Morphology Data of Scarus spinus
Identification keys
Main Ref. Randall, J.E. and J.H. Choat, 1980
Appearance refers to Male; Female
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs
Different appearance
Different colors different colors in juveniles and adults

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features none
Body shape lateral elongated
Cross section compressed
Dorsal head profile clearly convex
Type of eyes more or less normal
Type of mouth/snout more or less normal
Position of mouth terminal
Type of scales cycloid scales

Males distinct and head looks bright yellow underwater; females drab with white teeth and some pale spots (Ref. 48636). Scales large. 4 median predorsal scales; a transverse pair of smaller scales which overlap medially in mid-dorsal line located directly anterior to 1st median scale; 3 scale rows on cheek, lower row with 1-2 (usually 2) scales. Caudal fin slightly rounded to truncate in initial phase; moderately to deeply emarginate in terminal phase. Adults in initial phase without canines on upper plate, 1 on lower; terminal-phase fish with 1-2 canines on upper and lower plates. Lips largely or entirely cover dental plates.

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Scarus spinus

Lateral Lines 1 Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line 22 - 25
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
on upper limb


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes extending over most of the back length
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   0 - 0
Ventral  0 - 0
Spines total 9 - 9
Soft-rays total 10 - 10
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin

Attributes more or less truncate; more or less normal

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 3 - 3
Soft-rays total 9 - 9

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Spines     0
Soft-rays   13 - 15
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    thoracic  behind origin of D1
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Capuli, Estelita Emily
Modified by Santos, Kristine
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