One of my favorite night-dive spots at Batangas,
Philippines is a spot we call the "eel grass"
where many unusual forms of marine life are found (see
the snake eel photos in gallery III). Certainly these
razorfish, also known as shrimpfish, qualify for the
Though occasionally seen during the day, I could always
count on seeing a school of five-inch long razorfish on a
night dive at the "eel grass" dive spot.
Usually the first clue that I was approaching a school
was the shimmering reflection off their silver bodies as
my dive light illuminated them from a distance. The size
of their schools range from only a few to hundreds. The
light blinds them, but they know you're there, and
automatically bunch together in their defensive vertical
formation posture, hoping to blend in with the tall sea
grass or whip corals. They bob up and down as they swim,
bumping into each other in the confusion. Their bodies
are very narrow, stiff as wood, and shaped like a knife
blade. One look at the position of their small fins tells
you they are well-adapted to swim head-down, instead of
in the conventional horizontal manner like most fish.
Identification: Aeoliscus strigatus
a pair of razorfish