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Author: (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Symphodus (Crenilabrus) cinereus (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Diagnosis: head length greater than body depth. Snout length equal to or shorter than post-orbital. Small teeth (3-7/6-10). Varying number of cephalic pores on snout (5-68). Lips with 4-6 folds. Dorsal finrays XII-XV + 8-11; anal finrays III + 7-10. Scales along lateral line 30-35, on temporo-occipital surface 2-3; rows of scales above lateral line 2.5, on inter-operculum 1-2 (6-10 scales), on cheek 2, behind eye 1. Gillrakers 11-15. Vertebrae 30-32. Colour: sexual dimorphism. A large black urogenital papilla in adult females, papilla colourless in males which have more brilliant colours and habitually some blue stripes on head during spawning season. Both sexes usually greyish, sometimes brownish, pink-brownish, greenish or yellow-green, often mottled brown or white. Habitually a dark spot on beginning of dorsal fin and a larger one on lower part of caudal peduncle. Size: to 15 cm SL, usually 8-10 cm.

Habitat: Iittoral, in eel-grass beds, sometimes on soft bottoms (1-20 m), often in lagoons and estuaries with plenty of vegetation and detritus. Behaviour: often numerous individuals together. One (or more) female spawns in a nest of algae built and kept by male on bottom. Food: shrimps, amphipods, isopods, small gastropods and bivalves. Reproduction. north-western Mediterranean in March-April. Sexual maturity: females when 1 year old (4 cm maximum), males when 1-2 years old (7 cm maximum). Age and growth: to 5-6 years. Rate of growth faster in males. No difference between Atlantic and Mediterranean populations; when 4 years old males measure 13 cm and females 11 cm.

Distribution: Mediterranean and Black Sea. Eastern Atlantic from basin of Arcachon to Gibraltar.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Lo Bianco, 1909: 712 | Sparta, 1932: 3, fig. 1-10; 1956: 581, fig. 443-446 | Quignard, 1968: 265, fig. 1-10.
Otoliths (sagitta). Sanz Echeverría, 1937: 35, pl. 2 (fig. 9-10) | Chaine, 1942: 70, pl. 4.

Subspecies

Symphodus (Crenilabrus) cinereus cinereus (Bonnaterre, 1788): numerous cephalic pores on snout (30 68). In Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic from Arcachon to Gibraltar. Clofnam 145.9.3.

Symphodus (Crenilabrus) ceniereus staitii (Nordmann, 1840): few cephalic pores on snout (5-9). Black Sea and along French Mediterranean coast, mainly in the lagoons. Clofnam 145.9.4.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. Quignard, 1962: 51, fig. 1-6.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Symphodus cinereus