Morphology Data of Microphis aculeatus
Identification keys
Main Ref. Snoeks, J. and E.J. Vreven, 2008
Appearance refers to
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs other
Different appearance always different morphology between mature adults
Different colors
Remarks Males with brood pouch; females with ovipositor (Ref. 205).

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features striking shape of body
Body shape lateral eel-like
Cross section
Dorsal head profile
Type of eyes more or less normal
Type of mouth/snout tube-like
Position of mouth terminal
Type of scales

Diagnosis: 41-44 bony rings (mode 43) (Ref. 81680), 19-21 (mode 20) trunk rings (before anus)(Ref. 57226, 81680) and 20-26 tail rings (behind anus)(Ref. 81680). 8.0-9.75 total subdorsal rings, 1.75-3.5, usually 2.5 or more, subdorsal trunk rings and 5.25-7.0, usually 5.75-6.5, subdorsal tail rings (Ref. 81680). Head length 4.8-5.6 (mean 5.2) times in SL (Ref. 57226, 81680). Snout 1.5-1.7 (mean 1.6) times in HL (Ref. 81680).

Coloration: general colour of preserved specimens dark brown, but pattern often highly variable within a single sample; lateral part of snout with dark brown blotches or stripes; body plain, blotched or with vague pale mid-lateral trunk stripe; dorsum and belly somewhat paler than flanks; ventral part of head light brown; opercle with numerous small dark brown spots and often a narrow horizontal dark, silvery stripe situated towards upper edge; caudal fin mainly brown with pale edging; other fins hyaline or with fin rays edged with brown; no consistent differences in preserved colouration of various subspecies (Ref. 81680).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Microphis aculeatus

Lateral Lines Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line
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
on upper limb


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes no striking attributes
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Spines total 0 - 0
Soft-rays total 38 - 54
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin

Attributes more or less truncate; more or less normal

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 0 - 0
Soft-rays total 2 - 3

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Spines     0
Soft-rays   18 - 21
Pelvics Attributes  suppressed/absent
Position    absent
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Luna, Susan M.
Modified by Musschoot, Tobias
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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