Serranus notospilus

Common Name

Saddle Bass

Year Described

Longley ,1935


Dorsal Fin: X, 12
Anal Fin: III, 7-8
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 16
Lateral Line Scales: 47-49
Gill Rakers: 15-20
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.


Two color forms correspond to range: Northern morph pale whitish overall on the head and body with a blue to blue-green wash. A yellowish-brown midbody bar at midbody band runs from the dorsal fin to the belly. A pearly white band borders the brown band posteriorly. A partial second brown band and a third brown band run under the soft dorsal fin. A fourth brown band is on the caudal peduncle. The rest of the body has indistinct pale brown mottling but the pattern can be intensified with mood. Head with a faint yellowish triangular band under eye and some iridescent blue lines and markings. Fins pale whitish with iridescent sheen and faint brown bands and/or spots. Caudal fin with golden yellow lobes. Southern morph with a darker and bolder pattern of alternating purplish-brown and whitish bands. The pearly white band is present on belly, bordered by a darker band behind it. Head with a dark triangular bar below the eye. Fins whitish with a blue sheen. Dorsal fin with few dark spots. Anal and pelvic fin unmarked. Caudal fin with an orange distal half and red upper and lower lobes.


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.