Morphology Data of Plectropomus leopardus
Identification keys
Main Ref. Randall, J.E. and P.C. Heemstra, 1991
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 fusiform / normal
Cross section oval
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 and ctenoid scales

This species is distinguished by the following characters: D VIII,11; A III,8; pectoral rays 14-17 (modally 16); lateral line scales 89-99, in longitudinal series 112-127 scales; interorbital space no embedded scales; gill rakers on first gill arch developed 1-3 + 6-10; front of jaws with a pair of large canine teeth and side of lower jaw with 1-4 large canines; body elongate, its greatest depth 2.9-3.6 in SL; truncate to slightly emarginate caudal fin; pectoral fins 2.0-2.3 in HL; pelvic fins 2.0-2.4 in HL; Head, body and fins with numerous blue spots on red, pale grey or olive to dark brown background; caudal fin with a narrow white posterior margin except near the corners; juveniles (< 5 cm) brown on upper 2/3 of side with scattered blue spots, broad whitish stripe from eye to caudal fin base, white on lower head and yellowish ventrally on side (Ref. 4787, 54980, 90102).

Description: Color in life olivaceous to reddish brown (some are orange-red), paler ventrally with numerous minute round, dark-edged blue spots on head and body (except lower thorax and abdomen), median fins and pectoral fin base; largest spots on body with 3 times or more in greater pupil diameter; with more than 10 spots on cheek (in the region below and behind center of eye to preopercular margin); only Plectropomus with a nearly complete blue ring (dark brown in preservative) around the eye (sometimes broken into segments); whitish margin very narrow and usually present along middle or posterior margin of caudal fin, often preceded by an indistinct dark band; gill raker at right angle of first arch longer than longest gill filaments at angle; enlarged posterior nostril on individuals > 40 cm SL; dorsal soft ray 3rd or 4th longest, 2.2-2.75 in head; anal soft ray longest 2nd or 3rd, 2.05-2.45 in head; outer margin of anal fin from 4th -8th soft ray straight to slightly convex; caudal concavity 5.0-12.0 in head, fin length 1.3-1.55 in head; pectoral fins 1.9-2.2in head; pelvic fins 1.9-2.2 in head (Ref. 4787).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Plectropomus leopardus

Lateral Lines 1 Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line 89 - 99
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series 112 - 127
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Barbels 0
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only) absent
Gill rakers
on lower limb 6 - 10
on upper limb 1 - 3
total 7 - 13


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes no striking attributes
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   0 - 0
Ventral  0 - 0
Spines total 7 - 8
Soft-rays total 10 - 12
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 8 - 8

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Spines     0
Soft-rays   14 - 17
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    thoracic  before origin of D1
Spines     1
Soft-rays   5 - 5
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Capuli, Estelita Emily
Modified by Capuli, Estelita Emily
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