Morphology Data of Helcogramma aquila
Identification keys
Main Ref. Williams, J.T. and C.J. McCormick, 1990
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 elongated
Cross section
Dorsal head profile
Type of eyes
Type of mouth/snout
Position of mouth
Type of scales

Distinguished by the following characters: 5-8 symphyseal mandibular sensory pores; second dorsal fin spines XIII-XIV; last pleural ribs on vertebral centrum 11, vertebrae 11+ 26 = 37; nape naked (Ref. 9849); black lower half of head; bright blue stripe extending from anterior part of upper lip to preopercular margin through ventral margin of orbit; dorsal fins black distally; central part of pectoral fin base black; entire caudal fin black (Ref. 95023). Description: Dorsal fin III, + XIII-XV + 11; anal fin I, 19-20; pectoral rays 0-1 + 8-9 + 7 = 16-17; pelvic fin I, 2; caudal rays 13, branched 9, procurrent 16-20. Vertebrae 11 + 26 = 37. Mandibular pores 5-8 + 5-8 + 6-8. Gill rakers 7-8 on first arch. In preservative, overall brownish or tan; females paler than males. Orbital with cirrus. Scaleless head, nape, first dorsal fin base, pectoral-fin base, and bell y. LL continuous, pored scales 23-31. Scales ctenoid, largest (double-sized) below lateral line and posterior of pectoral-fin base. In preservative, overall pale yellow, tan or brown, possibly red in life with neon-blue band below the eye, from jaw to opercle, body with 4-5 stripes from dorsal-fin base down to middle depth of body. Male head, chest and pectoral-fin base masked darkly; females uniformly pigmented overall. Fins translucent; dorsal-fin margin dark; pectoral-fin base with triangular spot; caudal fin black in males, but in females translucent with four dark vertical stripes (Ref. 9849, 52308, 90102).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Helcogramma aquila

Lateral Lines Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line
Pored lateral line scales 23 - 31
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb
on upper limb
total 7 - 8
preanal 11 - 11
total 37 - 37


Dorsal fin(s)

Fins number 3
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Spines total 16 - 18
Soft-rays total 11 - 11
Adipose fin

Caudal fin

Attributes more or less truncate; more or less normal

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 1 - 1
Soft-rays total 19 - 20

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Soft-rays   16 - 17
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    jugular
Spines     1
Soft-rays   2 - 2
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
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