Terminal phase: Color vary greatly, but most commonly with a green cast. Eyes have a bright red iris and a green pupil. Margin of tail rounded. Male have a dark spot (occasionally two) at the midbody and may have bars and markings ranging from reddish brown to yellow, green and white. Female have no distinctive marks, but may have bars.
Size up to 17.5 cm.
Juvenile phase: Color varies greatly, but most commonly with a green cast. Eyes have a bright red iris and a green pupil. First two dorsal spines are long, with pigmented tissue in between. Rest of dorsal fin clear, with two or three pigmented bars, the rear two of which correspond to similar bars in the anal fin.
Hover above shallow, sandy bottoms, down to 15 m, dive into the sand when alarmed.
Occasional Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean.
Two other species razorfish occur in the area: the Rosy razorfish (Hemipteronotus martinicensis) and the Pearly razorfish (Hemipteronotus novacula).
The Rosy razorfish have tails with a straight margin. The body of male is a mixture of pastel green, blue and yellow. The head is usually pale yellow with faint bars. There is a darkened area at the base of the pectoral fin. The body of the female is grayish to rosy pearl, with a pearl white head, a white belly patch with reddish line markings behind the pectoral fin and a darkish bar on the gill cover.
The Pearly razorfish have an extremely steep snout, giving the head a squared-off appearance. Small eyes are set high up on the head, the tail is rounded. Male have a wide, diagonal, dusky or reddish band on their sides and females have a white area on the upper belly.