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Description: Body thick and relatively narrow with a large round eye and large terminal mouth. Pectoral and pelvic fins medium length, reaching more than half-way to the vent, dorsal-fin base long and anal-fin base short, caudal peduncle relatively narrow and short. Melanophores typically at the angle of the jaw, a cluster on the top of the head, and two stripes of small melanophores, one along the upper body only below the spinous dorsal-fin and one full-length along the lateral midline. There is a row of melanophores along the base of the anal-fin soft rays, one per ray, and several along the ventral midline of the caudal peduncle ending before the start of the procurrent caudal-fin rays. On the fins, melanophores concentrate on the distal membranes between the dorsal-fin spines and extensively speckled along the pectoral and pelvic fin ray membranes. There are often a few melanophores between some of the anal-fin rays. On the caudal fin, there are melanophores at the base of several of the central lower segmented fin rays and a larger patch at the base of the first two or three upper segmented caudal-fin rays that presents as a slight upward curve of the main body mid-lateral stripe. Internal melanophores are present along the dorsal surface of the swim bladder and peritoneum extending to the gut near the vent. Transitional larvae intensify the two stripes and the mid lateral stripe extends forward to the tip of the upper jaw and the upper stripe continues irregularly backwards to the dorsal caudal peduncle. A third short stripe develops on top of the head from the braincase towards the origin of the dorsal fin. Smaller melanophores develop between the anterior portions of the main two stripes and just above the anal fin, as well as in a series of fine patches just below the mid-lateral stripe. The larval melanophores on the pectoral and pelvic fin ray membranes disappear rapidly, those between the dorsal-fin spines disappear last. Melanophores appear on the iris at about 3, 7, 9, and 10 o'clock.


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© by Benjamin Victor


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