Scale morphology of greater lizardfish Saurida tumbil (Bloch, 1795) (Pisces: Synodontidae)
A comparative study comprising scale morphology and squamation of Saurida tumbil was conducted to identify the most useful scale and squamation characters within the different body regions and length groups and to clarify their significance for future systematic studies. The presence of the caudal pores is documented for the first time in teleosts. In addition, the presence of crenae and spines formed by posterior orientation and projection of circuli is recorded for the first time in a member of the Synodontidae. Scales of S. tumbil show some characters that are either never seen or they are exceedingly rare in scales of other teleosts. These are: two types of scalar denticles, denticles in the inter-circular area, and twin or Siamese scales. Several other scale characters have shown a consistent variation in different body regions and in fishes from different length groups. These are: focus position; bilobate rostral field edge; presence of three radii; long, narrow and separated crenae; papillae-form, crowded scalar denticles with posterior directed spines; the number of scale rows between anterior end of the dorsal fin and the lateral line.