Serranus chionaraia

Common Name

Snow Bass

Year Described

Robins & Starck, 1961


Dorsal Fin: X, 12
Anal Fin: III, 7
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 13-14
Lateral Line Scales: 45-47
Gill Rakers: 17-19
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.


Body white basally with a complex pattern of reddish brown blotches densely placed on the body. Ventrally, these blotches become more red near anal fin. Lines of blotches continue onto dorsal and ventral midlines of caudal peduncle. There are two open areas of white on the body: one a large triangular area on belly and the other a irregular area on peduncular area. Head with a stripe on the top of the head and two running above and through eye. Two fainter brown stripes on cheek. Intervening light areas range from white to bright blue. Brown bands adjacent to pectoral fin base on throat. Dorsal fin with a line of basal brown blotches and two orange-brown lines breaking up into spots on soft dorsal fin. Caudal, anal, and pelvic fins pale with orange spotting. Edges of tail, anal, and pelvic fins with dark spots forming a dark margin. Eye yellowish.


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.