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Author: Delaroche, 1809

Callionymus pusillus Delaroche, 1809

Diagnosis: eye in head 2.5-3.3. Preopercular spine formula 1 2(-3)/- 1 (see fig.), strong antrorse spine at base. Dl IV; D2 6-7; A 9 (rarely 8 or 10). Colour: grey or light brown, males with bluish spots and stripes on body and blue stripes on second dorsal. Size: to 14 cm (males), 10 cm (females).

Habitat: benthic, sandy bottoms in very shallow waters, only occasionally to 100 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: May to August (Mediterranean); eggs and larvae pelagic.

Distribution: northern Mediterranean, including the Adriatic, Aegean and Black Seas, east to the coasts of Lebanon and Israel, west to Cadiz; in Atlantic, Portuguese coast north to Lisbon.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Padoa, 1956b: 705, fig. 604-606 | Varagnolo, 1964: 263, pl. 3 (fig. 13).
Otoliths (sagitta). Chaine, 1938b: 99, pl. XI (C. dracunculus).

Callionymus pusillus