Morphology Data of Mycteroperca phenax
Identification keys
Main Ref. Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall, 1993
Appearance refers to
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs
Different appearance
Different colors

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features none
Body shape lateral fusiform / normal
Cross section oval
Dorsal head profile more or less straight
Type of eyes more or less normal
Type of mouth/snout more or less normal
Position of mouth superior
Type of scales ctenoid scales

Distinguished by the following characteristics: four color patterns, first is brown phase with head and body pale brown covered with small reddish brown spots that extend onto median fins, second is cat's paw phase with pale brown body color with dorsolateral parts of body having several clusters of dark brown spots resembling the paw print of a cat, third is with large adults with grey-head phase with the rear two-thirds of the body dark, head and body anterior to the 6th dorsal-fin spine in silvery grey with dark reticulations and fourth is bicoloured phase with pale brown anteriorly and abruptly dark chocolate brown posteriorly; depth of body contained 3.0-3.4 times in SL; head length 2.6-3.0 times in SL; convex interorbital area; angular preopercle, angle with distinct bony lobe; serrate interopercle and subopercle; posterior nostrils of adults 2-4 times larger than anterior ones (Ref. 89707).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Mycteroperca phenax

Lateral Lines 1 Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line 76 - 82
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series 124
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 26 - 31
on upper limb 17 - 21
total 43 - 52


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes no striking attributes
Fins number 1notched No
Finlets No. Dorsal   0 - 0
Ventral  0 - 0
Spines total 11 - 11
Soft-rays total 16 - 18
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin

Attributes more or less truncate

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 3 - 3
Soft-rays total 10 - 12

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Spines     0
Soft-rays   15 - 17
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    thoracic  beneath origin of D1
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Reyes, Rodolfo B.
Modified by Valdestamon, Roxanne Rei
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cfm script by eagbayani, 17.10.00, php script by rolavides, 13/03/08 ,  last modified by sortiz, 06.27.17