Serranus tigrinus

Common Name

Harlequin Bass

Year Described

Bloch, 1790


Dorsal Fin: X, 12
Anal Fin: III, 7
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 13-16
Lateral Line Scales: 48-51
Gill Rakers: 15-19
Vertebrae: 10 precaudal, 14 caudal; 24 total

Serranus defined by Robins & Starck (1961) with the following set of characters. Supramaxilla absent. Maxilla not covered by lachrymal. Premaxillary with a dorsal expansion. Teeth present on dentary, premaxilla, vomer, and palatine. Preopercle serrated. Opercle with three spines. Dorsal fin continuous. Caudal fin with 17 principal rays. Branchiostegal rays number 7. Snout, jaw area, and brachiostegal area naked. Scales encroach on bases of median fin membranes. Lateral line arched and continuous.


Dorsal half of body with a bluish-gray base color and ventral half with a yellowish base color. There are 8-9 black bands on the body from the dorsal midline to the belly, becoming darker ventrally. Interspaces are about equal to band width. Interspaces between black bars with fainter blotching. On head and pectoral region, the black bars break up into scattered black blotches with a clear yellow area in between on the side of the head. Blotches on head indistinct dorsally but bold ventrally. Dorsal fin pale with black spots surrounded by gray halos and pale yellow edging. Caudal fin with a dark basal band and numerous black spots with gray halos. Tips of each lobe yellow. Anal fin whitish with pale yellow spots and some black spots basally. Pelvic fin pale yellowish. Eye whitish and black.


Robins, C.R. & W.A., Starck II. 1961. Materials for a revision of Serranus and related fish genera. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia v. 113 (no. 11): 259-314.