Xyrichtys incandescens

Common Name

Noronha Razorfish

Year Described

Edwards & Lubbock, 1981


Dorsal Fin: IX, 12
Anal Fin: III, 11-12
Pectoral Fin: 12
Lateral Line Scales: 20-21 (anterior) + 5 (posterior)
Gill Rakers: 6-7+1+13-14
Caudal Rays: 14 principal

Body elongate and compressed. Forehead profile steep and convex. Mouth oblique and terminal. Upper jaw with a pair of enlarged canines flanked with smaller canines. Edges of preopercle and opercle smooth. Scales large and cover body. Head almost unscaled except for a few near upper opercle and on nape. Fins naked except for 2-3 rows on base of caudal fin. Dorsal fin long and low with the origin well forward (almost above eye). Anal fin origin under last dorsal spine. Pelvic fin extends past anus, especially in males. Caudal fin truncate. Lateral line in two portions: the first arched and ending under 10th dorsal ray and the second short and straight on caudal peduncle.


Terminal Phase: Body pale orange dorsally grading to white on the flanks and yellowish on the belly. Dorsal third with three darker orange saddles: one on top of head and two under dorsal fin. Head with faint vertical pearly lines. Rear of body with two bright red curved bands with an orange interspace. Red bands run onto dorsal fin. Dorsal fin yellow with darker lines and a orange/blue terminal edge. Anal fin orange with a darker edge. Caudal fin pale yellow to clear. Pelvic and pectoral fins clear. Eye pearly white with blue and pink highlights. Initial Phase: body pale yellowish, salmon, to pink with pearly white markings on opercle and belly. A dark bar across cheek. Can display darker bars depending on mood. Fins pale pink to clear. Eye blue and pink.


Maximum size of terminal males to 81mm SL.


Open sand from 7-15m. Individuals occur in large groups of dozens of fish and dive into the sand when disturbed.


Endemic to the Fernando de Noronha archipelago, Brazil.


Edwards, A & R. Lubbock. 1981. A new wrasse (Teleostei: Labridae) of the genus Xyrichtys from the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago. Revue suisse Zool. Vol. 88 (1): 233-237.

Other Notes

The coloration of the initial phase is very similar to Xyrichtys martinicensis but the terminal males are much different in appearance. It is apparent that these two species are close relatives. This is a very infrequently encountered species compared to the three other Xyrichtys in the western Atlantic.