Serranus tortugarum

Common Name

Chalk Bass

Year Described

Longley, 1935


Dorsal Fin: X, 12
Anal Fin: III, 7
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 13-15
Lateral Line Scales: 46-50
Gill Rakers: 27-31
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.


Body pinkish-red with a strong blue to purple sheen along the midbody. Dorsum dark red with eight brilliant blue bars along back that end about a third of the way down the flank. Bars run from behind eye to caudal peduncle and are thinner than the red areas adjacent to them. There are often three pale blue blotches on side of body. Two blue bars on head: one above the eye and one on snout. Dorsal fin pale with red and blue dorsum markings extending onto fin. Caudal fin with faint pink and blue speckling. Anal and pelvic fins unmarked. Eye white with reddish markings.


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.