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Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Callionymus lyra Linnaeus, 1758

Diagnosis: eye in head 2.6-3.9. Preopercular spine formula 17-31 (see fig.), strong antrorse spine at base. Dl IV; D2 9 (rarely 8 or 10); A 9. Colour: yellowish-brown, adult males with blue spots and stripes on head, body and dorsal fins; females and young males with saddles and green-brown blotches. Size: to 30 cm (males), 20 cm (females).

Habitat: benthic, on sandy and muddy bottoms, sublittoral to 430 m. Territorial, males aggressive to each other. Complex courtship behaviour with 4 phases: courtship, pairing, ascending, releasing eggs and milt. Food: small bottom invertebrates, mainly worms and crustaceans. Reproduction: April-August (North Sea), February August (Mediterranean); eggs and larvae pelagic.

Distribution: northern Mediterranean, Gibraltar and Algeria to the western Black Sea, including the Aegean and Adriatic; southern Iceland and Norway south to Mauritania; also, the Azores and the Canaries.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Padoa, 1956b: 698-702, fig. 591-598 | McIntosh & Masterman, 1897: 175, pl. I (fig. 15), pl. VII (fig. 6-8) | Ehrenbaum, 1905-1909, 1905, 1: 103-106.
Otoliths (sagitta). Frost, 1928: 455, pl. XVII (fig. 17) | Chaine, 1938b: 94, pl. XI | Weiler, 1968: 130.

Dragonet (Callionymus lyra)