Key to the east Pacific Lythrypnus
By J. Van Tassell
Modified from Bussing 1990

1a

A low predorsal crest on head; dorsal fin with 15-20 elements; anal fin with
12-16 elements ............................................................................................................... 2


1b

No predorsal crest on head; dorsal fin with 11-14 elements; anal fin with 9-11
elements ........................................................................................................................... 4


2a Body with 9 narrow light bars, bordered by dark pigment rows and with several
median rows of melanophores ......................................................................... gilberti
2b Body with 7 or less narrow dark (blue in life) crossbars, wide interspaces light
(red in life) ........................................................................................................................ 3
3a Pectoral fin with 21-22(20-23) elements; dorsal fin with generally 19 elements; anal
fin with 15-16 elements..................................................................................... cobalus
3b Pectoral fin with 18-19(17-20) elements; dorsal fin with generally 18 elements; anal
fin with generally 14 elements ............................................................................... dalli
4a Narrow and broad cross bars with median rows of melanophores ................ zebra
4b Narrow crossbars only with median rows of pigment.................................................5
5a Narrow crossbars lighter or of equal intensity as wider interspaces ....................... 6
5b Narrow crossbars darker than interspaces ................................................................. 8
6a Narrow crossbars with 8-12 median rows of closely spaced melanophores; dorsal
fin with 14 elements .................................................................................... lavenbergi
6b Narrow crossbars with 2-3 median rows of melanophores; dorsal fin with
12(11-13) elements......................................................................................................... 7
7a Live coloration narrow blue crossbars with wider red interspaces; narrow
crossbars typicall of same (rarely less) intensity as interspaces of preserved
specimens..................................................................................................... pulchellus
7b Live coloration pale blue crossbars with drab brown interspaces; narrow
crossbars usually lighter (rarely of equal) intensity as preserved specimens
with interspaces ..........................................................................................rhizophora
8a Longitudinal scales generally 37; cheeks and lower head with large white
spots .............................................................................................................. alphigena
8b Longitudinal scales 27-29; lower head with brown spots.................................. 9
9a Pectoral fin with 17-20 elements; narrow crossbars on body 13-15; 1(1-2) median
rows of melanophores on each crossbar..................................................... insularis
9b Pectoral fin with 21-22 elements; narrow crossbars on body 12; typically 3 rows
of melanophores on each crossbar ...........................................................solanensis
   

 

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