Leaf Wrasse, Iniistius dea (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)

Other Names: Blackspot Razorfish, Black-spot Tuskfish

A female Leaf Wrasse, Iniistius dea, at Osezaki, Izu Peninsula, Japan, May 2013, depth 16m. Source: Izuzuki / www.izuzuki.com. License: CC by Attribution-ShareAlike

A pale grey to whitish razor-wrasse with three indistinct broad brown bars on the side, a small black spot on the back below the 5th and 6th dorsal-fin spines (in males only), a blue line on the front of the head, and a blue spot on each scale on the lower side forming rows. Females have a shorter first dorsal-fin spine. 

Species of the genus Iniistius have highly compressed bodies and a steep forehead with a firm knife-like anterior edge - enabling them to easily dive into the sand when threatened.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2016, Iniistius dea in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/294

Leaf Wrasse, Iniistius dea (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)

More Info


Northwest Shelf, Western Australia, and Cape York, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, west Pacific - Indonesia, South China Sea Taiwan, Ryukyu Islands and Japan.


Dorsal fin IX, 12-13; Ana fin III, 11-12; Pectoral fin 11-12; Lateral line scales 18-20 + 4-5.
Greatest body depth 2.6-3.2 in SL.


Kuiter's image of Iniistius dea is a juvenile Iniistius pavo. (Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. )

Species Citation

Xyrichthys dea Temminck & Schlegel 1846, Fauna Japonica 4(9): 171, pl. 87. Type locality: Japan.


Bray, D.J. 2016


Australian Faunal Directory

Leaf Wrasse, Iniistius dea (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. 

Shen, S.-C. & Yeh, H.-S. 1987. Study on the razorfishes genus Xyrichtys (Labridae) of Taiwan. Journal of Taiwan Museum 40(2): 61-71. (as Xyrichtys dea)

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp. 

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1984. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls.

Temminck, C.J. & Schlegel, H. 1846. Pisces. 153-172 pls 78 (in part), 79-87 in Siebold, P. Fr. de (ed.) Fauna Japonica. Leyden : Apud Arnz & Socios Vol. 4(9).

Russell, B. 2010. Iniistius dea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. . Downloaded on 07 August 2015.

Westneat, M.W. 2001. Labridae. pp. 3381-3467 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds) The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384017

Biology:Able to change sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-100 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy areas

Max Size:25 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map