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Striped shrimpfish

Aeoliscus strigatus

Description: The Striped shrimpfish, or Razorfish, is a distant relative of the pipefish and seahorses. It has a slender, silver, flattened body with a dark longitudinal line that runs the entire length of the body, even going through the eyes. It has a long slender snout and a long sharp dorsal spine. The body is encased in transparent bony plates that provide protection from predators. If its habitat is seagrass, the body coloration is usually greenish- yellow with brown stripes for camouflage purposes.

Size: Striped shrimpfish can grow up to six inches (15 cm).

Behavior: This fish has a unique method of swimming. It swims in synchronized schools in a vertical position (upside-down) with the snout pointing straight down. This head-down, tail-up position allows it to hide in the branches of coral or spines of a sea urchin. By hiding among the spines, the shrimpfish is protected from predators and able to hunt for potential food.

Diet: This species feeds on tiny zooplankton.

Reproduction: Males and females release gametes into the open water where external fertilization takes place. The eggs are pelagic and once the juvenile reaches a length of 0.75 inches (2 cm) they settle toward the bottom looking for sea urchins to inhabit.

Habitat/range: The Striped shrimpfish inhabits shallow coral reefs and seagrass beds with sea urchins throughout the Indo-West Pacific.

Status: Has not been evaluated for IUCN Red List.