Species Index

Iniistius pavo
(Valenciennes, 1840)

Common Name: Blue Razorfish

Distribution: Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Society Islands, north to southern Japan and Hawaii, south to Lord Howe Island. In Australia recorded from northern Western Australia, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland south to northern New South Wales and including Lord Howe Island.

Ecological Notes: Frequents open sandy areas adjacent to reef, in sandy depressions in coral lagoon habitats with loose, coarse sand, bottoms. Usually solitary, adults rare in less than 20 m, known from depths of at least 100 m.

Additional Notes: Adults with a very steep forehead, pale bluish body with large white blotches and a small black spot on the upper back below the dorsal fin. The first two spines of the dorsal fin form a separate fin. Juvenile pictured here, holds front dorsal fin forward and swims on side to mimic dead leaves. Dives head first into the sand when threatened or to take refuge at night. Benthic feeder of hard shell invertebrates, including molluscs and crustaceans. Grows to 42 cm.

References: R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.319.

Atlas of Living Australia website at Accessed 01/06/18.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. Accessed 01/06/18.