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Description: Body relatively thin, long, and narrow with a medium eye and a terminal, medium-sized mouth and often thick lips. Pectoral fins long, reaching to vent, pelvic fins long and form a large obvious cup extending about two-thirds of the way to the vent. Dorsal and anal fins relatively short, caudal peduncle long and narrow, procurrent caudal-fin rays 6-8 (6-7 spindly). Lightly marked along the lower body: melanophores along the ventral midline at the isthmus (sometimes missing) and the pelvic-fin insertion, along the anal-fin base (paired, one per side) and extending along the ventral peduncle ending well before the start of the procurrent caudal-fin rays. Internal melanophores at the dorsal surface of the swim bladder and sometimes around the gut near the vent. Melanophores sometimes present on the base of several of the lower caudal-fin segmented rays and extending out a short distance along the rays. Series of transitional larvae show the eye remains round. Transitional larvae develop a blunt snout profile and develop bars radiating from the eye and bands across the top of the head, connected by a large X pattern over the brain. Patches of melanophores develop on the preopercle, on the base of the pectoral fin, and in a prominent row along the dorsal midline of the body as well as along the lateral midline and around the base of the caudal-fin rays.


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© by Benjamin Victor


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