Morphology Data of Megalops atlanticus
Identification keys
Main Ref. Bauchot, M.L., 2003
Appearance refers to
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs other
Different appearance
Different colors

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features none
Body shape lateral fusiform / normal
Cross section compressed
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 cycloid scales

Diagnosis: It is characterized by the anterior position of pelvic fin insertions in relation to dorsal-fin origin, and by some morphometric counts: 13-16 dorsal-fin rays, 40-48 lateral-line scales and 53-57 vertebrae (Ref. 2845, 81266).

Description: Body moderately deep, rather strongly compressed (Ref. 3234, 4639). Head moderately short and deep with dorsal outline nearly straight and horizontal; snout considerably shorter than eye in small specimens, becoming equal and longer than eye during growth; eye 3,3-4,7 times in head (Ref. 3234). Mouth oblique, lower jaw prominent, with a gular plate visible ventrally between its two branches (Ref. 2845, 81266). Gillrakers rather long and slender, scarcely denticulate (Ref. 3234). Fins spineless; dorsal fin short-based, inserted at midlength of body, its last ray filamentous; anal-fin base much longer, its origin placed rearwards in relation to dorsal fin end; pectoral fins set very low on body; pelvic fins inserted in advance of dorsal-fin origin; caudal fin deeply forked (Ref. 2845, 3234, 26938, 81266). Scales large, cycloid, those in lateral line numbering 40-48 and ornamented with branched tubes (Ref. 2845, 81266).

Colouration: Back bluish-grey, sides brilliant silvery (Ref. 2845, 3234, 81266).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Megalops atlanticus

Lateral Lines 1 Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line 40 - 48
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 36 - 40
on upper limb 19 - 22
total 53 - 57


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes last fin rays very elongated
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Spines total 0 - 0
Soft-rays total 13 - 16
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin

Attributes forked; more or less normal

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 0 - 0
Soft-rays total 22 - 25

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Spines     0
Soft-rays   13 - 14
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    abdominal  before origin of D1
Spines     0
Soft-rays   10 - 10
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Palomares, Maria Lourdes D.
Modified by Bailly, Nicolas
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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