Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Iniistius pavo, Peacock razorfish, Peacock wrasse

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D: separate long finlet at front
indistinct bars, black spot on back
juvenile: 5 diffuse dark bars

Iniistius pavo (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1840)

Peacock Razorfish, Peacock Wrasse

Head and body strongly compressed; head profile very steep, nearly vertical, with a fleshy longitudinal keel at front; eye on upper half of head; a pair of long curved canine teeth anteriorly in each jaw, lower jaw without rear canine teeth; dorsal rays II + VII, 12, first 2 dorsal spines separated from rest of fin, greatly prolonged in juveniles; anal rays III,12; pectoral rays 12; tail fin small, slightly rounded; lateral line in two sections, pored scales 20-22 + 4-5; head scaleless except for a patch of scales below eye.

IP: white to yellowish white with 4 indistinct broad dark bars on body and small black spot on upper side above eighth scale of lateral line; TP: similar to IP plus blue edges to scales at lower part of 1st dark bars, center of scales on the lower 2/3 of the 2nd dark bar with a blue bar; dorsal fin with oblique thin blue bars and a blue submarginal stripe; anal fin with a blue submarginal stripe; tail fin with a blue submarginal bar; juveniles whitish with 4 diffuse brown bars, thin brown lines radiating from eye, and pelvic fins entirely brown.

Size: to 41 cm.

Habitat: found on open sand near reefs; dives into the sand when danger approaches.

Depth: 5-100 m.

Widespread in the Indo-Pacific from East Africa to the Americas - central to southern Baja, and the SW and central eastern Gulf of California to Colombia, the Revillagigedos, Cocos, Malpelo and the Galapagos.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Water column
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans)
  • All Pacific (West + Central + East)
  • TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 41
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 100