Alticus saliens   (Forster,  1788) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 10 cm.

Color: Male over all color quite dark, with fins generally darker than body. Crest covered with large, round dark spots, larger and more widely spaced than those on cheek. These large dots extend down to the opercle and there are no vermiculations in this area or at the base of the crest. Lower cheek, operculum, snout, upper lip, base of pectoral, shoulder, area under pectoral and the light areas dorsally on the body thickly set with tiny dark dots. Upper cheek may be dotted or plain, dots not prominent on anterior part of body, those on upper lip and snout a little larger than those on cheeks. A white streak, narrowly margined with black, curving around back of eye and down to, but not onto, upper lip a little ahead of corner of mouth. A similar streak runs from lower margin of eye to anterior nostril. A broad lighter area descends from the end of the crest down over the operculum, branchiostegal rays and the back of the throat. Throat light with no markings. Eleven light spots the size of eye or smaller, either clear or containing a few dark dots, along the base of dorsal. Ten to 15 light vertical streaks spaced along the body, sometimes more or less faded and broken into oblong spots. These are the light areas between the double dark vertical bands which do not generally show up themselves because of the general darkness of the body. Both dorsals nearly black with a light streak ascending obliquely half way up fin from the pale spots at base of dorsal, traces of narrow, oblique, black lines on spinous dorsal. Anal dark with tips of rays light. Pectorals quite dark in some specimens, pale in others, marked only by fine black dots that extend out over a variable extents of fin, but never over more than basal half. Ventrals more or less dusky, but unmarked. Caudal dark but basal 2/3 of membrane between rays clear and translucent, distal third pigmented and opaque. Female: generally same in coloration as male with following differences. Top of head spotted but these not so much larger than cheek spots as in male. A few dark spots anteriorly on body. Vertical dark bands of body generally distinguishable. Between each is a light band divided by a thin, vertical, dark line. Dorsal light basally, shading into dark, submarginal band, with the tips of spines and rays pale. Anal pigmented except for tips of rays, but lighter than body.

Crest well developed in male, triangular, sloping evenly up to its highest point over the posterior end of its base from which it drops straight to base, with no free posterior lobe, nearly as high as diameter of eye and 1 3/4 times as long as eye. No crest in females except in very large individuals where a low fleshy ridge, never as much as 1/2 hight of pupil, is sometimes developed. Nasal cirrus simple, pointed and minute, never more than 1/2 the pupil diameter in large individuals. Supra orbital cirrus short and stubby, not greater in length than diameter of pupil, bearing on either side 2 or 3 stubby, simple filaments. Snout projecting, fore head receeding, mouth inferior. Both lips strongly crenulate along entire edges, several characteristic folds of corner of mouth when it is closed. Males with well developed, pointed, canine posteriorly on each dentary, fitting into cavity in roof of mouth when latter is closed. Depth 7.6 to 8.5. Head 5.1 to 6.1. Spinous dorsal somewhat higher than soft dorsal in males, anterior spines highest, the fin becoming lower posteriorly with a distinct, but shallow notch, between the fins. Notch scarcely noticeable in young males. Anterior dorsal spine not more than 2/3 as high as body in females, last spine about 1/3 height of first ray, no notch in membrane, merely a change in level with the soft dorsal the higher. Anal spines not markedly shorter than rays in male (first hidden in genital papilla in females); membrane deeply excised between rays. Last anal ray free caudal peduncle. Longest pectoral ray as long as, or a little longer than, head, lower 2 to 5 rays (depending on age) thickened and fleshy. The stubby ventrals a little shorter than post ocular length of head, the spine hidden, first two rays thickened and snout, third as long as second but not stout, fourth shorter and quite slender. Lower four rays of caudal thickened and fleshy, with lower three characteristically shortened as if ventral edge of fin had been clipped off.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Blennius saliens Forster, 1788
Blennius saliens Lacepede, 1800
Blennius tridactylus Bloch and Schneider, 1801
Salarias alticus Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1836
Blennius gobiodes Forster Lichtenstein, 1844
Salarias tridactylus Gunther, 1861
Salarias alticus Kner, 1867
Salarias tridactylus Steindachner, 1868
Alticus tridactylus Bleeker, 1869
Salarias tridactylus Klunzinger, 1871
Salarias tridactylus Day, 1876
Salarias tridactylus Gunther, 1876
Alticus saltatarius Bleeker, 1878
Salarias montanoi Sauvage, 1880
Salarias sertatus Garman, 1903
Alticus saliens Jordan and Seale, 1906
Salarias tridactylus Bean and Weed, 1912
Salarias andersoni Delsman, 1925
Salarias saliens Fowler, 1928
Salarias saliens Herre, 1936
Salarias saliens Fowler, 1938
Salarias saliens Herre, 1939
Rupiscartes saliens L. P. Schultz, 1943

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats




Literature Source(s)
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Beaufort, LF and Chapman, WM (1951) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago A. J. Reprints agency, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 9 484 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing area 51). FAO, Rome 1 Available at -

Page last updated on:2010-04-07

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