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Author: Bonnaterre, 1788

Brama brama Bonnaterre, 1788

Diagnosis: small- to medium-sized bramid fish. Dorsal fin-originating over pectoral fin base, covered with scales, and a broad but not high dorsal lobe. Anal fin similar, originating under middle of dorsal lobe and with a base more than three-quarters length of dorsal fin base. Dorsal profile of head between eyes strongly arched and rounded. Head strongly compressed, lower edges of mandible usually in contact for their entire length. Dorsal finrays 35-38; anal finrays 29-32; pectoral finrays 20-23. Vertebrae 41-43. Gillrakers 4-7 + 8-12 = 14-18. No keel on caudal peduncle, scales there forming a smoothly graded size series to smaller scales on caudal fin. Prominent axillary scale at base of pelvic fin. Body scales lack spines. Scales in horizontal series 70 80. Lateral line obsolete in adults. Colour: silvery black with lighter paired fins and trailing edge of caudal fin. Size: to 70 cm SL, but commercial catch usually 40-55 cm.

Habitat: pelagic offshore in waters between 12 and 24° C. Seasonal migrant occurring in small schools, movements apparently temperature- related. May form pairs. Food: apparently opportunistic feeder on small fishes, cephalopods, amphipods, and euphausiids. Caught on long-lines baited with small fish. Reproduction: spawning season in August and September in Mediterranean, later in eastern Atlantic. Remarks: where abundant praised as food fishes.

Distribution: from central Norway southwards including the western Mediterranean. Elsewhere, in the Atlantic, southern Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Schmidt, 1918 | Sanzo, 1928a, 1928b | Mead, 1972.
Otoliths (sagitta). Shepherd, 1910b: 294, pl. 1 (fig. 3) | Sanz Echeverría, 1926: 150, fig. 14 | Frost, 1927b: 304, pl. V (fig. 32) | Chaine, 1956: 147, pl. II; 1958: 147, pl. II | Stinton, 1967: pl. 1 (fig. 13-14) & 2 (fig. 10-11).

Ray's bream (Brama brama)