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Author: (Pallas, 1811)

Zosterisessor ophiocephalus (Pallas, 1811)

Diagnosis: see genus. Dl VI (V-VII); D2 1 + 14-15 (13-16); A I + 14-15 (12-16); P 18-19 (17-20). Scales in lateral series 59-64 (53-68). Vertebrae 28 (27-29). Colour: greenish-yellow to olive, body with 12-14 irregular brownish vertical bands down sides; small dark spot on lateral midline at base of caudal fin and in upper corner of pectoral fin lobe. Size: to 24.5 cm.

Habitat: inshore, brackish water of estuaries and lagoons, in and near holes among grass roots on mud substrates. Food: small fish (sandsmelt, gobies) and larger crustaceans (such as Leander). Reproduction: April-May (Tuzlov estuaries, Black Sea) or July (Varna), spawning twice. Eggs 2.6 x 0.8 mm, in weed; fecundity 1O,OO0-45,000. Sexually mature at 2 or 3 years. Lifespan: 5 years.

Distribution: Mediterranean, Black Sea and Sea of Azov.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. No data.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Grass goby (Zosterisessor ophiocephalus)