Morphology Data of Pelvicachromis subocellatus
Identification keys
Main Ref. Stiassny, M.L.J., A. Lamboj, D. De Weirdt and G.G. Teugels, 2008
Appearance refers to
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs
Different appearance
Different colors
Remarks Sexual dimorphism well-developed with males usually 15-25% larger than females, with soft dorsal and anal rays more elongated (Ref. 81260).

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features
Body shape lateral fusiform / normal
Cross section
Dorsal head profile
Type of eyes
Type of mouth/snout
Position of mouth
Type of scales

Diagnosis: if present mid-lateral band does not extend over caudal fin; dorsal fin without dark basal band; relatively deep-bodied (body depth 35.6-41.6%, mean 37.4% standard length), distance from snout to pelvic fin origin 37.5-45.9% standard length (Ref. 81260).

Description: relatively robust species (body depth 34.6-41.6%, mean 37.4% SL), head length 32.2-38.9% SL; dorsal head profile smoothly rounded to snout; snout blunt, 23.4-30.9% HL; ventral body wall gently rounded to caudal peduncle which is deeper than long; distance from snout to pelvic origin 37.5-45.9%, mean 40.6% SL; 7-9 tuberculate rakers on hypobranchial and ceratobranchial, 5-8 epibranchial gill rakers; caudal fin rounded in both sexes, sometimes upper half somewhat elongate and lobe-like in males; sexual dimorphism well-developed with males usually 15-25% larger than females, with soft dorsal and anal rays more elongated (Ref. 81260). Caudal fin rounded to slightly rhomboid in large males (Ref. 52307).

Coloration: body brown or yellow-brown, dorsum and caudal peduncle darker than ventrum; cheek, opercle and chest yellow (Ref. 81260). Body scales of males with dark distal margins (Ref. 52307, 81260). Sometimes, especially in stressed individuals or when guarding fry, a black mid-lateral band is visible; when present, mid-lateral band passes from ventral border of eye to end of caudal peduncle and does not extend over caudal fin; dark lachrymal stripe present (Ref. 81260). Chest and belly in ripe females with a dark red or violet blotch, surrounded by a more or less developed iridescent silvery band (Ref. 52307, 81260). In courting females region directly behind head and caudal peduncle jet black; leading edge of pelvic blue, rest of fin purple; 4-5 pale bars or blotches sometimes visible on upper flanks in males; soft dorsal and upper lobe of caudal fin in males with red margin; dorsal fin in males yellow or red with light blue maculae in soft dorsal membrane; dorsal in females silvery white, with soft dorsal yellow and sometimes also with a few large black spots; upper third of caudal in males brownish with yellow dots and stripes; centrally, fin red with numerous rows of blue maculae, lower edge of caudal yellow; caudal in females clear to slightly yellow with some bright yellow spots; anal in males red with many rows of small blue maculae in posterior field, anal in females clear or slightly yellow (Ref. 81260).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Pelvicachromis subocellatus

Lateral Lines Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line 25 - 28
Pored lateral line scales
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 7 - 9
on upper limb 5 - 8
total 13 - 16


Dorsal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   0
Ventral  0
Spines total 15 - 16
Soft-rays total 9 - 9
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin


Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 3 - 3
Soft-rays total 7 - 8

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  
Pelvics Attributes  
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
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