Serranus tabacarius

Common Name


Year Described

Cuvier, 1829


Dorsal Fin: X, 12
Anal Fin: III, 7
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 15
Lateral Line Scales: 50-52
Gill Rakers: 21-25
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 boldly marked with an orange to yellow-brown midbody stripe and a dark brown back with 3 large irregular white bars and 2 smaller white blotches. Head dark brown with three white bands: the first on snout and the other two connected on top of head. Belly whitish. Top of last body blotch and white belly extend onto tail as pale lobes. Rest of tail pale orange with dark brown bordering pale lobes. Body markings continue onto dorsal fin. Anal and pelvic fins pale. Eye white and yellow.


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.