Razor Wrasse, Cymolutes torquatus (Valenciennes 1840)

Other Names: Collared Knifefish

A Razor Wrasse, Cymolutes torquatus, at Mabini, Luzon, Philippines, 2016. Source: Jim Greenfield / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

The Razor Wrasse dives into the sand when threatened.
Amazing footage of a Razor Wrasse latched onto a Banded Lizardfish, Synodus dermatogenys - role reversal!

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Cymolutes torquatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 10 Dec 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/225

Razor Wrasse, Cymolutes torquatus (Valenciennes 1840)

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Records of adults from northeast of Sir Charles Hardy Islands to Endeavour Reef, Queensland, with juveniles to Sydney Harbour, New South Wales; also Lord Howe Island; tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits sandy areas in lagoons, reef flats, tidal channels. Juveniles are often seen near areas of sparse seagrass, algae and small rubble outcrops.

Species Citation

Xyrichthys torquatus Valenciennes, in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1840, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons Vol. 14: 54, pl. 392. Type locality: East Indies (as Suriname)


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Razor Wrasse, Cymolutes torquatus (Valenciennes 1840)


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

Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2 

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2 

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. 2010. Labridae fishes: wrasses. Seaford, Victoria, Australia : Aquatic Photographics pp. 398. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. 

Russell, B. 2010. Cymolutes torquatus . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187530A8559949. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T187530A8559949.en. Downloaded on 16 December 2019.
Valenciennes, A. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1840. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 14 464 pp. pls 389-420. See ref at BHL

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:37384100

Behaviour:Dives into sand when threatened

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:3-25 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy areas

Max Size:20 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map