Morphology Data of Sarotherodon occidentalis
Identification keys
Main Ref. Trewavas, E., 1983
Appearance refers to Male; Female
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs no special organs
Different appearance males alike females
Different colors males alike females

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features none
Body shape lateral short and / or deep
Cross section
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

Diagnosis: 29-31 total dorsal-fin rays; upper profile of snout strongly arched; head length 31.0-35.0% SL; 30-32 lateral line scales (Ref. 53405). 2 complete rows of scales on cheek (Ref. 2, 53405). Toothed area of lower pharyngeal bone with concave sides; snout and cheek purple; iris orange; nape and upper part of body soiled yellowish; posterior dorsal lappets and upper edge of soft dorsal watery pink; few vague dark spots on soft dorsal and center of caudal; pelvic ending in short white filament (Ref. 2).

Description: outer jaw teeth bicuspid, inner jaw teeth tricuspid, posterior pharyngeal teeth bicuspid; micro-gillrakers present; scales cycloid (Ref. 53405). When adult, deep-bodied with a small mouth (Ref. 52307).

Coloration: young individuals with 7 distinct cross bars on sides and large round "tilapian" spot bordered anteriorly and posteriorly by light-coloured area; cross bars disappear in adults, but "tilapian" spot remains (Ref. 53405). Snout and cheeks purple, nape and back yellowish (Ref. 52307, 53405), fading to white on lower sides and belly (Ref. 53405). Lower lip, lower jaw, preopercle and throat white; posterior area and distal margin of soft part of dorsal fin pink; some black spots on soft part of dorsal and on centre of caudal fin (Ref. 53405).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Sarotherodon occidentalis

Lateral Lines 2 Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line 30 - 32
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line 3 - 3.5
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Barbels 0
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only) absent
Gill rakers
on lower limb 22 - 27
on upper limb 6 - 7
preanal 16 - 17


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes extending over most of the back length
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   0
Ventral  0
Spines total 16 - 18
Soft-rays total 12 - 13
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 10 - 11

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    thoracic  beneath origin of D1
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Binohlan, Crispina B.
Modified by Musschoot, Tobias
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