xxiv 1-670; Part 2, pp xxi 671-1472; Part 3 pp xxi 1473-2178.

Kuiter, R.H. 2009. Seahorses, Pipefishes and their Relatives. Aquatic Photographics, Seaford, Australia. 333pp

Michael, S.W. 2001. Reef Fishes Volume 1: A guide to their identification, behaviour and captive care. TFH Publications Inc. New Jersey USA.

Randall, J.E. 1995. Coastal fishes of Oman. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii. 439pp.

Whitley, G.P. & Allan, J. 1958. The sea-horse and its relatives. The Griffin Press, Adelaide, Australia.

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CAAB Code:37280001

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