Distinguishing characteristics for larval forms in the family Centrarchidae include a large oval yolk sac at hatching; position of the oil globule variable, but usually situated posterior in the yolk sac; the vent near midbody; the body usually robust with a large head; air bladder distinct; a short gut that coils with growth; a continuous spinous and soft dorsal fin; and total myomere counts (range: 26-31) usually less than Percidae (range: 33-52) and more than Moronidae (range: 18-22).