The retinoid X receptors (RXRs) are involved in the skeletal development and other biological process such as blood vessel formation and metabolism. Partial sequences of RXRα and β genes were obtained, and their expressions were quantified on golden pompano Trachinotus ovatus at 28 days post hatching (DPH) to explore the molecular response to nutritional manipulation in fish larvae. As live food, Artemia nauplii were separately enriched with Nannochloropsis and Algamac 3080 and non-enriched Artemia nauplii (control) for fish feeding. The expressions of RXRs were detected in the embryos and fish larvae at early stages, suggesting that the skeletal development in golden pompano initiated before yolk re-sorption completion. Fish fed non-enriched Artemia nauplii ended up with higher jaw malformation. The highest specific growth rate was obtained when fish were fed with the Artemia nauplii enriched with Algamac 3080, and the lowest growth rate was observed when fish were fed with unenriched Artemia nauplii. The highest survival was obtained when fish were fed with non-enriched or Nannochloropsis-enriched Artemia nauplii. This study indicates that the use of enriched formula for Artemia nauplii can significantly affect the expression levels of RXRs and jaw malformation of golden pompano larvae, but there is no clear correlation between RXRs expressions and malformation rates when fish are subjected to nutrient challenge.