Morphology Data of Schilbe laticeps
Identification keys
Main Ref. De Vos, L., 2007
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 fusiform / normal
Cross section compressed
Dorsal head profile
Type of eyes
Type of mouth/snout
Position of mouth
Type of scales

Diagnosis: adipose fin present and fully developed; inner side of pectoral fin spine weakly serrated; barbels well developed, nasal barbel at least reaching to posterior border of eye but never reaching beyond anterior border of opercle; posterior nostrils closer to each other than the anterior nostrils (Ref. 43912, 81643). Medium-sized species, growing over 25 cm SL with distinct marbling, particularly in specimens smaller than 10 cm SL, larger specimens marbled and sometimes with more or less indistinct longitudinal streaks (Ref. 81643). Head massive (Ref. 81643), broad and rectangular (Ref. 43912, 81643). Interorbital width 62-74% HL; mouth width 61-78% HL; 39-52 branched anal fin rays (Ref. 81643). Lower jaw reaching as far as upper jaw (Ref. 81643) or slightly beyond snout (Ref. 43912, 81643).

Description: 39-47 branched anal rays; 43-44 non-fused vertebrae; 9-10 branchiostegal rays on each side of head; caudal peduncle somewhat longer than deep or slightly deeper than long; maxillary barbel reaches at least to halfway between eye and opercle and at maximum to anterior border of opercle; outer mandibular barbel reaches at least to anterior border of opercle and at maximum slightly beyond its posterior border; inner mandibular barbels short, never reaching beyond posterior border of eye (Ref. 43912). A very peculiar species characterized by its massive head and its irregular coloration somewhat resembling the colour pattern of S. marmorarus, from which it is easily distinguished by the presence of an adipose fin (Ref. 43912).

Coloration: (alcohol) preserved specimens: body marbled (particularly in juveniles <10 cm SL); largest individuals marbled and sometimes with lateral bands more or less distinct (Ref. 81643). Head dark brown; sides and dorsum brown with irregularly marbled pattern; dark so-called "tympanum spot" present on each side behind head, where swimbladder lies close below skin; belly and ventral side of head pale and covered with dark, faint speckles; all rayed fins grey-brown except at their bases which are yellowish; a yellowish stripe often along base of caudal fin (Ref. 43912). In life: coloration characterized by its dark irregularly marbled pattern with iridescent metallic blueish and dark greenish reflections (Ref. 43912).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Schilbe laticeps

Lateral Lines Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Barbels 8
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb 7 - 10
on upper limb 2 - 3


Dorsal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   0
Ventral  0
Spines total 1
Soft-rays total
Adipose fin present

Caudal fin

Attributes forked

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total
Soft-rays total

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  
Spines     1
Soft-rays   9 - 11
Pelvics Attributes  
Soft-rays   6
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Musschoot, Tobias
Modified by Musschoot, Tobias
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