These are small, unusually shaped fish that are related to pipefish and seahorses. They are characterised by an extremely thin or flattenend and nearly transparent body, which is encased in an integument of thin, sutured plates. The unusual appearance is further enhanced by their peculiar vertical orientation with the snout pointing downwards. However they are capable of rapid bursts of horizontal swimming when chased by a diver or preditor. Razor fish often occur in large synchronised groups, sometimes containing more than 50 individuals. The family is restricted to the tropical Indo Pacific region and contains two genera and four species, 3 of which occur in the East Indian region.
The fish’s diet consists of a variety of zoo-plankton and minute crustaceans. When in captivity, it is fed bait shrimp and a variety of small, live marine food. It swallows its food whole. This fish, like its closest relative, the seahorse, is toothless. As a young fish, it is prey to many larger fish. As an adult, however, the fish is thought to have little, if any, predators. This is thought to be because of its great camouflage and its “armor”. The life span of the fish, unlike the reproduction method, is unknown.
Maximium size to about 14 cm. Pale yellowish brown on the back and white on lower half with dark brown to black stripe from snout, through eye, to base of caudal fin. Sometimes seeks refuge among sea urchin spines.