Morphology Data of Heterotilapia cessiana
Identification keys
Main Ref. Teugels, G.G. and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 2003
Appearance refers to
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs
Different appearance
Different colors

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features
Body shape lateral
Cross section
Dorsal head profile
Type of eyes
Type of mouth/snout
Position of mouth
Type of scales

Diagnosis: lower pharyngeal bone about as long as broad, with anterior lamella shorter than toothed area; median pharyngeal teeth broadened when compared to lateral teeth; 3-4 series of scales on cheeks; 4-4.5 scales between first dorsal fin spine and upper lateral line (Ref. 53405). Dark vertical bars narrower than lighter inter-spaces (Ref. 52307, 53405).

Description: body deep (its depth 38.7-53.4% of standard length); outer jaw teeth bicuspid, posterior pharyngeal teeth tricuspid; (Ref. 53405).

Coloration: in life: ground colour greyish-white (Ref. 53405) to greenish with a golden flush (Ref. 52307). Underside of head and chest whitish, back greyish; bases of scales on sides with a greyish-blue spot (Ref. 53405). 7 narrow, dark grey cross bars (slightly forward-directed) on sides, 1st at level of occiput, last at caudal-fin base (Ref. 53405), these bars narrower than lighter areas in between (Ref. 52307, 53405). Black spot at hind angle of opercle; dorsal fin with blackish margin, its spinous part greyish, soft part lighter, with some parallel bars; anal fin greyish, black-and-white-spotted posteriorly; caudal fin greyish, also covered with black and white spots; pelvic fins dark grey; pectorals transparent (Ref. 53405).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Heterotilapia cessiana

Lateral Lines Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line 29 - 30
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Barbels 0
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb 10 - 11
on upper limb


Dorsal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   0
Ventral  0
Spines total 14 - 15
Soft-rays total 14 - 16
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin


Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 3 - 3
Soft-rays total 10 - 11

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  
Pelvics Attributes  
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Musschoot, Tobias
Modified by Musschoot, Tobias
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