|In preflexion larvae, extensive pigmentation on head and dorsal and ventral margins of tail (series extends entire length of dorsum in contrast to S. auriculatus where it is limited to tail); preopercular spines sparsely pigmented (heavily pigmented in S. auriculatus); postorbital pigment patch in postflexion larvae (none on cheek as in S. auriculatus); single opercular pigment patch in postflexion larvae (S auriculatus larvae have upper and lower opercular patches).
Preflexion: initially, 0-4 above midbrain and 1-5 above hindbrain, 0-1 at otic region, at angular (rarely), at lower jaw tip (some specimens), dorsally and ventrally on gut, 1 anterior to and 1 posterior to anus, at cleithral symphysis (some specimens), 39-63 in series at ventral margin of tail (from postanal myomere 1 to 16), 15-32 in series on dorsum (nape to postanal myomere 16), and 1 laterally on tail (some specimens); by end of stage, laterally on lower jaw, other head loci augmented, some laterally on gut, and on snout.
Flexion: few on pectoral fin base and blade; more on jaws and dorsally on head; on midline posteriorly on tail.
Postflexion: postorbital patch; patch on opercle; sparse on preopercular spines; gut covered; laterally at cleithrum; more on pectoral fin base and blade; diffuse bar on tail; on margin of hypural.
Juvenile: heavy dorsally on head; 3 bars below first dorsal fin; broad bar below second dorsal fin; heavy on margin of first dorsal fin with 2 lighter areas proximally.
Sequence of fin development: caudal, dorsal and anal and pectorals, pelvics.
Distinguished from S. auriculatus by: until midflexion, more dorsal midline pigment anterior to anus; less pigment in the opercular region (flexion and postflexion).
Pigment: head: dorsal and nape spreading, with development, to entire head; gut: dorsal and ventrolateral surface, increasing laterally with development; dorsal midline melanophores extend from head to just anterior to tail with no break over gut; ventral midline melanophores, with development increasing ventrolaterally and in hypural region.
Sequence of fin development: caudal and pectorals, pelvics, dorsal and anal.
Also Ref. 34817.