Grooved Razorfish, Centriscus scutatus Linnaeus 1758

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

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


A silvery razorfish with a narrow reddish-brown to dark brown mid-lateral stripe. The first dorsal-fin spine is moderately long and unjointed. Grooved Razorfish usually swim head-down in large synchronised groups.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2024, Centriscus scutatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 18 Jul 2024,

Grooved Razorfish, Centriscus scutatus Linnaeus 1758

More Info


South of Carnarvon, Shark Bay, Western Australia, around the tropical north to Moreton Bay, Queensland. tropical, Indo-west Pacific. 

Elsewhere the species is widespread in the tropical Indo-West Pacific, from the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf to New Guinea, northwards to southern Japan and southwards to eastern Australia. 

Inhabits muddy and silty areas in near coastal reefs, often forming schools above seagrasses, branching corals and seawhips.


Dorsal fin III,10-12; Anal fin 11-12; Pelvic fin 3-4.

Body highly compressed, encased in protective transparent plates, joined by saw-edged sutures along the side; snout long, tubular, mouth small; interorbital space with large groove on top of the head.

Caudal and soft dorsal fins positioned ventrally; first dorsal-fin spine long, rigid, horizontal and unjointed, projecting beyond the caudal fin; 


Maximum length 15 cm.


Body silver with a reddish to black mid lateral stripe.


Feeds 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.


May be collected for the aquarium industry.


IUCN: Least Concern


Records of this species from southern Queensland may be misidentifications of the Smooth Razorfish, Centriscus cristatus.


The specific name is from the Latin scutatus (= armed with a shield, shielded), in reference to the protective plates encasing the back and upper sides.

Species Citation

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


Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2024


Atlas of Living Australia

Grooved Razorfish, Centriscus scutatus Linnaeus 1758


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Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

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Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundem classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentis, synonymis, locis. Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae : Laurentii Salvii Tomus I 824 pp. See ref at BHL

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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37280001

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-72 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:14 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map